Image from artist-in-residence Wanda Medina of an abstract paint and collage with red, orange, yellow, and blue.
Painting and collage work from artist Wanda C. Medina, Artist-in-Residence Spring 2021.

NPS Photo/Wanda C. Medina

Artist-In-Residence Program

National Parks have a legacy of inspiring artists, long before they became a part of the national park system. New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park is excited to continue in the tradition of working with artists to create and share new perspectives on the park’s stories.

Please check our Call for Artists tab for current information about applications.

The park’s Artist-in-Residence (AIR) program runs year-round in the Corson MakerSpace and Visitor Center. The program consists of four artists, one per quarter, from various disciplines, serving in their capacity as AIR for three months; January 1 - March 31, April 1 - June 30, July 1 - September 30, and October 1 - December 31. Exact time commitments are negotiable and will vary by artist and medium.

We pose this challenge to our artists: look at New Bedford as a source of inspiration for their work. This residency is for artists that wish to engage with our visitors, staff, and volunteers. Our residency is a studio residency and does not include housing. Selected artists will have access to a 300 square foot studio, and a wide array of equipment. A full list of the available equipment will be included in the call for proposals. Art should be accessible to all people. It is the artist’s role to act as a catalyst for both inspiration and radical inclusion.

During the three-month residency, the artist creates site-specific work based on themes relating to the city of New Bedford and the park’s many multi-faceted stories including, but not limited to the Underground Railroad, abolition, immigration, whaling, industry, and identity.

The artist will also interact directly with park visitors by offering place-based programs. As an example, a resident painter may offer youth-centered painting classes, while a resident poet may offer community workshops about processing life changes through writing.

We highly encourage applications from artists that are active in socially engaged practice. Our residency program is very public facing, and, as such, we require artists to have the ability to fully engage with our visitors, in capacities that may differ from a traditional artist residency.

Each Artist in Residence will receive a stipend of $2,500. Artists must register as a government vendor. Housing is not available through this program. The stipend will be paid through direct deposit. During the residency, artists will offer two programs of any type. The programs can be public workshops, talks, demonstrations, or other outreach. Possibilities range from children’s craft days, to meet and greets over coffee, to Q&A sessions. Park staff are available to help artists brainstorm, help, and install program ideas. The events should occur on AHA! Nights weekends, or school vacation days. All events will be free and open to the public.

Questions about the Artist-in-Residence program? e-mail us

Last updated: April 16, 2022

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Mailing Address:

33 William Street
New Bedford , MA 02740



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