Paddling Michigan Opens a World for Creativity

Are you an artist looking for an amazing adventure? Many don’t know it, but the government has created an artist-in-resident program for the Pictured Rocks National Shoreline. For those who haven’t discovered the unique treasure of this amazing area, you may not realize just how inspiring it is. Paddling Michigan kayak tours are a great way to explore the Upper Peninsula’s unique beauty. After discovering the beauty of Lake Superior and its coast, consider applying for the unique opportunity to be Pictured Rocks National Shoreline artist-in-residence.

The History of the Program

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Artist-in-Residence program began in 1996. Applicants should be professional two-dimensional visual artists whose creativity can be influenced by the beauty of Lake Superior’s coastal scenery. Artists should be able to capture the many moods of the lakeshore, and that’s best done through residency.

Chosen artists stay in a park residence on the lakeshore for up to four weeks, usually in October. The stay is rent-free. In return, artists share an example of their work and offer at least one interpretive program that advances the National Park’s mission. The artist-in-residence will be enrolled in the National Park Service’s Volunteers in Parks program, which offers compensation for work-related injuries.

Who Should Apply

If you are thinking of applying, you should be self-sufficient and healthy. Artists work closely with park staff and the local community, so strong communications skills are an important asset. Applicants are selected by jury representatives of the art community, subject matter experts, and park employees. They choose artists based on artistic merit and how the artist’s vision will advance Pictured Rocks National Shoreline’s mission. The selection is made without regard to disability, race, religion, gender, marital status or nationality.

How to Apply

Applications for the program must be postmarked no later than December 31. The jury selects an applicant by April 30. To apply, send the following in a single envelope:

  • Resume that includes summary of creative work, but no more than two pages.
  • Up to eight digital images. These can be emailed or included in the envelope on a CD.
  • Preferred housing accommodations. See the Artist-in-Residence bulletin for more details.
  • Your own mission statement about what you hope to gain from being a part of the residency and how you would assist the lakeshore to further the mission.

For more information, check out the National Park Service website.

Find Your Passion

Whether you’re an artist looking forward to this amazing opportunity, a writer needing inspiration, or someone who can appreciate the natural beauty that surrounds us, a trip with Paddling Michigan offers all the encouragement you can imagine. See how the Great Lake Superior can inspire works of art by checking out previous artists-in-residence at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. However, you don’t have to paint a picture or write a book to appreciate the glory of the area. Plan a kayaking adventure with beauty that rivals anything a painter could do with Paddling Michigan. Hike, dine, and explore what has inspired creatives of all kinds when you book one of our tours.