The Artist in Residence program at Badlands National Park was founded in 1996 and is open to all professional artists who are US citizens.Writers, composers and all visual and performing artists are invited to interpret this wind-swept environment through their work. The program provides time for artists to get away from everyday responsibilities to focus on their surroundings and their medium while interpreting the unique themes of Badlands National Park. Artists will translate the meanings and significance (themes) of Badlands National Park into artistic expressions within their chosen art medium.
Badlands National Park has a strong commitment to area youth, particularly in our local rural school districts. Therefore, all artists in residence are required to present a minimum of four sessions in a local school (or schools) to introduce students to an aspect of art and its interpretation of their Badlands home. Additionally, artists must be willing to interact with park visitors on site and possibly give a presentation to the public or park staff on his or her medium, interests and experiences.
Within one year of completing the residency, the artist will contribute to the park a mutually agreed upon piece of original artwork representative of their stay in Badlands National Park. Artists are required to sign an agreement that permits the National Park Service to share copyright privileges on the donated piece. All submissions and agreements are maintained as part of the park's museum collections.
Two residencies are offered per year, each for a period of four to six weeks to occur between September 15th through May 1st.
The park offers an apartment located in a small housing complex at park headquarters at no cost to the artist. Facilities for this program are wheelchair accessible. Housing will be either an efficiency apartment or a one bedroom apartment (depending upon availability) that is fully furnished with heat and air conditioning. No additional studio space is available. Basic cooking equipment is also provided, as well as access to the park library. Artists need to bring bedding, personal gear, food and art supplies. (Wireless internet may be available at the Visitor Center and artists may purchase service for their apartment from a local provider. Phone service is limited.)
Additionally, the park provides a reimbursement for personal expenses not to exceed $300. Reimbursable expenses include art supplies, travel, and meals. All expenses incurred above $300 are the responsibility of the artist. (The park and schools do have basic classroom art supplies for your use.)
The park provides an orientation to the park and will make a government vehicle available to artists to travel to school programs. All other transportation is the responsibility of the artist. The park provides bicycles for artists' use. All artists in residents are enrolled in the park's Volunteers In Parks (VIP) program and are covered under Worker's Compensation for any injuries incurred under the scope of their residency.
Because of the weather extremes in western South Dakota, artists should be prepared for blizzards, heat above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, high winds, and varied terrain when hiking or biking.
Submissions will be reviewed in July of each year with artist notification on or before August 1st. Selections will be based upon artistic integrity, ability to interpret park themes, ability to connect and relate their artwork to school aged children, ability to reside in a remote, rural area, and the willingness to donate a finished, original piece of artwork which was inspired during the artist's residency.
All art forms are considered 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.
Last updated: December 1, 2019