Art and the Outdoors: BLM Seeks Applicants for 2021 Artist-in-Residence Program

art and outdoors

The Bureau of Land Management will be accepting applications from now until April 1 for the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument Plein Air Artist-in-Residence program.

Through a partnership with the GSENM, Escalante Canyons Art Festival and Glen Canyon Conservancy, the AiR program provides artists the opportunity to live and work in and around Escalante, Utah while serving as an ambassador for GSENM.

One artist will be selected by the program sponsors to help promote a deeper connection to the natural, cultural and historic resources of GSENM.

The selected applicant will be provided with a $1,000 stipend, housing, recognition of achievement in promotional materials, orientation tour of GSENM and backcountry access with BLM personnel and exhibit space during the annual arts festival on Sept. 24-25. 

In addition, “the residency will provide an opportunity for learning and dialogue about the value of the National Conservation Lands and their connection to the local community,” according to a BLM press release.

“The purpose of the residency is to promote awareness through the arts,” said GSENM Artist-in-Residence Coordinator Allysia Angus.  “Each year, our goal is to provide our selected artist with special opportunities to really bond with the heart of the Monument and express that connection in a way that helps all Americans gain a deeper appreciation for the stewardship of public lands.”

The residency period will be four weeks long ending on Sept. 26, during which time the artist must complete an outdoor creative community project, oversee an outdoor public event and youth event, aid in judging the ECAF Plein Air Competition and produce an exhibit from works completed during residency.

Interested artists must produce two-dimensional work in the plein air style.

Applications can be sent to Angus via email at, and must be received no later than April 1.

The application should include a 2021 Artist-in-Residence at GSENM application form, resume and response to residency questions as well as 5-10 digital samples of work — half being plein air samples, a creative community project proposal, a youth event proposal and an Escalante Canyons Art Festival public event proposal.

More information about the AiR program can be found on the BLM website. The 2021 program eligibility requirements and application may be downloaded from the program’s homepage.


Story by: Mikyla Bagley
Photo by: Patrick Hendry on Unsplash