Call to artists: BLM residency program

Idaho’s Bureau of Land Management is seeking artists for two new residency opportunities this spring and fall.

“Several other states have done this but they center their projects around a park — with visitor’s center and other facilities that parks services offer,” says BLM’s Deputy State Director of Communications Cheryle Zwang. “We’re doing it Idaho style.”

That means going into the wilderness.

The first opportunity is at the Bruneau-Jarbidge River System. It flows north from the mountains of northern Nevada through the beautiful basalt and rhyolite canyons of the Owyhee Uplands to the Snake River in southern Idaho. Nearly 40 floatable miles of the Bruneau River are designated as wild and scenic. The residency features an opportunity for the artist to take a 3-to 5-day float trip with BLM Boise District wilderness rangers and biologists.
Deadline to apply is May 5. The float will either happen May 19-23 or May 27-June 1.

The second residence is in the Owyhee River Wilderness. The Owyhee River Canyon consists of steep, rhyolite walls ranging in height from 250 feet to over 1,000 feet near the Oregon border. The west end of the river below the confluence with the South Fork Owyhee River is known as the “Grand Canyon of the Owyhee.” The residency offers the artist the opportunity to take a guided backpack trips and hikes in two or three of the six Owyhee Canyonlands Wilderness Areas.
This residency deadline is August 22. The trip will happen Sept. 20-27.

Owyhee Canyonlands

Owyhee Canyonlands

This is part of BLM’s National Conservation Lands program.
“The BLM’s Artist-in-Residence program promotes awareness through art of the exceptional natural and cultural treasures protected by the National Landscape Conservation System,” says Acting BLM Idaho State Director Tim Murphy. “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.”

This is a new project for Idaho, so some details are still in flux, Zwang says. She is still looking for the right opportunities to show the completed work.

Artists 18 and older, working in all mediums, including traditional and new media, are encouraged to apply. Artists must be United States citizens.

The work belongs to the artist but a digital image must be provided to BLM for to us, “so, people can see the wilderness through the artist’s eyes,” Zwang says.

Learn more about the program and download an application.

Posted in ArtsBeat