Artists in National Parks
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.
Big Cypress primarily looks for residencies lasting from two to three 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 experiencing the preserve's inspiring landscape and resources.
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
Applications for the Artist-in-Residence program are now being taken by the Florida National Parks Association through the Big Cypress Institute. The Institute will host public showings, education programs, and art sales. This allows for more opportunities for the artists. The call for 2019-2020 applications opens April 1, 2019.
The Selection Process
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 six months 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.
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.
Artists are required to participate in at least one public program during their residency. This interaction can be tailored to an individual's medium, interest, and experience using at least 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 wonders 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]
Last updated: December 23, 2020