Voices of the Wilderness artist residency program accepting applications

Posted: Thursday, March 17, 2011

The summer of 2011 will mark the second year of the Voices of the Wilderness artist residency program. This program, based in Tracy Arm-Fords Terror Wilderness Area, is modeled after residencies in the national parks, but with a twist. Participating artists are paired with a wilderness ranger and actively engage in stewardship projects, including research, monitoring, and education projects.

During the trip, artist and ranger will divide their time between Holkham Bay and Tracy and Endicott Arms. While in Holkham Bay, they will stay in a rustic wall tent. While in the arms, they will travel by sea kayak and camp in a two-person tent.

The objective is to give artists an idea of the stewardship behind America’s public lands while simultaneously fostering artistic exploration.

Two artists will be invited to participate in residencies each lasting seven days.

As a volunteer, each artist will assist with some basic ranger duties, which may include boarding a tour boat to provide education, participating in research projects, such as seal counts or climate change studies, walking a beach to remove litter, or other generally light duties. However, an emphasis for the artist will be experiencing the wilderness and exploring how to communicate its inspirational qualities through their artwork.

Artists will depart for the field from Juneau. Travel to and from Juneau is the artist’s responsibility.

Qualifying artists will include visual artists (painters, photographers and sculptors), writers, musicians and storytellers.

Last year’s residency program involved three artists: a painter, a theater director and a poet.

Artists’ selection will be based on the following: a statement of purpose; a proposal for donated artwork and community extension, and willingness to work with the Forest Service to make this program a success; artistic merit; and an ability to camp in a remote location and travel by skiff, airplane and sea kayak, and willingness to assist with light ranger duties. Extensive backcountry/kayaking experience is not necessary for this residency, just capability.

Each participant is expected to donate one piece of artwork to the Forest Service for use in publicizing the values of the public lands. Donated artwork should be representative of the Tongass National Forest and communicate its inspirational or other values. Artwork should be delivered to the Juneau Ranger District within six months of the residency. Artists are also expected to provide one public presentation within six months of completing their residency, such as a slide lecture, demonstration, or workshop that publicizes the program and connects the community to its public lands. Other examples include a performance, explorative hike, or participation in the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center Fireside winter programs.

Artists must submit application materials and art samples exactly as indicated on the application form. Insufficient materials or incomplete application are causes for rejection, as are an artist’s proposed use of a work already in progress as a residency project.

Applications must be postmarked on or before April 22, 2011. Applications postmarked after the deadline will not be considered. A panel of professional artists and Forest Service employees will select artists based on artistic merit, the statement of purpose, and appropriateness to a national forest residency. Selections will be made by mid May.

For more information, visit www.voicesofthewilderness.blogspot.com/ or contact Barbara Lydon, lydon_barbara@yahoo.com.

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