Hot Springs National Park Artist in Residence
2017 application period is now closed
Artists have been part of national parks since the 1870s when painters played a vital role in documenting the majestic landscapes of the West. It was through their works of art that the public came to see these as special places in America – places destined to become the first national parks. Today, artists are working in more than 40 units of the National Park Service (NPS) through Artist-In-Residence (AIR) programs – using their talents to bring the sights and stories of the parks to life for the public. National Park Service AIR programs began in 1969; the Hot Springs National Park AIR program was initiated in 2004.
How the Program Works
Hot Springs National Park offers a furnished cabin (rent-free) for a scheduled residence to an artist chosen for the Hot Springs National Park Artist-In-Residence program. In return, the national park asks every artist to provide a minimum of one (1) public program per week during their stay and donate to the national park’s permanent collection an original work of art that is representative of their style and reflective of their residency. The artist must interact informally with national park visitors when contacts are made in the field while working.
All artists are eligible to apply and will be considered based on the content of the submitted application. The artist must be in good health, self-sufficient, and able to work independently after a brief orientation with park staff. Our aim is to work with a diverse group of artists, writers, musicians, craftsmen, composers, painters, sculptors, photographers, storytellers, performance artists, and videographers who can tell the story of this unique national park through their preferred medium and communicate the significance of our interpretive themes [see the interpretive theme attachment at the end of the application].
Length of Residency
The Artist-In-Residence is traditionally two to four weeks in length. We will work with each selected artist to design an appropriate length of stay.
Months available in 2017:March 1 through December 31, 2017
Note: Artists are asked to arrive at the Gulpha Gorge Campground by 3 p.m. on the day they move into the cabin.
Application Deadline for 2017 Artist in Residence program
Saturday, December 17, 2016 (must be received in the national park by this date). No email applications accepted.
The Selection Process
A panel of national park staff and subject matter representatives will choose finalists on the basis of entry materials, recognized talent as demonstrated by participation in juried shows and publications, and the artist’s ability to relate and interpret the park through their work and proposed public programs. Selections are made without regard to race, religion, marital status, sex, age, sexual orientation or national origin and only upon completion of a successful background check.
Studio and Accommodations
The Artist-In-Residence Cabin, located in Gulpha Gorge Campground, is a single story dwelling with seven rooms – living room, dining room, kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, utility room and studio. The residence is comfortably furnished and includes a fully equipped kitchen plus washer and dryer. The residence is not wheelchair accessible.
The 10’ X 8’6” studio is equipped with a professional easel, drafting table, and true-color light stand. Artists are required to supply their own materials.
Family members may accompany the artist, but capacity is limited – the cabin is most suitable for an individual or couple. Artists and/or family members may not be engaged in other employment of any kind while occupying the cabin and must comply with all national park regulations and standards governing park staff and visitors.
Pets and smoking are not allowed.
The national park does not have a housekeeping staff; consequently residents are responsible for their own housekeeping. Some cleaning supplies and utensils are furnished. Linens, blankets, and towels used during the stay must be laundered before departure.
The national park provides no stipends for travel, food, etc. Artists are responsible for their own personal living expenses, food, supplies, transportation, and any other expenses relating to the cost of producing artwork that may be incurred while in the program. Travel and shipping expenses to and from the park are also the responsibility of the participant.
Gulpha Gorge Campground is located about 2 miles from the national park visitor center. Artists must have their own means of transportation; bicycling is not practical. The cabin has a television and DVD player; Wi-Fi is not available at the cabin or in the campground [see the Gulpha Gorge cabin attachment at the end of the application].
During their residency, artists are required to provide one public program per week of residence.
For example, the program(s) can be selected from the following possibilities:
- Studio (working with a local high school to mentor art students for a class period)
- Campfire program (evening program at campground)
- Junior Ranger program (children’s program)
- Ozark Bathhouse Cultural Center formal or informal demonstration, open art workshop or lecture
At the conclusion of their residency, artists will donate a fully finished original work of art to the national park based on or related to park themes or resources and chosen by the park superintendent and staff from the body of work produced during the stay. Art produced must be created while in residence and be recognizable as being in Hot Springs National Park.
The donation will become property of the national park; the national park will have the right to reproduce it for its own use. All other works created during the residency must acknowledge the Artist-In-Residence Program at Hot Springs National Park when reproduced by artists for their own purposes.
How to Apply
Application packages must be received in the national park by the deadline. Applications must include the following items in a single envelope:
- “Volunteer Application for Natural Resources Agencies” Form OMB No. 0596-0080. Disregard Sections 7, 8, 9,11,12,13,15,16,17, and 18. In Section 19, list two references (with phone numbers and email addresses) familiar with your artistic background and abilities. We will contact your references by email.
- Completion of Hot Springs Background Check Form (authorizes law enforcement background/records check).
- A resume of no more than two pages including a summary of your creative work (any exhibitions, collections, and publications where your work has appeared).
- Visual Artists / Craftsmen / Painters / Photographers: Submit up to five digital images of at 300 dpi (.jpg, .png, or .tiff) on labeled CD. 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.
- Writers: Submit no more than ten typewritten pages, double-spaced, of manuscript in PDF format.
- Musicians / Storytellers / Performing Artists / Videographers: Submit CD or DVD indexed to identify a five minute segment for review. If submitting MP3 files, include CD or DVD as back-up in case of compatibility issues.
- Composers: Submit CD or DVD of a full orchestral work indexed to identify a five minute segment for review along with PDF of the score for the work. If submitting MP3 files, include CD or DVD as back up in case of compatibility issues.
- A statement of what you hope to gain from a residency at Hot Springs National Park and how your work will benefit the park.
- Submit a proposal of the specific public programs you will present in residence.
- The months for which you are applying – list 1st, 2nd and 3rd choice.
Submitted material will not be returned. Do not send original work or irreplaceable articles.
Notification of results will be mailed as quickly as possible following the deadline and completion of the background check. Finalists must confirm their intention to participate in the program within two weeks of notification.
Send application to:
Hot Springs National Park
101 Reserve Street
Hot Springs, AR 71901
Subject: AIR Program
Call: Brian Schwieger, Park Ranger - 501.620.6703
Information about the Artist-in-Residence cabin
Hot Springs National Park interpretive themes