The national BLM AiR Program provides a foundation for increasing both the artists’ and the public's understanding of the significance of Bureau-managed public lands and the National Landscape Conservation System. In addition to creating artwork, it is equally important that participating artists provide a positive learning experience for visitors and staff regarding BLM-managed lands that served as inspiration for their artistic endeavors.
The BLM Artist-in-Residence Program is founded on the belief that artists look closely at the way the world works, notice things that others may have missed, challenge ideas, experiment, and create new opportunities to look at the world. Artists see beauty and virtue in the natural places that are promised to future generations of Americans by the management practices of the BLM.
The BLM AiR Program supports the knowledge that artist's creative works foster pleasure and appreciation in others, which in turn generate support for the appreciation, protection, and preservation of our natural and cultural resources on public lands.
The BLM’s Artist-in-Residence Programs are inspired by a long history of artists and conservationists supporting our public lands. Artists provide a catalyst for developing connections to these treasured landscapes by promoting stewardship and deep appreciation for these special places across our Nation.
The American public can look back at a rich legacy of early conservationists who inspired an awareness of the value of public lands such as John Muir, Gifford Pinchot, and Stephen Mather. Their awareness was shared by creative artists such as Thomas Moran, Albert Bierstadt, Thomas Hill, Ansel Adams, Maynard Dixon, and more recently, Ken Burns.
- Each selected BLM AiR program artist develops a project that promotes public appreciation of the landscape, raises awareness of these unique and fragile environments, and inspires visitors to preserve these irreplaceable natural and cultural resources.
- Each artist receives housing and studio space within or adjacent to the participating BLM site.
- Each artist spends at least one week in exploration and immersion in the Bureau-managed landscape and is encouraged to depict the expansive variety of cultural and natural resources of BLM lands including historic structures, artifacts, cultural landscapes, the local ecosystem, and wildlife.
Participating BLM AiR Program artists translate the BLM's mission and purpose, as the steward of places of natural and heritage significance, into images, objects, and performances which bring others enjoyment and a deeper more heart-felt understanding of the public lands the Bureau manages.
With this in mind, the BLM Artist-in-Residence Program will expand to other artistic media and to other BLM sites nationally. For links to future BLM sites participating in the BLM Artist-in-Residence Program, click here.