Apply for Artist-in-Residence Program

Moss-covered boulders in a river surrounded by a green forest.

Photo by 2015 Artist-in-Residence, Danielle Austen


Artwork Donation

Each artist donates a mutually agreed upon piece of original work, representative of their stay in Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP) within one year of completion of the residency. The artwork is donated to park partner, Friends of The Smokies (FOTS), a non-profit organization that supports the park by raising funds and awareness. FOTS may offer the piece for consideration in the park's permanent museum collection, or sell it to raise funds supporting the Artist-in-Residence (AIR) Program or other park needs.

Artists agree to share all copyrights for artwork donated to Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, giving FOTS shared ownership and rights to reproduce it. The artist retains a non-exclusive use license and may make use of the artwork for personal and professional promotion using the language, "Produced under Artist-in-Residence Program at Great Smoky Mountains National Park."

Artist Participation as Volunteer-in-Park

Selected artists work with the Parkwide Volunteer Coordinator to develop a residency theme that makes it possible for the park to generate visitor awareness and enrichment opportunities. Artists are scheduled to facilitate three public programs tailored to their individual medium, experience, and interests. These may be in the form of participatory workshops, hands-on learning, demonstration, performances, exploratory walks, outreach in classrooms and community, or another means of engagement that align with park protocol. Artists provide equipment and supplies needed to lead the programs.

When and How To Apply

Submit application materials and samples as indicated below. Insufficient or excess materials may be cause for application rejection, as is proposed use of work already in progress through a residency.

A panel of professionals from diverse disciplines will choose up to six finalists. Selection is based on artistic merit, statement of purpose, and appropriateness to residency at this national park.

Panel jurors give thoughtful consideration to each applicant's statement of purpose (proposal) regarding how their creative insight and offerings may be made accessible for park visitors, volunteers, staff, and local community. Great Smoky Mountains National Park seeks to inspire people of all ages, backgrounds, and cultures to connect with and discover the meaning of national parks in their lives. Through our vibrant Artist-in-Residence program, the park invites exploration, experience, innovation, education, and stewardship.

Application Period: November 2024 through March 2025

Spring/Summer/Fall Residency mid-June through November

All applicants must submit:

  1. A Resume and Summary of Creative Works
  2. Statement of Purpose: What do you hope to gain through time spent at Great Smoky Mountains National Park? How might you share your insight, experience and creative contribution with park visitors and people of the local community?
  3. Three choices of beginning/ending dates for your stay. Residencies are a minimum of 4 weeks, maximum 6 weeks. Please offer dates June through November.

Visual Artists

Submit six digital images at 300 dpi (jpg or tif) on labeled thumbdrive or via email with hyperlinks to material for review. Enter AIR PROGRAM in email subject line. Include a list of images with title, medium, and image size (height and width). Images should show only the actual work—backgrounds, frames, or mats should not be included.


Submit no more than six double-spaced, typewritten pages of manuscript or electronic file in either Microsoft Word or PDF format. Writers are also encouraged to apply to the Steve Kemp Writers Residency at Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
The Steve Kemp Writer's Residency

Musicians/Performing Artists/Composers

Submit files on thumbdrive or via email including hyperlinks to material for review. Enter AIR PROGRAM in email subject line. Please identify a 5–7 minute segment for jury review.

Email Application Packet

  • Send to
  • Include AIR PROGRAM in the subject line

Mail Application Packet/Notification of Selection

The Artist-in-Residence Program, Attention: Parkwide Volunteer Coordinator
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
107 Park Headquarters Road, Gatlinburg, TN 37738

Due to the number of submissions, applicants do not receive confirmation that their submission has been received by the park. Artists selected for a Residency will be notified in early May.

The Artist-in-Residence Program is supported by Great Smoky Mountains National Park, in partnership with the Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts. Funding for the AIR Program is provided by Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Last updated: April 10, 2024

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Mailing Address:

107 Park Headquarters Road
Gatlinburg, TN 37738



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