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Grand Canyon Artist in Residence

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.

The next artist to seek inspiration at Grand Canyon National Park is experimental artist and educatorElijah Jamal Asani

About the Program

The purpose of the Artist in Residence program at Grand Canyon National Park is to inspire a truly diverse group of artists to express their lived experiences of Grand Canyon and to contribute to the cultural and aesthetic legacy of this Natural Wonder and its related communities.

 

 

The Artist in Residence Program grants time and resources to facilitate professional artists’ abilities to pursue enhanced on-site projects at the canyon. This format allows the artist to make substantial contributions to our fundamental understanding of the canyon's landscape through exploration and collaboration for outcomes that will defy traditional concepts of what artistic practices can reveal.

The previous residency program at Grand Canyon National Park ran from 2003 to 2017 on both the South and North Rims. Now, with the support of Grand Canyon Conservancy, the Artist in Residence program is back to bring new perspectives and insights about the canyon and its surrounding communities to light.

 

Important Dates

2022 Residencies:

May 23 – July 22, 2022, Elijah Jamal Asani

September 19 – November 11, 2022, Leah Aegerter

Past Residencies:

May 3 – June 14, 2021, Heather L. Johnson 

September 27 – November 5, 2021, Erin Reynolds

February 10 – April 1, 2022, Daniele Genadry

 

2023 Application Details

Applications for 2022 are currently closed. Call for entry for 2023 will open in the summer of 2022.

For the 2023 season, we are seeking professional artists working at a high level in their discipline who can give new insights and focus to Grand Canyon and the surrounding communities as an on-site resident artist at Grand Canyon National Park.

We welcome applicants from a wide variety of artistic disciplines, including visual art (two and three-dimensional, photography, sculpture, painting, textiles, drawing, or collage), installation or land-based art, printmaking, audio (performance or composition), film (documentary, fictional, or art), writing (poetry, fiction, essays, storytelling, or playwriting), indigenous arts, ethnographic fine art, new media, performance art (choreography, dance, or theater arts professionals), social practice, and interdisciplinary arts.

While no specific requirements will be placed on the content or direction of the artists' proposals, applicants must have an idea of direction, topic, and the project they will work on while during their residency when they apply. Projects may evolve and change during their residency as long as the new direction also has relevance to the canyon or its communities and meets all other program requirements and NPS guidelines.

While in residence, artists will be encouraged to work collaboratively with NPS staff and to make use of the many resources NPS will make available to them, including but not limited to: access to park staff and researchers, access to park collections, access to park library, access to trails and backcountry opportunities as is possible at time of residency. 

Artists must, in their application, be able to articulate how their project would contribute to our understanding of Grand Canyon (in its broadest interpretation). Evidence of some preliminary research and understanding of the canyon is expected. Artists are not required to adhere to official park themes. However, if you wish to use them as guidance for your inspiration, you can find them on the park's website.

Sketch in progress by Heather L. Johnson of a juniper tree.

What you need to know:

  • The residency lasts six to eight weeks based on the artist's preference.
  • The base stipend is $2,000 for six weeks, with a stipend of $250 for each additional week up to eight weeks total.
  • Housing will be provided to the resident in historic Verkamp's Visitor Center which includes a full kitchen, private bathroom, bedding, and outdoor designated parking space (note: the building is historic and has limited internet and wireless capabilities, is located on the second floor without elevator access, and has space for working but is not equipped with a full studio - an ADA accessible option is available at a resident's request). For a layout of the studio spaces available, click here.
  • Resident artists must complete two public-facing or virtual presentations throughout the residency.
  • There is no exhibition or donation or artwork requirement, however, each artist is asked to contribute a one-page two-dimensional expression of their on-site experience.
  • The Center for Art + Environment is archiving the works that are created during this program, the resident artist is expected to contribute some form of work to the archive.
  • The artist is responsible for providing all art supplies.
  • The artist is responsible for all meals and meal preparation.
  • Each artist is required to provide publication-quality, digital representation of the work done during the residency, as well as later work created as a direct result of the residency.
  • During the residency, artists must abide by all National Park Service regulations and guidance.
  • National Park Residencies differ from other institutions in that there are sometimes longer lead times and limited access throughout the park - applicants are encouraged to be self-sufficient, adaptable, and open to adventure.
  • Partners, spouses, and guests for the duration of the residency will generally not be permitted. Exceptions to this policy will be evaluated on an individual and based on the person’s critical role to the resident and their work.
  • There is a $45 application fee to cover software, processing, and administrative fees. If the application fee presents an economic hardship, please contact us at residency@grandcanyon.org prior to applying to discuss an economic hardship waiver.
Storefront of Verkamp's Visitor Center

Photo of where residents will stay at historic Verkamp's Visitor Center on the rim of Grand Canyon National Park.

View of Verkamp's residence of a couch, large area rug, and fireplace

A view of the residence's living room upstairs at Verkamp's Visitor Center.

 

Application requirements:

  • Artist statement
  • Artist biography
  • Most recent CV/resume
  • Description of the artist work plan
  • Description of public educational programs
  • Contact information for two professional affiliations or references
  • Work samples (minimum of three)

Applicants are judged based on artistic merit, professional experience, process, and potential of their proposed project to further our understanding of Grand Canyon. Artists will be selected by a panel of art professionals. Selections will be made without regard to race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, age, or national origin. Every reasonable effort within the capacity of GCC will be made to accommodate artists with disabilities or accessibility needs. 

Interested in applying for 2023? Click the button below to add your name to an email list to get notified once applications open. If you have any questions about the program, contact us here.

Resident Spotlight

Elijah Jamal Asani

Photo of Elijah Jamal Asani
Residency: May 23, through July 22, 2022

Elijah Jamal Asani is a Nigerian-American experimental artist and educator based in Chicago. A self-taught music producer, designer, and filmmaker with a degree in creative writing, he has been awarded a OneBeat Music fellowship (Chicago, IL) and participated in residencies with the Elastic Arts Dark Matter program (Chicago, IL) and at the Caldera Arts Center (Portland, OR). 

Using earthly soundscapes, native drums, unorthodox samples, and his own voice, Asani creates innovative sonics as a solo artist. He is also a member of the renowned producer collective Push Beats Crew, in which he performs and helps to curate events. He is the recipient of a 3Arts “Artists of Illinois” grant, and the creator and member of the Afro-surrealist jazz trio “ẹ̀bà.” As an educator, he has worked with and for underserved youth by way of facilitating music production and sound-based workshops throughout Chicago as well as in various areas of the Pacific Northwest.

 

“Beyond art, the allures of the Grand Canyon and the Colorado River, for me, are the ‘forever(s)’ that bloom within; juxtaposed to any of the ephemeral that we try to designate upon them,” said Asani. “As I am conscious of the hidden colors that have inhabited the Grand Canyon beyond you/me/us, my intentions are to truly hearken to all dimensions of the canyon and simply, yet respectfully, translate these secret hues as softly as possible.”

As part of his artist residency, Asani plans to develop a collection of audio-visual works inspired by, dedicated to, and in collaboration with sites and themes throughout Grand Canyon. Sounds from the canyon will be recorded, edited, and engineered into musical compositions. Some pieces will be strictly sound-based, utilizing manipulated sounds that were found and recorded within the canyon itself and turning them into musical compositions, while other pieces will incorporate visuals and audio together to tell a story. For public programming, Asani will lead visitors to the park on active listening sound walks and hikes. 

More details to come.

Artist in Residence Alumni

Support this program

The Artist in Residence Program is made possible because of support and grants from Grand Canyon Conservancy. Donations to this program will help fund future residents and educational programming around Grand Canyon's cultural and aesthetic legacy through art.

By donating, you help connect visitors with artists bringing new perspectives and insights to Grand Canyon and its surrounding communities.