Artists were first to record the visual beauty and the drama of this country on canvas and in photographs. Thomas Moran, Albert Bierstadt, William Henry Jackson, and others brought fantastic images of waterfalls, geysers, mountain majesty, and wildlife to the attention of a young nation. Writers with a passion for the natural world like John Muir, Enos Mills, Henry Thoreau, and John Burroughs, described their personal experiences with both the grand and the insignificant. Composers have found inspiration in this country's landscape and produced pieces like Grand Canyon Suite and Appalachian Spring.
The arts continue to provide understanding and appreciation of our natural and cultural resources. Thomas Hart Benton brought his beloved Buffalo River and the rural beauty of the Ozarks to the nation through his style of painting and sketching.
The Artist-in-Residence program at Buffalo National River offers to professional artists throughout the nation the opportunity to pursue their particular art form surrounded by the inspiring landscape of the Buffalo River Country. The program is open to all visual artists, writers, and composers and performers. Three residencies are available each year, one in the spring, summer and fall. The park provides housing for the participants for up to a three week stay.
The artist is required to contribute a piece of work representative of their stay at Buffalo National River, to be used by the park in an appropriate manner. These works will be displayed for the public at a future time. During their residency, artists may be asked to share their experience with the public by demonstration, talk, or other means. This may be in conjunction with the park's interpretive program, and would only consume a few hours of one's stay. The artist will be enrolled in the National Park Service's Volunteers in Parks program.
The Buffalo River has long wandered through the Arkansas Ozarks. Enroute on its 150-mile course to join with the White River, the Buffalo winds past towering, multi-colored bluffs, pastoral fields, prehistoric and historic cultural sites, and varied wildlife. Buffalo National River encompasses 135 miles of the river and includes three designated wilderness areas. The wild mountain beauty, the clean, clear water of the Buffalo, and the myriad of other sights are ideal subjects to be captured on canvas, film, in print or performance. This place can inspire creativity.