• Approximately 1,500 black bears live in the national park.

    Great Smoky Mountains

    National Park NC,TN

Artist In Residence

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Artist in Residence program offers a remarkable opportunity for professional artists to pursue their artistic endeavors while being surrounded by the park's inspiring landscape, rich heritage, and wealth of biological diversity. In turn, artists continue the long tradition of interpreting park resources in meaningful ways that inspire and enrich the Smokies experience for our visitors, while also leaving lasting impressions for future generations.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park's Artist in Residence Program seeks professional artists including writers, musicians, craftsmen, composers, painters, sculptors, photographers, storytellers, performance artists, and videographers whose work is engaged in issues that are relevant to the park's interpretive themes:

Diversity and Abundance: Great Smoky Mountains National Park harbors a wondrous diversity of life. Biological diversity is the hallmark of the park, which encompasses over 800 square miles in the southern Appalachian Mountains. No other area of equal size in a temperate climate can match the park's amazing diversity of plants, animals, and invertebrates.

Continuum of Human Activity: Inextricably tied to a sense of place, the park's cultural history is embodied in a variety of preserved historic structures, cultural landscapes, cemeteries, archaeological sites, museum objects, and archival documents. The park is also the keeper of intangible resources such as folklore, literature, and music. These treasures enable us to connect one generation to another.

Refuge of Scenic Beauty: The park's 800 square miles of mountain ridges, deep-cleft valleys, unspoiled streams, endemic life forms, and unique cultural features provide visitors with profound visual and sensory pleasure. The park provides opportunities for people to experience sanctuary, wilderness, solitude, and respite from the impacts of modern technological society.


Benefits to the Artists

The program provides both uninterrupted time for artists to pursue their own body of work, and also the opportunity to engage and inspire the public through outreach programs. In exchange for the adventure of living and working in a national park, the resident artist has the opportunity to create works and experiences that promote an understanding of the need to preserve and care for this national treasure.
* free furnished apartment inside park boundaries for 4-6 weeks
* reimbursement for materials and expenses not to exceed $300
* enrollment in Volunteers-in-Parks program which includes coverage for any injuries incurred under the scope of residency
* opportunity to collaborate with artists at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts


The Selection Process

A jury of representatives from Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts will review submitted materials and interview the top candidates. Selections will be made on the basis of merit and understanding of the mission of the National Park Service and the park's interpretive themes.

We consider all forms of art except those that manipulate or disturb the park's environment or are disrespectful to any race or gender. Selections are made without regard to race, religion, marital status, sex, age, or national origin.


Benefits to the Park

Artwork and presentations will characterize Great Smoky Mountains National Park for present and future generations, offering an opportunity for the public to experience our heritage through the works of the contributing artists.

Artwork Donation
Each artist is asked to contribute a mutually agreed upon piece of original work representative of their stay in Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP) within one year of completion of their residency. The artwork will be donated to the Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park (FOTS), a non-profit partner organization that supports the park by raising funds and public awareness. FOTS may donate the artwork to the permanent museum collection in GSMNP or sell the artwork to raise funds to support the Artist-in-Residence program or other park needs.

Artists agree to convey all copyrights for the donated artwork to the FOTS. The artist retains a royalty-free, nonexclusive use license under the copyright of the art. FOTS owns the artwork and the rights to reproduce it. Under those rights, the artist has a license to make use of the artwork for personal professional promotion (i.e portfolio, gallery display, etc) with the accompanying language, "Produced under the Artist-In-Residence Program at Great Smoky Mountains National Park."

Public Presentations
Artists will present at least one 45-minute public programs during their residencies. This interaction can be tailored to an individual's medium, interest, and experience using only a few hours of a resident's stay. Programs can be demonstrations, talks, exploratory walks, classroom experiences, or performances. Artists must provide their own supplies and equipment for these presentations. In addition, artists are requested to give public presentations in their communities about their residency experiences.


When and How to Apply

Artists must submit application materials and art samples exactly as indicated below. Insufficient, or excess materials, are causes for application rejection, as is an artist's proposed use of a work already in progress as a residency project.

A panel of professionals from diverse artistic disciplines will choose six finalists, with two alternates. Selection is based on artistic merit, the Statement of Purpose, and appropriateness to a national park residency.

Application Deadline: March 24, 2014
Summer/Fall Residency Available between June 1 and November 30, 2014 and Winter/Spring Residency Available between December 1 and May 30, 2015

All applicants must submit:
1. A resume and summary of creative works.
2. Statement of Purpose which explains what they hope to both gain and share from a residence experience.
3. Three choices of beginning and ending dates for their residency. Residencies are a minimum of 4 weeks, a maximum of 6 weeks, and must fall within the availability dates.

Visual artists: Submit six digital images at 300 dpi (jpg or tif) on labeled CD. Include a list of images with title, medium, and image size (height and width). Images should show only the actual work - backgrounds, mats, or frames should not be included.

Writers: Submit no more than ten double-spaced, typewritten pages of manuscript or electronic file in either Microsoft Word or a .PDF format.

Performing Artists: Submit CD or DVD indexed to identify five-minute segment for jury review. If submitting MP3 files, include CD or DVD as back up in case there are compatibility issues.

Application packets must be mailed to: Artist in Residence Program, Attn: Christine Hoyer, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, 107 Park Headquarters Road, Gatlinburg, TN 37738


The Artist-in-Residence Program is supported by Great Smoky Mountains National Park, in partnership with the Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts.

Download a pdf version of the information contained on this page about our 2014 Artist in Residence Program.

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