Artist in Residence Program

An artist wearing a wide-brim hat paints on a canvas on an easel in a vast, grassy valley.
An artist paints en plein air in Valle Grande.



Art has played a major role in the creation of national parks and in the preservation of wild spaces. Artists like Georgia O'Keeffe, Thomas Moran, Terry Tempest-Williams, John Muir, Ansel Adams, and more have helped to share the beauty and wonders of the natural world with people around the globe.

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 (AIR) 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.

Valles Caldera National Preserve is one of more than 50 NPS sites that currently host an Artist-In-Residence program. Artists that are part of Valles Caldera's AIR program participate in a two- or three-week residency in a historic lodge during the summer months.


Are You Interested in Being an Artist-In-Residence?

Valles Caldera National Preserve invites artists from all creative disciplines and genres to apply for the Artist-In-Residence program. Application period is now closed for the summer 2024 program.

To Apply:

  1. First, submit an application via
  2. After completing and submitting your application, interested applicants must send in the following documents via email to
    • Your Resume (4 pages maximum; do not include personal photographs)
    • Summary of Creative Works (2 pages maximum). Examples include exhibits, galleries, performances, recordings, publications, shows, etc.
    • Statement of Purpose (2 pages maximum). Share why you are interested in serving as an Artist-In-Residence, what you hope to gain from this experience, how you expect to grow as an artist, how your work contributes to the National Park Service values of stewardship, education, recreation and preservation, and also describe your ability to live in a rustic setting within a national park.
    • Public Program Concept (1 page). Selected applicants will be asked to provide at least one public program during their residency. These are generally talks/presentations open to the public and could be 30-60 minutes in length and include a performance, discussion, or demonstration of your works. Please provide a brief concept outline of your public presentation.
    • Submit Samples of Recent Works

Visual, Textile, & Sculpture Artists:

Provide up to 6 images embedded within a Word or PDF document. Clearly label each image with your name and the work's title. Images should focus only on the actual artwork; extraneous backgrounds, mattes, or frames should not be included. For each work, clearly list: name of work, medium, and dimensions.

Language Artists:

Provide up to 6 short works or 1 long work within a Word or PDF document. Clearly label each work with your name and its title. Examples include up to 6 short poems or other short writing samples of artistic merit (1 page each) or one short story, essay, or manuscript excerpt (10 pages max). Note for non-fiction writers: Creative nonfiction for this program does not include travelogues, journalistic features, interviews, or job-related documents such as memos or legal briefs. Such submissions will not be considered.

Musicians, Composers, Performing Artists, Videographers:

Provide up to 6 short selections (less than 6 minutes total) or 1 long selection (about 10 minutes total). Upload your submission to YouTube/Vimeo or share an existing YouTube/Vimeo link embedded within a Word or PDF document. Uploads may be public or private.

Clearly label each work with your name and its title, please.


Additional Program Details

When the application window closes, a panel of judges will select three to five 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 Valles Caldera National Preserve from mid-May through late October.

Selected artists will provide at least two public programs. At the completion of their residency, the artists will donate a completed piece of work representative of their stay to the park. Valles Caldera National Preserve 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.


Art in the Parks

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    Last updated: April 29, 2024

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