Artist-in-Residence Program – Call for Artists

Oil painting of the Ironwood Trail.

“Ironwood Trail,” a 46 x 74-inch oil on linen painting by artist Thomas Paquette depicts Allegheny National Forest.

Image copyright: Thomas Paquette. Courtesy of Gross McCleaf Gallery, Philadelphia.

In the artist's words - “The Ironwood Trail starts near the Hearts Content old growth stand, and represents so much of the Allegheny National Forest for me. The Forest here is very special.” - Thomas Paquette

The arts have been inspired by the natural world since time immemorial. In recent centuries artists have used their creativity to tell the stories of America’s public lands, often leading to the preservation or conservation of those lands for the greater good. Through the Artist-in-Residence (AiR) Program, we seek to foster creative expressions that tell the stories of the forest.

About the residency

  • The 2024 AiR Program will consist of two residencies. One residency opportunity of three weeks (21 days) will be offered during the summer months (May, June, or July) and one opportunity of three weeks in the fall (August, September, or October) in Allegheny National Forest.
  • Artist will designate their preferred time frame for the residency in the application. Dates during the preferred time frame can be flexible.
  • Program goals:
  • Provide learning opportunities for the public.
  • Help our local communities explore the connections between public lands, nature, our use of natural resources, and our emotional ties to natural beauty through self-expression.
  • Artists of all mediums are encouraged to apply (painting, writing, sculpture, dance, music, photography, etc.)
  • Housing is provided during the residency, and a reimbursement is available to defray costs for the artist.
  • The selected artist will sign a volunteer agreement with the US Forest Service.   
  • The selected artist is required to donate one piece of work from, and representative of, their residency. Artwork may be accessioned into the forest's permanent collection, used in exhibits, used for educational purposes, and/or auctioned by partner entities. The artist must allow unrestricted use of their piece of work.
  • The selected artist will provide a public program or presentation (e.g., demonstration, workshop, reading, open studio)
  • Opportunities for networking and field days with Forest Service employees will be available.
  • The artist will be free to work on their art throughout the residency period.
  • While pursuing their art, the artist will need to follow National Forest regulations. The Forest Service will provide an orientation to the forest and will be happy to work with the artist throughout the residency to navigate the regulations.
  • Applicants must be at least 18 years of age.

How to Apply

The application period for the 2024 residencies (both summer and fall periods) is open until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, March 17th, 2024.

Applicants will be notified of decisions by Monday, March 25, 2024.

To apply, please email the following to in a single PDF file:

  • A resume (up to two pages) that includes name, mailing address, phone number, your website or professional social media pages (if you have them), your chosen medium that you will practice during the residency, and relevant education and work experiences.
  • Your preferred residency time frame (summer/fall or both). You may include specific dates if those are known.
  • A description of a proposed public program or presentation including your experience interacting with the public as an artist.
  • Names and contact information for two references with an explanation of their familiarity with your work.
  • An artist statement answering the following:

In 1,500 words or less, address the following:

What do public lands mean to you? How have they inspired you as an artist? What role has nature and the access to natural spaces played in your life? What role can your artwork play in fostering conservation of natural spaces?

Attach Work Samples:

  • For visual artists and craftspeople, images of at least six different works in jpg format. Please label all images.
  • For writers, files of recent work in .doc, .docx, or PDF files (up to 10 pages).
  • For composers, a web link to your work.
  • For all other media, appropriate samples of recent work as attached digital files or web links.

Selection Process

A panel of arts professionals and Forest Service staff will select the artist-in-residence for summer and fall. The panel reserves the right not to award residencies in 2024, should the appropriate candidates not be found.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to have a vehicle?

  • Yes. There is very limited public transportation in the Allegheny region. Please be advised that you will need to drive on dirt roads to access the housing.

Where will I be housed? Can I bring my family or pet?

  • The artist will have their own private housing approximately 10 minutes outside of Kane, PA. A cabin with a living room, full kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom will be available. The bedroom consists of twin bunk beds. The kitchen is fully stocked with a fridge, stove, microwave, pots/pans, and cooking utensils. The bathroom consists of a shower, toilet, and sink.
  • Due to limited housing options, we will not be able to accommodate family members or pets.

What should I bring?

  • Materials and supplies required for your artmaking, personal gear and toiletries. Your own linens, blankets, and towels are required. Outerwear, rain gear, and boots or sturdy hiking shoes are recommended. Binoculars and swim gear if available or of interest. There is no alcohol allowed in the housing.
  • There is limited cell phone coverage at the provided housing, but full coverage in Kane, PA (about a 10-minute drive from housing). Note that wireless internet access and cell phone coverage are not available in many Forest locations.

For more information

  • Please reach out to Kate Fenstermacher, Artist-in-Residence Coordinator, at the Bradford Ranger Station at 814-363-6049 or