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Michael Futreal, Artist at Red Rock Canyon

About the AiR Program

The Artist-in-Residence Program offers 6-to-8 week residencies in several Western states for painters, photographers, potters, sculptors and other artists.  In these locations, selected artists can take advantage of artistic and educational opportunities  and be inspired from the nation’s public lands.  

The 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 public lands that are promised to future generations of Americans.  The participants are encouraged to use their observational skills in portraying the variety of cultural and natural resources on BLM lands such as historic structures, artifacts, cultural landscapes, geologic features, and plant and animal life. 

Here are the guidelines for selected artists:

  • Each selected 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 may receive 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 BLM-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.
  • Artists are volunteer spokespeople representing their host site.  They may be requested to lead a class or workshop, provide an onsite public presentation and/or share their work at a local exhibit.

Ultimately, the artists translate the resources -- the heart of BLM's mission -- into images, objects, and performances that bring others enjoyment and a deeper understanding of the public lands.  

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Featured Photos

Along with a young budding artist, Meg Freyermuth paints the beautiful Organ Mountains as its first Artist-in-Residence. Photo by Daniella Barraza, Student Conservation Association Intern.

Check out our @mypubliclands Artist in Residence Flickr album to view AiR art and artists on public lands.