Artist Wilderness program taking applications

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The Artist Wilderness Connection program application portal opens Jan. 5. The program is open to all professional artists and writers. Two artists will be chosen to participate in the 2019 program. Collaborative groups will be considered. If you are applying as a collaborative group, all artists in the collaboration must submit separate, individual applications and explain the collaborative work in their letter of intent.

The Artist Wilderness?Connection program connects artists with the Flathead National Forest, Hockaday Museum of Art and area communities. The program consists of the Artist Residency, Forest Experience and the Community Extension. The artists benefit from having a remote setting to focus on their art and the community benefits from the presentations the artists offer from their experiences.

In 2003, the Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation, Flathead National Forest, Hockaday Museum of Art and Swan Valley Connections joined forces to create the AWC program. Since 2004, 44 artists have participated in the program.

The Artist Residency — The program places professional working artists in various disciplines, media and styles in remote forest cabins for seven or 14 days followed by a public presentation related to their residency. Group collaborations are considered and encouraged.

The Forest/Wilderness Experience — The program focus connects artists with the Bob Marshall and Great Bear Wilderness Areas. The backcountry cabins in the program are located in the Flathead National Forest, five to 15 miles from the nearest trailhead. Artist’s personal items, food and art supplies are packed in by mule and horse. Some cabins are very private, suggesting solitude, reflection and personal work; other sites offer the experience of working and/or living with Forest Service crews. The best residency experiences come from plans that allow for the unexpected and are entered into with an open mind.

The Community Extension — A Montana-based public presentation accompanies each residency. It may include demonstrating an art form or techniques to the public. This could include a showing, performance, open house, workshop or training session where the public or school groups can participate and learn from the artist about the experiences gained through their participation in the program. The workshops, performances, exhibits and or other presentations communicate the values, processes, features and resources of both the artist and the wilderness setting. Program participants also donate a representative piece of their work to the Artist Wilderness Connection program.

Applications must be completed by Feb.16 and are accepted only online. Notification of accepted and declined applications will be sent by March 23. Late applications will not be considered.

For more information, contact Teresa Wenum, Flathead National Forest, 406-758-5218 or twenum@fs.fed.us; Rebecca Powell, Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation, 406-387-3808 or program@bmwf.org; Andrea Dinino, Swan Valley Connections at mailto:andread@svconnections.org; or Kathy Martin, Hockaday Museum of Art at education@hockadaymuseum.org.

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