Artists have had a long-standing impact on the formation, expansion and direction of our national parks. Painting the landscapes of the American West, visual artists like Thomas Moran, George Catlin and Albert Bierstadt focused attention on natural wonders in the western landscape, then unfamiliar to the eastern populace.
These visual records of early artists helped to stimulate the establishment of many of our national parks.
Today, painters continue to document national park landscapes with contemporary approaches and techniques. Writers, sculptors, musicians, composers, and other performing artists also draw upon the multifaceted quality of parks for inspiration.
These artists translate the national preserve's purpose, as a place of pleasure and conservation, into images, which bring others enjoyment and a deeper understanding of the parks many Americans may never visit.
Big Cypress National Preserve's Artist-In-Residence program continues this tradition.
Big Cypress primarily looks for residencies lasting from two to four weeks during our dry season (November through April). We have opportunities for non-resident artists from the local communities for periods of flexible length (No housing provided).
The Artist-In-Residence program at Big Cypress National Preserve offers professional writers, composers, and visual and performing artists the opportunity to pursue their artistic discipline while being surrounded by the preserve's inspiring landscape.
Selected artists stay in a dormitory setting, with each person having their own room, and sharing living room / dining room / kitchen and bathroom space. We do not accept pets in housing, nor do we allow for spouses within the housing area.
Requests for reimbursements for travel and other expenses will not be granted.
How to Apply
The application period for the 2017-18 season has closed. We are in the process of reviewing applications. We are delayed in our selection due to recovery efforts from Hurricane Irma.
Please check back with us in the summer of 2018 for information about applying for the 2018-2019 winter season.
The Selection Process
A panel of professionals from diverse artistic disciplines will choose participating artists. Selection is based on artistic merit, the Statement of Purpose, and appropriateness to a national park residency.
Big Cypress National Preserve's Artist-in-Residence Program is managed by the Division of Interpretation. It is one of the founding and longest running programs in the National Park System. The works completed under this program contribute to the public understanding and appreciation of our national parks and create a legacy preserved for future generations.
In return, participating artists are required to donate two original pieces of artwork from, and representative of, their residency in Big Cypress National Preserve. One is donated to the National Park Service (NPS) and the other to the Florida National Parks Association (FNPA). The creative work donated to the Florida National Parks Association is later sold or auctioned with the proceeds benefiting resource protection and education. Donated artwork must be received no later than one year after an artist's residency.
Artwork from visual artists should be archivally framed with glass and prepared for hanging before donation. Artists will provide a label with the piece’s title, artist’s name, date, and medium(s) represented.
Artists are also required to provide the copyright for this artwork to the National Park Service. The National Park Service will not allow the commercial use of any donated artwork once it is selected and accessioned into the preserve's permanent museum collection. Artwork may be used in exhibits and for educational purposes by Big Cypress National Preserve's nonprofit cooperating association for their products. Artwork donated to the Florida National Parks Association is later sold or auctioned with the proceeds benefiting resource protection and education.
The artist retains a royalty-free, nonexclusive use license under the copyright of the art.
The National Park Service owns the artwork and the rights to reproduce it. Under those rights, the artist has a license to make use of the artwork for his or her purposes. When artists reproduce artwork for their own purposes, publication information will include the language: "This artwork was produced under the Artist-In-Residence Program at Big Cypress National Preserve."
These creative works are exhibited as frequently as possible and shared with the public through other appropriate means. Artwork not on display is stored in the preserve's secure, environmentally controlled museum storage facility.
Selection is based on artistic caliber, the artwork's ability to communicate the values and processes of Big Cypress National Preserve, and to meet the needs and scope of the preserve's art collection.
Ideally, both the NPS and FNPA pieces will be photographed and published in an "Art of Big Cypress" publication.
Artists will participate in public programs during their residency. This interaction can be tailored to an individual's medium, interest, and experience using at least 5-10% of one's stay. Programs can be demonstrations, workshops, talks, exploratory walks, 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. Public presentations may also include social media platforms, websites, or other digital communications.
The Artist-In-Residence Program aspires to share with the public the scenic beauty and stories of Big Cypress National Preserve through the world of art.
Big Cypress is glad to welcome artists from across the United States. General information and national case studies are available for other Artist-in-Residence Programs around the country. ["Drawing New Audiences, Expanding Interpretive Possibilities 3.7 MB]