Artist-In-Residence Program

Artist-In-Residence John Hulsey is painting with a brush while looking at Moraine Park
Artist-In-Residence John Hulsey is pictured while painting in Moraine Park

NPS Photo

Did you know that art has played a major role in the creation of national parks and in the preservation of wild spaces? Artists like George Catlin, Thomas Cole, Albert Bierstadt, Thomas Moran, Ansel Adams, and more helped to share the beauty and wonders of the natural world with people around the globe.

In turn, since the 1800s, artistic works have inspired people to travel, dream, explore, and visit their national parks and other public lands.

The creative arts continue to play a major role in national parks today. Artists of many types, like painters, photographers, sculptors, authors, poets, musicians, composers, videographers, dancers, playwrights and more - help capture a moment in time and inspire others. People come to national parks for many different reasons and Artist-In-Residence programs provide extraordinary opportunities to connect with some of America's most treasured places.

The National Park Service recognizes the importance of art in our lives and helps to support artists by offering Artist-In-Residence programs. Through these programs, selected artists have the opportunity to participate in a residency in a national park. Through their residency, artists have time to be inspired and create artistic works, as well as share their vision with the public through presentations.

Rocky Mountain National Park in partnership with the Rocky Mountain Conservancy is one of over 50 NPS sites that currently host an Artist-In-Residence program. Artists that are part of Rocky's AIR program participate in a two- or three- week residency in a historic cabin during the summer months.

Fringed Grass of Parnassus Willow Park

NPS Photo

Are You Interested in Being One of Rocky's 2024 Artists-In-Residence?

Rocky Mountain National Park and Rocky Mountain Conservancy invite artists from all creative disciplines and genres to apply for the 2024 Artist-In-Residence program.

Application submissions for the summer 2024 program have closed.


Additional Artist-In-Residence Program Details:

When the application window closes, a panel of judges will select five to six artists to participate in the summer 2024 program. Selected artists will have a choice of a two-week or three-week residency that will take place inside Rocky Mountain National Park from mid-June through mid-September.

Selected artists will provide at least two public programs. At the completion of their residency, the artists will donate a fully furnished piece of work representative of their stay to the Rocky Mountain Conservancy. Rocky Mountain Conservancy will hold the rights to the piece of work and the National Park Service will have the rights to share the donated works with the public.

Scenic view of mountain peaks along the Continental Divide and Moraine Park meadow in summer

NPS Photo

A Brief History of Rocky's Artist-In-Residence Program

Rocky Mountain National Park launched it's first Artist-In-Residence program during the summer of 1984. RMNP's program is one of the oldest and longest-running Artist-In-Residence programs in the National Park Service. The park has hosted over 200 individuals from across the world who have helped enrich Rocky Mountain National Park by sharing their unique artistic visions for the benefit of current and future generations of park visitors.

Selected artists serve in a two- or three-week long residency during the summer season. Artists-In-Residence stay at the William Allen White cabin. From 1912 to 1943, this cabin was the summer retreat of William Allen White, a nationally- recognized journalist and editor of the Emporia Gazette (Kansas). White’s spirit lives on with the contemporary artists who work in his cabin today.

Five to six artists are selected each year and their residency takes place anytime from mid-June through mid-September. During this residency, selected artists will create art in the medium of their choice and they will share their art through at least two different public programs.

The park's Artist-In-Residence program ran annually from 1984 - 2017. It has been on pause since. RMNP and the Rocky Mountain Conservancy staff are thrilled to bring back this impactful program.

Interested in learning more about the role of art in our national parks? Visit the National Park Service's Arts in the Parks webpage.

Last updated: February 20, 2024

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Mailing Address:

1000 US Hwy 36
Estes Park, CO 80517


970 586-1206
The Information Office is open year-round: 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. daily in summer; 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Mondays - Fridays and 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Saturdays - Sundays in winter. Recorded Trail Ridge Road status: (970) 586-1222.

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