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2014 Artists-in-Residence

Southern Idaho features some unique and dramatic landscapes, including winding rivers, deep canyons, vast areas of sagebrush steppe habitat, and hidden springs and waterfalls, all of which can provide inspiration to an artist with an eye for color, shape, and shadow. This year, Idaho BLM will host two artists-in-residence, one in the Bruneau-Jarbidge Rivers Wilderness and one on the Owyhee River Wilderness.

Owyhee River Canyon

The Owyhee River Canyon consists of steep, rhyolite walls ranging in height from 250 feet to over 1,000 feet near the Oregon border. The west end of the river below the confluence with the South Fork Owyhee River is known as the “Grand Canyon of the Owyhee.” Within this gorge can be found extensive areas of rhyolite pinnacle formations known as “hoodoos.” This is the most dramatic area of hoodoo formations within the entire Owyhee River system. Floating the Owyhee is popular in the spring during higher water flows. Low water float trips are also possible in smaller craft. There are 69.7 miles of “wild” designation on the Owyhee River. Tributaries to the Owyhee River are also floatable.

Bruneau River

Nearly 40 floatable miles of the Bruneau River’s 50-mile total length is designated as wild and scenic, with a six-tenth-mile stretch at the Indian Hot Springs access point designated as recreational. The Bruneau/Jarbidge River System flows north from the mountains of northern Nevada through the beautiful basalt and rhyolite canyons of the Owyhee Uplands to the Snake River in southern Idaho. The combination of sparkling water, steep multi-colored cliffs, and an interesting association of plants and animals make this desert canyon one of superior natural beauty and recreational appeal. The Bruneau River also provides challenging whitewater as it flows through this deep, wild and remote desert canyon.

 Learn about exploring the Bruneau-Jarbidge-Owyhee River System  


River Opportunity: Take a 3 to 5-day float trip with Boise District wilderness rangers and biologists during the May 2014 residency. This canyon is so steep and access-limited that seasoned hikers and backpackers find it to be a difficult hike; the river is the best way to see these spectacular canyons and outstanding resources and sights. While the BLM staff are conducting monitoring and assessments, the artist will have ample opportunity to photograph, video, draw, soak in the beauty and create their artistic impressions of the area. We will provide transportation down the river, camping equipment, a dry suit, and food/beverage while on the river. The selected artist should be comfortable in the water (able to swim, paddle a kayak/sit in a raft), and plan to bring appropriate clothing/footwear/outerwear.

Wilderness Opportunity: Take a hike, or several, as well as a camping or backpacking trip in two or three of the six Owyhee Canyonlands Wilderness Areas during the September 2014 residency. Comprising more than 500,000 acres, these areas were designated as wilderness through the grassroots efforts of a group called the Owyhee Initiative, and a bill was introduced by Idaho’s Senator Crapo and supported by Idaho’s entire congressional delegation. The artist should be comfortable in a wilderness setting and experienced in hiking and potentially camping; they should plan to bring appropriate clothing/footwear/outerwear for this purpose. We can provide a tent and camping gear, food for any backcountry trips we host.     

The Artist-in-Residence (AiR) Program promotes awareness through art of the exceptional natural and cultural treasures protected by the National Landscape Conservation System. The program provides an opportunity for learning and dialogue about the value of these public lands resources. It will engage and inform an audience through outreach by AiR participants, and provide quality, uninterrupted time for artists to pursue their work.

Artists will donate a digital copy of at least one original work created during and reflecting their experience in the Bruneau-Jarbidge Rivers and Owyhee River (BJOR) Wildernesses, which promotes appreciation and conservation of the public lands. The artwork should address content related to natural and/or cultural resources within these wilderness areas.

 PROGRAM GOALS: The Artist-in-Residence program is intended to promote

  • Appreciation of the cultural and natural resources protected within the BJOR wilderness areas;
  • Awareness of the unique and the fragile nature of these resources; and
  • Visitor ethics and conduct that support resource preservation.

The Idaho BLM Artist-in-Residence program is open to all professional artists over 18 years of age who are United States citizens, and who apply within the deadline period. 

The Idaho BLM AiR program will consider any medium suitable for digital reproduction including two-dimensional visual still media (such as painting, photography, printmaking), literature, video, music, etc.

TO APPLY:  Please use the application form below. Your application should be accompanied by art samples in the format specified, your resume showing relevant previous work and achievement, and a narrative describing your project proposal.  

Applications may be sent by email  OR physically mailed (on paper or CD/DVD) but NOT BOTH.

2014 Idaho BLM Artists-in-Residence Application Form


  • Visual Artists (photographers, painters, sculptors, etc.): Submit 4 to 10  images by email or on CD or as 35mm slides or as 8x10 color prints. Digital images must be in JPG or TIF format, maximum size 5 MB each.
  • Videographers: Submit two productions, or segments thereof, not to exceed 5 minutes total, on CD/DVD (MPEG file format). 
  • Writers, Poets: Submit 10 pages of written samples, double-spaced. (Print or Word format)
  • Musicians, Composers: Submit two compositions, or segments thereof, not to exceed 5 minutes total, on CD/DVD  (WAV, MP3, or WMA file format)


Final selections are based on the merit and professionalism of the artist and the proposal.  Applications will be evaluated according to these elements:

  • ART: Artistic merit of sample work submitted
  • PROPOSAL: Originality, quality, feasibility. Proposal should address program goals and natural or cultural resources within the BJOR Wilderness areas
  • EXPERIENCE: Applicant's background and previous accomplishments; also include a short list of past outdoor experiences

Selection is solely based on merit, without regard to sex, race, religion, national origin, employer, or physical ability.


Residencies are scheduled for May 19-23 or May 27-June 1, 2014, for the river trip, and September 20-27, 2014, for the wilderness trip.


When not camping on the river or in the wilderness, the District has a guard station in the area where the artists can stay. Shower, kitchen, refrigerator are all there for a home away from home.

With advance notice, a selected artist may bring along a companion or immediate family member, provided that lodging is available and he/she does not interfere with the artist's productivity.  Any additional costs will be the responsibility of the artist and not borne by the AiR Program.  


When not being transported by the District, under the volunteer agreement we can provide a vehicle for the artist's use. 


Because of the remote location, the artist and/or the BLM crew will have a satellite phone or S.P.O.T. BLM personnel also carry a first aid kit in the backcountry and on the river trip. 


Artists are responsible for personal expenses including meals (except during the river trip or backpack trip, when BLM will provide meals), transportation, cell phone, internet access, or insurance coverage. Some insurance coverage is provided under the required BLM Volunteer Services Agreement. The artist will be responsible for additional costs for any companion, such as lodging, meals, amenities, etc. 


In addition to other terms described on this page, the program participant will sign and be covered by the official BLM Volunteer Agreement during the residency period. The participant must abide by the same rules of conduct as any other visitor or volunteer. Most of the monument is accessible by foot; vehicle access is limited. The artwork must not identify archaeological sites not otherwise publicized.


The resident artist must provide BLM with a high-resolution and reproduction-quality digital version of at least one original artwork created during the residency or as a result of it, which may be reproduced by the BLM in any print or electronic format in perpetuity. The product is due to BLM within one month (30 days) following the end of the residency period. 

The product must not identify nor communicate the location of archaeological sites that are not otherwise publicly identified for visitors.


The Artist-in-Residence is expected to conduct at least one 45-minute public presentation during the residency period. Please include a description of your planned presentation with your application.

The presentation should be developed using only a few hours of the artist's time, and tailored to the artist's medium and interests.  Presentations may utilize almost any format including demonstrations, talks, slide shows, exploratory walks, or hands-on workshops. Artists must provide their own supplies and equipment for these public presentations.

The artists will give this presentation during a local event TBD.

Artists are also requested to give public presentations in their home communities about their residency experience after the residency ends.


The artist agrees that artwork produced under the AiR program may be reproduced for use in perpetuity in exhibits, publications, or other educational purposes by the Bureau of Land Management or by its cooperating  nonprofit partners.

The artist retains copyright © to the artwork produced under the BLM AiR Program. The BLM, where possible, will identify the artist as the creator of the image(s) on materials it produces and/or distributes. 

When the artist reproduces the artwork for his/her own purposes, captioning or publication information must include the statement: "This artwork was produced under the Artist-in-Residence Program of the Bureau of Land Management at the [Bruneau-Jarbidge Rivers Wilderness or Owyhee River Wilderness]."


Program participants will abide by all local, state, and federal laws including all BLM rules and regulations appropriate to the Idaho BLM sites during their residency. Wilderness area managers, the local site AiR Program coordinator, or the national BLM Artist-in-Residence program office have the right to cancel any artist's residency immediately for inappropriate behavior or serious disregard for safety or BLM regulations. AiR Program participants will be official BLM Volunteers, and are encouraged to promote appropriate site etiquette and landscape conservation in any public contacts while acting as the Artist-in-Residence at the Bruneau-Jarbidge Rivers Wilderness or Owyhee River Wilderness.