Residency: 2019 Gates of the Arctic National Park Artist in Residence (Alaska)

2019 Gates of the Arctic National Park Artist in Residence 
Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve
PO Box 26030
Bettles, AK 99726


Entry Deadline: 12/31/18


Images - Minimum: 0, Maximum: 6 
Audio - Minimum: 0, Maximum: 6 
Video - Minimum: 0, Maximum: 6 
Total Media - Minimum: 0, Maximum: 6 

About The Park

Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve is one of the premier wilderness areas in the nation.  It encompasses 8.4 million acres of the Brooks Range above the Arctic Circle and includes tundra, boreal forest, mountains and six designated Wild Rivers.  There are no roads, trails or designated campsites in the park.  Cell phones do not work here and even satellite service is iffy at best.  Sometimes called a “black belt” wilderness, Gates of the Arctic offers a wilderness experience of solitude and self-reliance to visitors experienced in back country travel.  Access is primarily by small aircraft equipped with floats that land on rivers and small lakes.

About The Residency

The Artist in Residence program offers professional artists of all kinds the opportunity to pursue their art in the premier wilderness setting of Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve.  Writers, composers, two and three-dimensional visual artists, photographers, digital artists, filmmakers, and artisans are all encouraged to apply.

The residency lasts approximately two weeks.  This includes several days in Bettles, Alaska to pack and prepare for the trip, eight days in the back country and then a few days for the artist to prepare and give a community program about their experience.   The artist will accompany park staff on a working back country patrol in July, August or early September and will be expected to participate in the working aspects of the patrol.  Patrols may accommodate the artist to a certain extent, but artists must be both physically fit enough to attempt such a journey and also possess the skills and experience for extended rigorous wilderness travel.  On backpacking trips artists carry all of their own gear and supplies.  Artists provide their own food and art supplies, and transportation to and from Bettles, Alaska.  The park supplies air charter transportation into the park, two park staff as guides, back country gear, watercraft and associated equipment for float trips, back country and bear safety training, and bear resistant food containers.  Pets are not allowed. 

The artist agrees to contribute one piece of work/service/product (negotiable, depending on the art form) inspired by their residency in the park.  Please indicate in the statement of intent what form this contribution would take.  The artist also agrees to give a talk/program about their experience in the park a few days after their trip, at the Morris Thompson Cultural Center in Fairbanks, AK.  The artist agrees to make available their photos taken of the park during the residency, for use by the NPS.  Contributed works become park property and are placed on public display or performed within the community.  Collaborative projects are considered as are programs that coordinate with local schools and organizations.

For the duration of their trip into the back country, Artists in Residence are classified as National Park Service Volunteers and will be paid a back country per diem of $25.00 per day to help offset the cost of meals, approx. $200.

The Selection Process

A six member jury comprised of the Artist in Residence Program Coordinator, one other NPS staff person and a panel of four previous artists in residence will make the selection.  Selection will be based on the demonstrated artistic merits of the applicants, and on how the proposed art work will represent the wilderness values of Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve and/or advance the preservation mission of the National Park Service.  The artist’s statement of intent will also be of primary importance in choosing the artist.  Applicants should use the statement of intent to provide the selection committee with a comprehensive idea of the planned project, how it will illustrate the significance of the park and why the proposed project should be the one chosen.  Fitness level and the back country experience, skills and abilities of the artist will also play a large part in the choice of artist for this residency. 

Selections will be made without regard to race, religion, gender, marital status, or age; however, applicants must possess the ability, skills and experience to fully participate in the back country patrol.  To get an idea of what kind of experience you can expect in the back country of Gates of the Arctic, it is highly recommended that applicants look over the trip planning material on the park website and also watch the Wilderness Travel video on our YouTube site

For More Information

DaleLynn Gardner
Artist in Residence Coordinator