Park Campground and Medano Pass Road Closed for Winter
The Pinon Flats Campground is closed for the winter season until April 1. The Medano Pass Road remains closed for winter at Castle Creek Picnic area until snow and ice melt out. More »
Main Park Phone Lines Down
The main phone lines to the Visitor Center and primary park numbers are not operational. Individual staff lines are still functional. Please call 719-378-6373 to reach the Visitor Center.
Artists in Residence
Courtesy Zach Tipton
Artist in Residence Zach Tipton Releases New Song Inspired by Winter Residency
Mister Zach (Zach Tipton) is the first singer songwriter to be selected for an artist residency at Great Sand Dunes. The first song inspired by his experience of his recent winter residency is a stark, mournful tune titled "Incomplete Isolation". Watch the song with accompanying video footage on YouTube.
center of a sphere
The Artist in Residence program offers professional artists, composers and writers an opportunity to live and work in Great Sand Dunes NPP for two weeks, benefitting the artist and those who will enjoy their unique vision for generations to come.
Due to funding and housing cutbacks, only one residency is scheduled for 2014: Megan Singleton (see below) was chosen in 2013, but will do her residency in 2014. No new applications are being accepted at this time.
The Artist in Residence Brochure (.pdf file, 1.1 mb) gives general program details and application procedures. The Volunteer Application for Natural Resource Agencies OF301_06_07 (.pdf file, 559 kb) is required for applicants. This form can be faxed or mailed separately if you email your other materials.
For more information about application procedures, please send an email or call 719-378-6343.
Megan Singleton has been selected as an artist in residence, with a residency tentatively scheduled for fall 2014. She submitted a complex proposal to create original fine art paper using invasive and native plant materials, painted and sculpted with imagery related to the natural hydrological system of the dunes (creeks and wetlands). For her public program, she will lead a papermaking workshop using plant materials, highlighting both native species and the problem of invasive species in national parks.
Randy Pijoan was an artist in residence in May 2013. Randy's theme wais "In Life and In Death," capturing cycles in the natural world that mirror aspects of the human experience. The artist created and operates Venturo Open Press, a non-profit facility to encourage disadvantaged youth in creating fine art prints. During his residency, he brought an fine art printing press to the Visitor Center, demonstrating the process of printmaking. He also conducted two free painting workshops.
Courtesy Ranna McNeil
Ranna McNeil was an artist in residence in 2012. Her dreamlike abstractions are made with a variety of materials including crystal, glass, and encaustic wax. During her residency she shared her process of creating in glass, crystal, and painting at the Visitor Center. She has created a number of pieces related to the dunes, and is currently working to complete a complex cast crystal sculpture that she carved in wax during her residency.
Painter Joseph Palmerio was Artist in Residence in September 2011. Palmerio relates: "Although I am a representational painter, I am grabbed initially by a landscape's abstract shapes...this allows for a strong composition on which to present the subtle colors of nature."
During his residency, the artist gave two plein air oil painting demonstrations, as well as a number of informal demonstrations of watercolor painting in the Visitor Center.
Photographer Jim Sidinger was an Artist in Residence in fall 2011. Jim's photography is about communication through images which use simple lines and forms in symmetric (occasionally asymmetric) relationships. He feels that the viewer's experiences are improved and intensified when there is a minimal amount of incidental clutter to distract from the essence of what he is trying to communicate.
Jim Sidinger led a photography workshop during his residency.
Painter and photographer Jean Sidinger was an Artist in Residence during fall 2011. Jean's work focuses on abstract shapes and patterns found in the natural world. During her residency, she led a free workshop on "The Art of Seeing".
Courtesy Sheigla Hartman
Painter Sheigla Hartman was Artist in Residence in April 2011. She is known nationally for her landscape paintings created with sweeping, abstract forms.
Hartman led a sketching workshop during her residency.
Angela Mestas was Artist in Residence in October 2010. Mestas combines outdoor leadership experiences in San Luis Valley's national wildlife refuges with an original vision for seeing and representing wildlife in fresh new ways. "I have an incredibly strong relationship with the land here," says Mestas. "That familiarity with color, aridity, and life will help support art that shows the character that defines the dunes. I want to create artwork that is sensitive to the diversity of the ecosystem in hopes of generating an emotional and intellectual effect that stimulates visually...not only asking questions about ecological relationships but defining them." She led a sketching workshop as well as classroom programs in a local school during her residency.
Courtesy Allan McConnell
Allan McConnell and his wife Frances Dodd (below) were artists in residence together April 16-30, 2010. "The responsibility of black and white photographic artist is to present the image in a new and unique manner," says McConnell. "Choosing compositions, amplifying, retarding, enhancing, and abstracting are all part of the photographic art."
McConnell led a photography workshop during his residency.
Courtesy Frances Dodd
Painter Frances Dodd was in residence April 2010 along with her husband Allan McConnell (above). Dodd says of her work, "I've learned to be less concerned about the outcome of the painting and now look for the discovery that might take place. I love the process of the painting, the joy of pushing paint or pastel around, developing lush color relationships and dramatic values. What initially attracts me to a subject are its shapes and values. I try to get beyond painting 'things' and concentrate on 'painting the painting'."
During her residency, Dodd led a painting workshop.
Potter and Muralist Sally Gierke was Artist in Residence in fall 2009. She led a clay workshop at the park and did programs at a local school.
In September 2009, Kathy Hodge was the first Artist in Residence at Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. She led two sketching workshops during her residency.
Did You Know?
Great Sand Dunes is home to at least six endemic insect species - found nowhere else on earth. The Great Sand Dunes Tiger Beetle is the best known of these endemics. More...