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.


Artist in Residence Kim Osgood, of Portland, OR, working at the Lost Horse Cabin

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 3 week residency 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.

Joshua Tree National Park & JT National Park Association



September 14 – October 5, 2016

Kristin Link
Glennallen, AK

October 11 – November 1, 2016

Maria Anderson
Laramie, WY

November 7 – 28, 2016

Ben Matthews
Munhall, PA
Drawing, Painting


February 15 – March 8, 2017

Koichi Yamamoto
Knoxville, TN

March 14 – April 4, 2017

Sara Grew
Eugene, OR

April 11 – May 2, 2017

Sara Parent-Ramos
San Diego, CA

2017 – 2018 Season Update

After 15 remarkable years, Joshua Tree National Park will not be able to support the program for the upcoming 2017-2018 season. This means that the AIR program will go dormant after May 2017.

Due to increased visitation, park managers have been reassessing priorities that reinforce our continued commitment to safety. The park has nearly doubled in attendance in the last three years and is on track to host 2.5 million visitors by the end of 2016. The Lost Horse Cabin must now be considered for law enforcement housing since National Park Service “freeze the footprint” regulations prevent the acquisition of new spaces for staff accommodations.

We are considering other avenues to explore, given the current capacity constraints, so that we may continue to uphold Joshua Tree National Park’s long tradition of supporting the arts and of providing visitors with the opportunities to experience them.

Please check back in January 2018 for an update on the artistic opportunities available at Joshua Tree National Park.