The Artist-in-Residence program is dedicated to exploring new ways for visitors to experience Denali. From hundreds of competitive applications each year, about a half-dozen accomplished artists, writers, and composers are invited by the park superintendent to spend ten days in Denali at their own expense the following winter or summer. Visits include a permit for limited access along the Denali Park Road and time alone at a historic ranger patrol cabin.
Each participant volunteers to lead a public outreach activity with visitors and to donate a finished work to the program collection. Artists are challenged to create works for visitors that convey a fresh and innovative perspective of Denali drawn from direct experience. With the welcome addition of several year-round gallery spaces beyond park boundaries, more of these donated works enjoy a larger life in the public eye.
Costs of program operations and collateral-duty staffing are supported by visitor entry fees. Costs of supplies for free outreach activities are provided by Alaska Geographic with funds derived from purchases at park bookstores.