Artist-Wilderness connection applications now available

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A horse party goes across Big River Meadows in this file photo from 2012. The Montana Outfitters and Guides Association is asking the Flathead to not add more wilderness to its inventory.

Professional artists of all disciplines are once again being invited to spend one to two weeks in a remote part of the Bob Marshall and Great Bear Wilderness areas as part of the 17th year of the Artist Wilderness Connection artist in residence program.

Founded as a collaborative project managed by Flathead National Forest, Hockaday Museum of Art, Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation and Swan Valley Connections in 2003, the program has hosted 44 artists since 2004. Each year, the program selects artists to spend seven to 14 days in remote forest cabins followed by a public presentation related to their residency.

Travel to and from the remote cabins is no easy feat as they are only accessible by foot over uneven ground and are located anywhere from five to 15 miles from the nearest trailhead. All personal items, food and art supplies are packed in by mule and horse.

The program will select two artists to participate in 2020, with opportunities to reside in the wilderness areas in July, August or September.

Collaborative groups will be considered for the residency and are encouraged to apply. All artists in a collaboration must submit separate, individual applications and explain the collaborative work in their letter of intent.

All residency travel, including getting to the backcountry trailhead, is the responsibility of the artist.

After completing their residency, artists will select a format to share their talents and backcountry experience with the community and donate a representative piece of their art to the Artist-Wilderness-Connection Program.

The online application and full program information is available at www.hockadaymuseum.org by clicking on the Artist Opportunities and then Artist-Wilderness-Connection tabs at the left side of the page. Applications are due Feb. 25.

The selected artists will be notified by March 27.

For more information about the program or application process, contact Kathy Martin at the Hockaday Museum of Art at 406-755-5268, Teresa Wenum at the Flathead National Forest at 406-758-5218 or Rebecca Powell at the Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation at 406-387-3822.

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