For centuries artists have interpreted the natural beauty of America’s wild and remote places, and creative folks are encouraged to continue that tradition through more than 50 National Park Service Artist-in-Residence programs.
Michigan has a variety of opportunities for artists-in-residence: Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park in the Western Upper Peninsula and the private program at remote, undeveloped Rabbit Island in Lake Superior.
Isle Royale National Park suspended its program in 2015 but hopes to revive it for 2016.
These are for the writers, musicians and visual artists who long to escape to a cabin in the woods or by the water, where the surroundings inspire creativity and there’s little to distract from their work.
Artists-in-residence are selected through an application process unique to each park, and specifics vary as to genre accepted, length of stay, type of accommodations, and expectations. Many require that the artist present a public program and donate one work created during the residency.
Check out the details and application process for each; note that some information for 2016 has not yet been posted:
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore – December 31 deadline
One, four-week residence in October.
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore – April 15 deadline
Two, three-week residencies in September and October.
Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park – March 31 deadline
Several two- and three-week residencies from May-September.
Rabbit Island – Deadline for 2016 has passed. Sign up for information on the 2017 application process for the three- to five residencies of 2-4 weeks each.
Isle Royale National Park – The program was cancelled in 2015; previously the application deadline was early February. Check to see if it will be revived in 2016.
These residencies are not quite as remote as those at the parks, but still offer a fresh perspective and away-from-it-all experience:
Crooked Tree Arts Center – January 31 deadline
Two-week residency in the village of Good Hart, north of the CTAC home in Petoskey.
NEW in 2016: Two-week residency near Harbor Springs.
Glen Arbor Art Association – February 11 deadline
Varies; two weeks is standard. Located in the village of Glen Arbor.
Island Hill House Artist Residency – Two rounds of applications with April 1 and October 1 deadlines
Two- to four-week residencies 50 weeks per year at log house in East Jordan.
Click here for a round-up of retreats in the Great LakesStates.\