National Parks Artist-in-Residence Program

Artists have been part of national parks since the 1860s and 70s, when painters, photographers and writers played a vital role in documenting the spectacular landscapes of the West and convincing Congress to preserve certain places as a public trust.

Today, 29 national parks around the country participate in an Artist-In-Residence program for painters, sculptors, writers, poets, photographers, composers, performers and craft artists to live and work on site in the park. Usually, artists are expected to donate a piece of art or offer a public presentation in exchange for a place to live and work in the park for two weeks or more.

The photo above shows John B. Fairbanks (1855-1940) painting in Zion National Park in Utah.

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