Artist in Residence Program

An artist and their easel stand surrounded by cholla cactus illuminated by the setting sun.
An artist painting on an easel in the Cholla Cactus Garden at sunset.

NPS/ Carmen Aurrecoechea


Artists in Parks

The purpose of the Joshua Tree National Park Artist in Residence Program is to provide opportunities for artists to creatively explore the resources of Joshua Tree National Park, promoting a deeper appreciation of the natural, cultural, and historical resources therein.

Artists are an important part of the national park system. Writings, paintings, photographs, and public outreach provide opportunities for new audiences to experience national parks. In the era of virtual visits, the role of artists is more important than ever in sharing unique perspectives of national parks with online audiences.


About the Program

The Joshua Tree National Park Artist in Residence Program (AiR) is open to visual artists, performing artists, musicians and writers. Artist are invited for a one-month stay in fall or spring. There are two objectives for this residency. One is to give artists time to explore the park and pursue their own creative practice. The second is for the artist to share their unique perspective of the park’s resources with others.

Most of the artist's stay will be devoted to their own art practice; however, the park requires one visitor outreach experience, which will be coordinated with park staff. Artists will have agency to design the experience- it could be leading a short hike, performance, or being available for visitor questions while working at a public location.
Indoor artist in residence studio.  In the foreground a white table with various art supplies.  In the back ground a painting of mountains dries on a desk and gradient artwork hangs on the wall.

Accommodations and Working Conditions

Artists in residence are housed at Black Rock in the northwest corner of the park. This area has a ranger station, a campground and access to many beautiful trails. Sitting at the base of the San Bernardino mountain range, its higher altitude makes this area one of the best for Joshua Trees and somewhat cooler than other parts of the park. Although conditions at this location are often relatively temperate, artists should be prepared for more extreme conditions during the course of their stay, including high winds, low relative humidity and temperatures that can range from 100 degrees Fahrenheit during the day to as low as 30 degrees at night.

Artists sleep in the studio space in the Black Rock Campground, which is furnished with a twin bed and bureau. The studio has a drafting table, several folding tables, and ample natural light. Public toilets are adjacent to the studio space. Shared kitchen, laundry, and bathing facilities are a short walk or drive from the studio at the Interagency Fire Center. The distance between the sleeping space and the kitchen and bathing facility is less than half a mile. The town of Yucca Valley is about a 10 minute drive away and has a variety of shopping and dining as well as medical facilities.

Though housing is provided, artists are responsible for their own expenses such as meals, personal art supplies, transportation, etc. Only one occupant is allowed at any time in housing. Park policy prohibits bringing pets.

Donation of Work to the Joshua Tree National Park Collection

At this time, work is not being accessioned into our museum collection. Therefore, artists are asked to share high-quality, digital images of any works produced as a result of their time in residence with the park, with permission to reproduce the images for the purposes of sharing work created through the residency with the public. Credit will be given to the artist any time the work is reproduced for this purpose.

Black Rock Art Gallery

The gallery is located in the Black Rock Nature Center and exists as a as a space for presenting contemporary interpretations of themes related to the park. Exhibitions are made by selected Artists in Residence as well as community and other artists.

How to Apply

Application instructions for residencies in Fall 2025 and Spring 2026 will be added in March 2025.

For questions contact


Review Process

Applications are judged by a jury comprised of former program participants and Volunteer Art Professionals. Jurors consider artistic merit, relevance to the park, and originality of the proposal.

Last updated: June 4, 2024

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

74485 National Park Drive
Twentynine Palms, CA 92277-3597


760 367-5500

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