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Denali National Park Accepting Applications for Artist-In-Residence



spacer.gif Rod Weagant, artist-in-residence, paints near the East Fork River NPS Photo/Carol Harding

Artist Rod Weagant

Residencies: Open to two-dimensional visual artists, sculptors
Application deadline: October 31 (postmarked)
Residency period: mid-June through mid-September
Number & length of residencies: up to four, 10 days each
Contact: Timothy Rains, Park Ranger (Media Specialist): 907-683-9435 Alaska time or timothy_rains@nps.gov.

For application and additional information, visit arts.alaskageographic.org

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Artists in National Parks

Artists have had a major impact on the creation and development of America's national parks since the beginning of the national park movement. Dramatic nineteenth century paintings of the western landscape raised public consciousness about the natural wonders of the West and helped stimulate interest in their preservation. In fact, public response to Thomas Moran's splendid landscape paintings done on the Hayden U.S. Geological Survey of the Yellowstone region in 1871 led directly to the creation of America's first national park.

The artist Belmore Browne was one of the first proponents of the establishment of Mt. McKinley (now Denali) National Park, in the early years of the twentieth century. Not only an accomplished painter and outdoorsman, but a superb mountaineer who was on three of the most important pioneering climbs on Denali, in 1906, 1910, and 1912. Browne joined Charles Sheldon in proposing protection of the land and animals of the Denali region, and their testimony led directly to the establishment of the park in 1917.

Since that time, practically every important landscape painter who has worked in Alaska has painted "The Mountain," and many have explored and painted the regions surrounding it which are now part of Denali National Park and Preserve. These artists--Sydney Laurence, Eustace Ziegler, Ted Lambert, Jules Dahlager, and a host of their followers--created paintings, drawings, and prints which have played a significant role in establishing not just the image of the Park, but of Alaska, in the minds of the American public and the world.

Numerous National Parks in America have begun Artist-in-Residence programs since 1984. With the establishment of this program, Denali National Park joins the list of those parks which seek to recognize and support the role played by artists in preservation and interpretation of our country's natural wonders.

East Fork Cabin Photo by Chris Arend

Water color of East Fork Cabin, Denali National Park by Jon Van Zyle.

The Artist-in-Residence program at Denali National Park began in 2001, and offers professional artists the opportunity to pursue their work amidst the natural splendors of Denali Park. In 2007, the Alaska Natural History Association assumed the role of managing the Artist-in-Residence program, providing logistical and financial support and program publicity. Since its inception in 1959 the Alaska Geographic Association has been a champion for the park and now offers support through its four programmatic areas: publications, experiential education, visitor services, and book stores. The Association is honored to be involved with the Artist-in-Residence program and the tradition of arts in the National Parks. Each residency takes place during a ten day period between June and September. Denali National Park and Preserve provides the use of the historic East Fork Cabin at Mile 43 on the Park Road. The artist is responsible for their own food and transportation. No stipend is provided. In exchange for the use of the cabin, each artist is expected to donate one art piece to the park and offer at least one public presentation. Public programs should take advantage of the individual artist's skills and interests, and might, for example, take the form of a slide lecture, demonstration, or workshop.

The East Fork Cabin, also known as the Murie Cabin, was the base from which the naturalist Adolph Murie conducted his landmark study of wolves, sheep, and predator/prey relationships in the park from 1939-41. Built in the late 1920s by the Alaska Road Commission, the Murie cabin is located 43 miles into the park, just off the Park Road, in a dramatic setting on the East Fork of the Toklat River between Sable Pass and Polychrome Pass. A rustic but well-equipped base in which to work and to explore, the 14' x 16' cabin has an outhouse, propane heater, range, oven, refrigerator, bunks with double beds, bedding, a full complement of cooking equipment, and a small resource library. There is no electricity or running water, but water jugs may be replenished at Park Ranger stations, and showers are available at the Toklat Ranger Station 12 miles west of the East Fork cabin. Artists must be comfortable in a wilderness setting.

The work may be completed after return from the residency, but must be delivered to park officials no later than December 1. Denali National Park plans to display the donated works as frequently as possible, in the new Denali Park Visitor Center and elsewhere. The artist retains copyright to the donated work, but agrees to grant the National Park Service and Alaska Geographic Association full rights to reproduction of the work for educational purposes, use in park publications, exhibit interpretation, or as an independent teaching resource. Reproduction of the work for commercial purposes by the National Park Service or the Alaska Natural History Association will be negotiated with the artist on a case-by-case basis.

East Fork Cabin Interior NPS Photo

Eask Fork Cabin interior

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