Artist-in-Residence How to Apply


Application Deadline: February 16

Each year, the application period is open January 2 through February 16. To be considered, all application materials must be received through the two step process by 11:59 pm EST on the closing date:

  1. Complete the online entrance form.
  2. Email required submission materials (see below).
A pastel painting of rocks a trees along the Lookout Louise Trail
To Lookout Louise, Pastel, 17" x 11"

NPS / JD Slack, Artist-in-Residence 2003

The Application Process

The Isle Royale Artist-in-Residence program is for established artists working in a defined medium which can be explored through the lens of Isle Royale's wilderness.

We consider all forms of art except those that manipulate or disturb the park's environment.

Combine the following requirements into one organized Word or PDF document. Visual Artists and Writers please include your samples of work (see below) in this one document. Email the required document to:

  1. Your Resume (4 pages max)

  2. Summary of Creative works (2 pages max). Examples include:

    • Exhibits

    • Galleries

    • Performances

    • Publications

    • Shows

  3. Statement of Purpose (2 pages max)

    • What do you hope to gain from this experience?

    • How do you expect to grow as an artist from this experience?

    • Why have you applied to this program?

    • Describe your ability to reside in a wilderness environment

  4. Public Program Concept (1 page max)

    • Public programs generally focus around a 30-45 minute talk or demonstration in the Rock Harbor's area. How would you envision using this opportunity to present your art to the public?

  5. Submit your Samples of Recent Work
    • Visual Artists: Provide no more than 6 images in your Word or PDF document. Clearly label each image with your name and the work's title.

      • Images should focus only on the actual artwork; extraneous
        backgrounds, mattes, or frames should not be included.

      • For each work, clearly list name of work, medium, and dimensions (see artwork example on this page).

    • Writers: Provide no more than 6 short works or 1 long work in your Word or PDF document (10 pages max). Clearly label each work with your name and its title.

      • Creative Nonfiction for this program does not include travelogues, journalistic features, interviews, or job-related documents such as memos or legal briefs.

      • Examples include:

        • 6 Short Poems or other short writing samples of artistic merit (1 page each)

        • 1 Short Story, Essay, or Manuscript Excerpt (10 pages max)

    • Composers, Musicians, Performing Artists, Video, Film: Provide no more than 6 short selections (6 minutes max) or 1 long selection (10 minutes max)
      • Upload your submission to YouTube/Vimeo or share an existing YouTube/Vimeo link (or any other appropriate website link that can play the submission). Uploads may be public or private (YouTube allows private uploads that are only visible to those with whom you share the link). Clearly label each work with your name and its title. Include your link(s) in your Word or PDF document submission.
  6. Fill out and submit the Isle Royale Artist-in-Residence Online Entrance Form which asks for:
  • Contact Information
  • Medium Information
  • Preferred 2 – 3 week residency period June 15 - September 15
    • Can be no preference
  • Acknowledgement of Program Requirements

General Cautions

  • Do not include additional links, websites, images, or additional artistic content beyond the exact submission requirements. You will be assessed solely based on your application materials.
  • Collaborative Artists Applying as Duo:
    • This program is for established, professional artists.
    • If your this is your first artistic collaboration, do not apply.
    • A collaboration will be assessed on whether the artists have produced a professional body of work together previously.
    • Artistic samples must represent the previous collaboration and not individual artist samples.
  • Music and video samples may not exceed the exact submisison parameters.
  • This is not a program for artists who are looking to explore new mediums. It is is for established artists working in a defined medium which can be explored through the lens of Isle Royale's wilderness.

You're done!


Received Applications

In a given year, we receive approximately 150 applications for 3-4 residency spots. Competition is high. Please review the application process thoroughly. Applicants who fail to submit all requirements will be ineligible for selection.

A photograph of an eagle skeleton on wet rocks
Eagle Skeleton on Wet Rocks, Photograph, 10" x 12"

NPS / Barbara Yoshida, Artist-in-Residence 1999

The Selection Process

All applicants will be notified no later than May 1 whether they were selected for the upcoming summer residency.

The Jury

A jury composed of a park representative and artistic professionals from various disciplines will select the finalists. The selection is based on artistic integrity, a statement of purpose, ability to reside in a wilderness environment, willingness to donate a finished piece of work inspired on the island, and ability to relate to and interpret the park.

Selections are made without regard to race, religion, gender, marital status, sex, age, or national origin. The facilities being used for this program are not wheelchair accessible.

Failure to Submit Required Materials

Please refer to the application procedure when preparing your application. The sole submission of a resume is insufficient. Proper scoring of each application can only take place if all required information is submitted. Applicants who fail to submit all requirements will be ineligible for selection.

Questions along the Way

If you have any questions, concerns, or issues with your application, please feel free to contact the park.

A watercolor painting of Scoville Point and Bay by artist Clyde Mikkola
Scoville Point Bay, Watercolor, 20.5" x 28.5"

NPS / Clyde Mikkola, Artist-in-Residence 2001,

Last updated: February 26, 2024

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

800 East Lakeshore Drive
Houghton, MI 49931


906 482-0984

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