Joshua Tree National Park Artist-In-Residence Program
Mission Statement: The purpose of the Joshua Tree National Park Artist-in-Residence Program is to provide artistic and educational opportunities to promote a deeper appreciation of the natural, cultural, and historical resources of Joshua Tree National Park and the deserts of Southern California.
HISTORY OF ARTISTS IN NATIONAL PARKS
Artists were among the first to record the visual beauty and the drama of the American West on canvas and in photos. Carleton Watkins, Ansel Adams, Thomas Moran, William Henry Jackson, and others awakened a nation to the magnificent waterfalls, geyser basins, and wildlife found in what would become some of our nation’s most revered national parks. John Muir and Henry David Thoreau touched people the world over with their writing. Musicians, composers, and other performing artists have likewise found inspiration in our national parks. They looked beyond nature as a raw resource; they spoke in defense of disappearing wildlife and vegetation. They saw beauty and virtue in places promised to the future. Their works continue to foster pleasure and appreciation in others, generating support for the protection and preservation of our national resources. Today, artists continue to document national parks, landscapes, and resources with contemporary approaches and techniques.
The Joshua Tree National Park Artist-in-Residence Program offers visual, performing and literary artists a residency from 2-6 weeks long during the months of March, April, October, and November each year. The accommodations within the park are located at the Lost Horse Ranger Station, in a rustic and self-sufficient cabin with nearby panoramic views of the park. In exchange for the adventure of living and working in a national park, the resident artist will have the opportunity to create a body of work and to share it with the surrounding regional and Southern California communities. AIR artists’ proposals are encouraged to address content related to Joshua Tree National Park and build better understanding and dialogue about our national parks, natural resources, and environmental desert issues.