Thursday, February 04, 2016

Voices of the Wilderness artist residency applications due March 1

Alaska-based artist residency program Voices of the Wilderness, now in its sixth season, is currently accepting applications for more than 10 residencies across the state. Applications are due March 1. Residencies are open to art professionals in all media – visual (photographers, sculptors, painters), audio (musicians, singers, composers), film, and writers. Residency dates vary, but typically they are hosted June through September, lasting 7-9 days. Organized by former Juneau resident Barbara Lydon, it is modeled after traditional residencies in the national parks, but includes a twist. In addition to focusing on their art, artists are actively engaged with a wilderness ranger during their residency, taking part in stewardship projects such as research, monitoring, and education. As a volunteer, each artist will assist with some basic ranger duties, which may include boarding a tour boat to provide education, participating in research projects, such as seal counts or climate change studies, walking a beach to remove litter, or other generally light duties. However, an emphasis for the artist will be experiencing the wilderness and exploring how to communicate its inspirational qualities through their artwork. Each artist will be provided the same safety training as other volunteers. The program is sponsored collaboratively by the US Forest Service, National Park Service and US Fish & Wildlife Service. The hosting federal agency will provide transportation to and from the field, camping and field gear, and in most cases, food as well. Travel to and from Alaska is the artist’s responsibility...more

Bring them in, house them, feed them, indoctrinate them and send them out to praise Wilderness in their artwork.  No matter how you cut it, this is paying people to write, paint, sing about a single, government-supported topic.  Those things that have real value and are truly desired by the public, don't require a subsidy to produce.  Wilderness must be in trouble.  Otherwise, why would the feds be trying to artificially increase the demand for their product?

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