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Artists have been inspired by Grand Canyon’s majestic views for millennia, going back to the first people who lived on this land. In the late 19th century, painters of the Hudson River School created vibrant scenes that became the impetus for the creation of the National Park Service. Today, the sights and sounds in national parks continue to inspire artists in residency programs across the country.
About the Program
Grand Canyon Conservancy's Artist in Residence program hosts individual artists from around the world who wish to engage with Grand Canyon National Park and its people during an eight-week residency at the South Rim in Arizona. The program is designed to support artists with a well-developed body of work that engages contemporary themes, especially those tied to conservation, cultural identity, and community.
The residency embraces an artist-focused, open-ended model that prioritizes on-site research and exploration in the interest of informing public relationships with Grand Canyon National Park. While community outreach is of core importance to the engagement, most of the artists' time may be spent on-site as they wish. We hope that the work that comes from this freedom will—through future on- and off-site exhibits, publications, and presentations—advance our fundamental connection with Grand Canyon.
The previous residency program at Grand Canyon National Park ran from 2003 to 2017 on both the South and North Rims. Now, managed by Grand Canyon Conservancy and hosted by Grand Canyon National Park, the Artist in Residence program aims to befit its world-class location by supporting contemporary artists to pursue rigorous research and inquiry at Grand Canyon National Park and contribute to the cultural and aesthetic legacy of this Natural Wonder of the World and its related communities.
2024 Application Process:
May 15 – July 31: Applications Open for 2024
Aug 1 – 22: Peer Review
Aug 27 – Sept 8: Final Selection Meetings
Sept 11 – 15: Applicants Notified for 2024
Mark Chen is a photographic artist, educator and author. Chen's practices center on the visual discourse on science and environment. He crosses media boundaries, often collaboratively, from photography to other visual art, sound art, creative writing and performance. He aims to evoke feelings that can bring about change of thoughts and behaviors.
Chen’s ongoing project, “Pilgrimage of Light”, has brought him and his projector to iconic national parks such as Yosemite, Big Bend, and Arches, where he photographed projected celestial images on geological formations.
During his residency, Mark plans to take multiple trips into the canyon with his camera, projector, and slides, photographing celestial images at night projected on Grand Canyon’s landscape. Matching the layers of the canyon’s ages with the galaxies' distances in light years, he will depict the heavenly and the terrestrial that have always coexisted but have never been physically juxtaposed.
Join Mark for a presentation on his ongoing photography project, "Pilgrimage of Light" on the evenings of Saturday, January 28 and Saturday, February 11, at the South Rim Visitor Center Theatre, Grand Canyon from 6:30 - 8:00 pm. The programs will begin with an indoor talk followed by an outdoor image projection demonstration on the Canyon Rim.
Support this program
The Artist in Residence Program is made possible because of support and grants to Grand Canyon Conservancy. Donations of any amount help fund future artists, innovators, and visionaries whose work will grow the cultural and historical legacy of Grand Canyon National Park.