Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site hosts the oldest artist residency program in the National Park Service. Begun in 1969 by the park's cooperating association, the Saint-Gaudens Memorial, the position plays an important role in the park's interpretive programs.
The sculptor-in-residence program is open to figurative sculptors who spend the open season from June-October working on their art and interacting with park visitors. The artist works in the historic Ravine Studio, located at the forest edge overlooking Blow-Me-Up Ravine.
Park visitors are able to interact with the sculptor, asking questions and thus learning about how Saint-Gaudens created the artwork they see at the site.
During the season, the sculptor also conducts a series of sculpture workshops, teaching the basics of figurative sculpture, mold making and casting.
Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site and Weir Farm National Historic Site recently initiated a project to better understand the current status and opportunities of the National Park Service Artist-in-Residence programs. As the only two National Park Service site dedicated to visual artists, both with active Artist-in-Residence (A-I-R) programs, we often find ourselves being consulted by other parks and offices in and outside the agency as sources of current A-I-R program information. The report on artist residency programs in the National Park Service was released in 2009, and is available in a pdf format.