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Know the West

Get artsy in the parks

  Over the years, the work of numerous artists has focused the eye of the public on national parks. Thomas Moran's paintings helped swing the debate for protecting Yellowstone National Park. Ansel Adams' photographs continue to introduce new generations of Americans to the beauty of Yosemite and Sequoia national parks. And Ann Zwinger's writings and sketches on the Grand Canyon bring to life the river and rocks that many of us have only dreamed about.

To keep this interplay of parks and artists alive, the National Park Service offers an Artist-In-Residence Program in many park units throughout the West. For one week to one month, writers, journalists, musicians, composers, painters, photographers and dancers work for a minimal stipend and lodging with some of the most spectacular scenery in the nation. Artists at Rocky Mountain National Park stay at the rustic three-room William Allen White Cabin which overlooks Moraine Park.

Other Western parks and monuments hosting artists include Big Bend, Devils Tower, Glacier, Rocky Mountain, Joshua Tree and Yosemite.

If there's a string attached, it's a small one: Artists are asked to contribute a sample of their work produced at the park and give an educational interpretive show on their art to the public.

For further information on the Artist-In-Residence Program, contact Bonnie Fournier, P.O. Box 65552, St. Paul, MN 55165, e-mail [email protected] or call 651/776-3944.

© 2001 HCN and John Rosapepe