Katahdin and the surrounding landscape have been capturing the imagination of artists and writers since the mid 1800’s, when famed American landscape artist Frederic Church began his visits to the area and Henry David Thoreau made his dramatic ascent described in The Maine Woods. Over the years, many have worked to capture the aura of Katahdin, the solitude of Russel Pond, the varied wildlife found across the Park. Artists such as Maurice “Jake” Day traveled throughout the Park to capture scenes and landscapes that embody the very soul of what the Park is to many people. For many who visit the Park, the ever-changing beauty and often haunting grandeur of the northern forest and mountains form an emotional bond that can be both felt and recaptured through various forms of visual art and writing.
In recognition of this long tradition, and the richness it brings to the Park experience, Baxter State Park adopted the Visiting Artist Program. This program offers one visual artist or writer two weeks of rustic cabin lodging in September to immerse themselves and draw inspiration from this 200,000+ acre paradise. The selected artists can shed the burdens and responsibilities of modern society for a brief moment while finding truth in nature and practicing their skills with few distractions.
In return, Visiting Artists are asked to hold one evening program and one open studio with the public during their stay, during which their skills and techniques can be explained and demonstrated. Park staff will work with artists in designing and implementing their programs. Additionally, within one year of their stay, Visiting Artists are asked to provide the Park with professional quality images, prints, or documents representative of their style and resulting from their experience here. A $25, non-refundable fee is required when submitting an application to help offset administrative and operational costs. The Park will provide a one day orientation to the Park but no other transportation will be provided.
Guests: Because this program is intended to inspire creativity through immersion we allow a maximum of one guest to accompany the artist in the Park facility.
The lodging provided is a comfortable, but rustic, cabin located in Kidney Pond Campground. The campground is approximately 12 miles from the southern entrance of the Park and approximately 20 miles from the nearest store. Visiting Artists will need to provide their own food, personal gear and transportation to and from the campground, as well as throughout the Park.
Water: There is cold and hot running water in the cabin. It is recommended that all water be boiled, filtered, or treated before drinking.
Cooking: There is a propane stove and a refrigerator in the cabin but a cooler is recommended for transporting perishable items from town. Basic cooking utensils, pots, pans, china and cutlery are provided.
Heat: The cabin features a wood stove and an outdoor fire ring for cool nights but appropriate clothing and bedding are recommended.
Lights: There is no electricity in the Park but the cabin does feature propane lights. Lanterns and flashlights are recommended for supplemental lighting needs.
Restrooms: Outhouses are located throughout the campground.
Linens: You will need to bring your own bedding (beds are twin-sized bunks) and towels, etc. since linens are not provided anywhere in the Park.
We ask that you leave the lodging in the same condition (clean and neat) as when you began your stay.
Applications: will be accepted for September if postmarked by March 15. Notification will be made by April 15.
Fee: A $25 non-refundable application must accompany the application.
Application should consist of the following items:
- A brief resumé and summary of your creative works.
- A single page statement describing your artistic plan during your stay and your intended accomplishments while in Baxter State Park.
- A description of the evening program(s) and open-studio session(s) to be provided to the
public while in the Park.
- Names and contact information of two references who know your work.
- An appropriate sample of your recent work. Samples should be sufficient to display your
style and talent, but reasonable in size or quantity to be reviewed by a panel. Materials will NOT be returned after the review process.
Checks should be made payable to: Baxter State Park Authority.
Mail applications and application fee to:
Baxter State Park Visiting Artist Program
Baxter State Park
64 Balsam Drive
Millinocket, ME 04462
For further information: Please email eben @baxterstatepark.org.