Voices of the Wilderness: Alaskan artist-in-residence program


US Forest Service, National Park Service & US Fish & Wildlife Service


The Voices of the Wilderness artist residency is a unique opportunity.  It is modeled after traditional residencies in the national parks…with a twist.  Instead of staying at a remote wilderness cabin, our participating artists are paired with a wilderness specialist and actively engaged in stewardship projects, such as research, monitoring, and education. The idea is to give artists a sense of the stewardship behind America’s public lands, fostering an artistic exploration of these natural and cultural treasures. The hoped-for result is artwork that communicates something of the meaning of these lands.

2018 Participating Wilderness Areas Include: Kootznoowoo Wilderness Area, Sitka Ranger Districk Wilderness Areas, Tracy Arm-Ford's Terror Wilderness Area, Tebenkof Bay Wilderness Area & Misty Fjords National Monument all within the Tongass National Forest; Nellie Juan-College Fiord Wilderness Study Area, Chugach National Forest; Arctic Wilderness Area, Artic National Wildlife Refuge; Aleutian Islands Wilderness Area; Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge; Innoko Wilderness, Innoko National Wildlife Refuge; Selawik Wilderness, Selawik National Wildlife Refuge; Togiak Wilderness; Togiak National Wildlife Refuge and Wilderness

Residencies open to:

Art professionals in all media – visual (two and three dimensional, photographers, sculptors, painters), audio (musicians, singers, composers), film (video/filmmakers), and writers (poets, fiction, essays, storytellers).

Residency period:
Residency dates vary, but typically they are hosted June through September, lasting 7-9 days.

How to Apply

To submit: Applications must be emailed to [email protected]; no paper applications will be accepted. 

* Include three attachments:

• 2018 application filled out, unlocked PDF format or Word formatted document

• A resume no more than 2 pages, in either PDF or Word formatted document

• Six Artistic samples composed in single PDF or Word formatted document, 5 MB max., six pages max.

-Include descriptions of artwork with title, materials and dimensions of work:

-Visual Artists (i.e. Photographers, Sculptors, Painters, etc.): Six color photos.

-Writers: Six pages of written examples (prose, short stories, plays or poetry).

-Musicians/Composers: Musicians and composers should submit lyrics and recordings of their work (links to recordings is fine to include)-six recordings total.

-Multidiscipline Artists:  Send appropriate sample combinations, six color photos. 

* In the ‘subject’ of the email, include your last name & your artistic medium, for example, “Lydon-Ceramics”.

• Submit only one application, even if applying to multiple residencies.

• 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.  Zip files, Google Documents, Dropbox, etc. will not be considered.

• Finished artwork and community extensions must be completed and donated within six months of completing your residency.

• This original artwork resulting from the residency will be donated to the United States Government, which means that the artist relinquishes publishing and reproduction rights to that work. 

• Selected artists agree to provide a high resolution, professional quality digital image of their completed artwork to use for publicity and educational purposes.

• Selected artists agree to submit a summary of their community extension and projects/outreach associated as a result of their residency.

• Emailed applications are due by 11:59 PM AK time March 1, 2018.  Artists will be chosen by mid-April by a panel of professional artists and federal employees.  Selections will be based on artistic merit, proposed donations/community extensions, and appropriateness to a stewardship-based wilderness residency.  All applicants will be notified of decisions via email at that point. 

• Please note that due to unforeseen budget constraints in the spring, some residencies may not be offered.

• Your application is very important to us.  If you do not receive a confirmation email stating we’ve received your submission, it may not have gone through.  Please contact program coordinator Barbara Lydon at [email protected] if you don’t receive a confirmation email within a week of submitting your application and supporting documents.


Checklist for 2018 VOTW submission:

Label subject of email: “Your Last Name - Your Medium”

There should be 3 attachments included in your email to [email protected]:

1. The filled out 2018 application

-Save as “Application_Your Last Name”

-Save as “.pdf or .docx” formatting


2. Six artistic samples in a single document, 5 MB maximum

-One sample per page, not to exceed 6 pages

-Save as “Samples_Your Last Name”

-Save as “.pdf or .docx” formatting


3. Resume of no more than two pages, in a single document

-Save as “Resume_Your Last Name”

-Save as “.pdf or .docx” formatting



Residencies are open to artists of all mediums.  Selection will be based on:

• Appropriateness to a stewardship-based wilderness residency

• Proposal for donated artwork and community extension, and willingness to work with the federal agencies to make this program a success

• Artistic merit

• 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 all residencies, just capability.)

Opportunity Opens

Monday, Jan 8th 2018

Opportunity Closes

Thursday, Mar 1st 2018, 11:45pm

Application Location

External Site
MN Artists