Community Artist Program - How to Apply

The Community Artist in the Parks (CAIP) serves from April 1 through October 31, with some required training beforehand. Artists must complete at least 24 hours of visitor contact time per month, of which a minimum of 18 hours are spent in "front-country" locations. Artists must also visit each of the four park units at least once during their tenure, and conduct at least one outreach event to engage with the local, non-visitor community.

Community Artists sell their work in Canyonlands Natural History Association (CNHA) outlets during their tenure. (Specific sales arrangements will be made between the Community Artist in the Parks and CNHA.) Artists are responsible for transportation and materials costs, though some mileage may be reimbursed if funds are available. While serving, Community Artists also receive excellent exposure and a yearly entrance pass to the Southeast Utah Group (SEUG) of NPS units: Arches, Canyonlands, Hovenweep and Natural Bridges.

The CAIP visits locations throughout the SEUG—including visitor centers—and creates art on-site.Your medium must be such that you can transport materials to foot-accessed locations in a reasonable manner. For example, Chad Niehaus (2009) created linoleum block prints during his tenure and was able to pack his entire materials kit into a small backpack. Pete Apicella (2010) worked with bold colored markers, colored pencils and found paper. Kathy Cooney (2011) created watercolors plein air and at the Arches Visitor Center. Serena Supplee (2014) painted in a studio from field sketches, but also completed large oils on site over the course of several days.

It is important for the CAIP to be comfortable explaining his/her medium, process, and inspiration. This isn't easy for every artist. You will be asked fairly frequently why you do the things you do, how you do them, etc. Are you interested in actively discussing your artistic process while you create? If you are, you will enjoy the CAIP program tremendously.

Looking for More?

Read about "A Day in the Life" of a community artist, or check out some frequently asked questions.

Application Criteria

The successful applicant will:

  • be a resident of Grand or San Juan counties (Utah) or Montezuma County (Colorado)
  • have a portable medium that invites visitor curiosity and engagement,
  • create a friendly, approachable environment for visitor interaction,
  • commit to at least 24 hours of visitor contact work per month from April through October,
  • commit to attending required training and orientation as assigned,
  • provide a detailed schedule of locations and dates in advance, and be able stick to the proposed schedule as firmly as possible,
  • conduct a minimum of one event to engage the local resident community, and
  • provide art product(s) for sale at CNHA outlets.
  • NOTE: CNHA employees and SEUG interpretive staff are ineligible.

To Apply

The formal announcement for the next year's CAIP applications typically comes as a park news release in August or September. Applications submitted earlier will not be reviewed by the selection panel until the specified time.

Applicants must prepare written answers to the following questions:

1. What is your medium? Why would this medium work in the Community Artist in the Parks context?
2. What specific experience do you have as an artist working with the public?
3. How do you envision your interactions with the visiting public playing out?
4. What ideas do you have for a local community outreach event?
5. How would you rate your knowledge level of local flora, fauna, and places? Feel free to expand.
6. What would your proposed schedule be as a Community Artist in the Parks?
7. What items would you like to sell in CNHA outlets? Please give specific examples, including price ranges.

Additionally, please include the following with your application packet:

1. Samples of your work—the more representative of your proposed medium as CAIP, the better. (Color photographs are acceptable.)
2. Artist bio and photograph (of you)
3. Daytime phone number

Send your digital application materials to:

Karen Garthwait, CAIP Coordinator
(435) 719-2142

Last updated: October 28, 2022

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

PO Box 907
Moab, UT 84532


435 719-2299

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