Artist-in-Residence Program

Capitol Reef National Park's Artist-in-Residence Program

The Artist-in-Residence (AiR) Program at Capitol Reef National Park offers professional artists the opportunity to pursue their artistic discipline while being surrounded by the park’s inspiring landscape. “This residency program is an exciting progression of our relationship with the artist community, and will give visitors the chance to know Capitol Reef in a new and different way, through the eyes of an artist,” said former Capitol Reef National Park Superintendent Leah McGinnis who helped form the program in 2017.

In 2019 the park is offering one night sky photographer residency for 2-4 weeks. As an International Dark Sky Park, we are interested in engaging in art and culture with our dark skies.

The park also offers three artists a choice of residency of 2-4 weeks during the months of March thru October for visual and performing artists, writers and composers.

The selected artist will be given rent-free use of a furnished park house and will also receive a $500 contribution from The Entrada Institute to assist with travel and supply expenses.

This Artist-in-Residence program is supported by Capitol Reef National Park, in partnership with the Capitol Reef Natural History Association and The Entrada Institute.

Applications for 2020 will be accepted October 1-31, 2019.

Meet the 2019 Artists-in-Residence!

Portrait photograph of artist, Imma Berrera
Imma Berrera
Imma Barrera is a Barcelona-born landscape/nature photographer based in NJ. In 2015, she embarked in a career change leaving the pharmaceutical industry behind and followed her passion for photography graduating from the NY Institute of Photography. Imma identifies herself both as a scientist and an artist combining the analytical skills and scientific curiosity, her love of nature and the world around her, with the artistic sense of beauty and storytelling of photography.
Imma has exhibited in numerous galleries in NJ, PA and CA and has won several awards for her fine art photography. Her favorite things to photograph include landscapes from dusk to dawn, including astrophotography. In addition she loves capturing any type of fauna and flora both as part of its environment or as close ups as in macro photography. She is also involved in educational programs about photography and to raise awareness about the need to protect our natural treasures. To see her work please visit her website or follow her on instagram
Portrait photograph of artist, Walt Davis
Walt Davis
Walt Davis, retired director of the Panhandle-Plains Museum in Texas, spent fifteen years creating wildlife dioramas for the Dallas Museum of Natural History. That work required close observation of wild places and their plant and animal inhabitants – experience that served him well as an award-winning artist. He is a signature member and past president of the Southwestern Watercolor Society and signature member of the American Watercolor Society. Walt does demonstrations and conducts popular workshops in drawing, nature journaling, and watercolor painting throughout Texas. He and his wife, Isabel, coauthored the book, Exploring the Edges of Texas - an account of their 4,000-mile circumnavigation of the Lone Star State.

“A landscape” Davis says, “is composed of essential elements (rocks, soil, water, plants, animals) playing their appointed roles according to fundamental principles. A work of art is composed of essential elements as well (line, shape, value, color, texture) obeying different, but no less fundamental, principles. The challenge for an artist is to choreograph a delicate dance between art and nature coaxing the fundamental truth of one to illuminate the fundamental truth of the other.” Walt is the June 2019 artist.
Portrait photograph of artist, Virginia Catherall
Virginia Catherall
Virginia Catherall is a textile artist, knitwear designer, and museum educator. Virginia has been Curator of Education at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts since 1994 teaching families, children, and teachers about art and museums. In her art she is inspired by the landscape of Utah and the Great Basin.
Virginia received her BA in Art History from Brigham Young University and a MA in Museum Education from John F. Kennedy University in California. In 2004 she received a MPh in Educational Philosophy from the University of Utah. Virginia was the 2015 Artist-in Residence of Black Rock Desert National Conservation Area and 2016 Artist-in-Residence of Great Basin National Park.

As a knitting and textile artist, Virginia’s work has a close affinity to the land. She currently lives and works in Salt Lake City, Utah and is inspired by the incredible, rugged and sublime landscape around the Great Basin and Colorado Plateau. Her art echoes the geography of her place; a type of knitting “terroir” that brings her home into the forefront of her life. Many of her works focus on interpreting the history, science, geography, and biology of an ecosystem within the traditional craft of knitting. In addition, as part of her art, Virginia hopes viewers think about the traditional medium of knitting in a new way through not only viewing her art and craft but through making their own work of wearable art –­ made possible through published knitting patterns of many of her pieces. Virginia is the September 2019 artist.
Portrait photo of artist, Lisa Gilley on left and an image of one of her Denali paintings on the right
Lisa Gilley and one of her paintings from Denali
Lisa Gilley Olympic Peninsula (WA state) artist Lisa Gilley spends a lot of time in the back country sketching and photographing landscapes that she later renders into oil paintings. Her passion toward protecting the delicate environments where she lives and travels viscerally translates into her narrative landscapes. Gilley's subjects are drawn from wilderness areas and lands seeking protection (and continued protection) under different Wilderness Acts, including National Parks and Monuments, all in attempt to bring awareness to their fragile existence.

In the last few years Gilley has been honored art residencies at both Zion (2017) and Grand Canyon (2016) National Parks and an Artist Trust of Washington Grant for Artist (GAP) award for her work around documenting the Snake River (2015) and its surrounding tributaries. Her paintings have been featured in solo and group shows around the country including her last solo at Woodside Braseth Gallery in Seattle titled American Grandeur—a body of work featuring Western National Parks and Monuments in celebration of the NPS Centennial. Publications that have featured Gilley's work include the Seattle Times, Crosscut, Architectural Digest, Grand Canyon News, Extraordinart Review, Art Access and the Port Townsend Leader. Last year one of Gilley's paintings was chosen for the cover art of Ursula K Le Guin's last book of poems titled So Far, So Good.

Lisa Gilley's work is held in museum, private and public collections around the United States, Canada and Europe including the Paul G. Allen/Vulcan Collection, Microsoft Art Collection, Four Season Hotels, Zion National Park, Swedish Medical Centers, PeaceHealth Medical Centers, People's Bank of Washington, and Bainbridge Island Museum of Art. Lisa is the October 2019 artist.

If you have any questions, please contact Penni Torgerson at 435-425-4101.


Selections are made by Capitol Reef National Park staff, park partners and community arts leaders based on merit and how the artists’ work can communicate the park’s national significance and its relevance to park visitors. While artists may indicate the session of their preference, selection for that session is not guaranteed.

Responsibilities and Duties:

Artists-in-Residence are enrolled in the Volunteers-in-Parks program. The artist works an average of 40 hours of work per week in the park or other approved locations.

During the residency, the artist presents one 45-minute public interpretive program for a two-week residency or two 45-minute presentations for a four-week residency either in the park and/or at The Entrada Institute.

No later than six months after an artist’s residency, the artist will donate an original, Capitol Reef-inspired product to the Capitol Reef Natural History Association (CRNHA). The Superintendent of the park will select the piece to be donated. Artwork must be framed with glass, if appropriate, and prepared for hanging before donation. Contributed works will be held by the CRNHA and will be in the public domain, and not subject to copyright laws.

Lodging and Area Information:

The AiR will be lodged for free in temporary park housing within the Historic Fruita District. Utilities are included. ADA-compliant (standards issued under the Americans with Disabilities Act) housing is currently not available. The AiR will have a private bedroom and studio but may have shared common living areas, bathrooms and kitchen. Housing rules apply, such as no family or pets or smoking. Prior approval is required for guests.

The house is furnished and has a telephone line for local or phone card calls. Wi-Fi is provided however, there is no cell phone service in the park. A shared washer and dryer are available in the park to use. Kitchen includes major appliances (refrigerator, stove, sink), and some very basic utensils and dishes. The selected artist is responsible for bringing everything else he/she may need.

Dental and medical care, churches and groceries are available within 30 miles west of the park in Torrey, Bicknell and Loa. More extensive services are available in Richfield (population 7,500) located 75 miles to the west of the park.

2017 Artist-in-Residence Kit Frost

2018 Artists-in-Residence

Visit the Artists in Residence photo gallery or the Music page for a selection of art from previous artists.

Other Artist-in-Residency Programs across the National Park Service

Last updated: July 22, 2019

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

HC 70, Box 15
Torrey, UT 84775



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