Create Art in a Natural Setting
The Artist in Residence (AIR) program offers professional artists of the Austin area an inspirational environment in which to pursue various mediums and to further creative development in the natural setting of the Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve.
Wild Basin is a uniquely situated urban natural area reflecting the personality of Austin, at once wild and modern, naturally and technologically advanced, protected and developing.
Spring 2022 Artist in Residence application deadline: September 30, 2021
Details of the Program and How to Apply
In conjunction with St. Edward’s University, Wild Basin seeks to support creative multidisciplinary research and local artists, as well as offer community art experiences. Wild Basin hosts two artists per year: in Spring from March to May and in Fall from September to November. Artists of all disciplines in the Austin area are encouraged to apply. Artists are given access to the Visitor Center and the trail system for inspiration.
Artists are responsible for their own travel costs and must live within a commutable distance. Some supplies and materials will be covered by stipend based on application. Designated workspace and assistance with AIR events and activities will be provided. When in residence, the artist is free to work independently, but has some responsibilities to interact with the preserve and visitors.
The Wild Basin Artist in Residence will:
- Donate a piece created during or inspired by their residency to the Wild Basin Creative Research Center permanent collection.
- Present two workshops during the residency: one for adults and one for school-age children.
- Work on premises at least one day per week.
- Exhibit works created during the residency at the Wild Basin Visitor Center.
- Be willing to be filmed, photographed or interviewed for Wild Basin promotional purposes.
- Comply with all policies of Wild Basin and St. Edward's University while in residence.
Submit application materials by email to the Environmental Education Coordinator for consideration by the selection committee. Application must include: a brief statement with goals for the residency, the preferred residency period, a resume, digital samples of work, and the signed application form. The award will be made based on merit and on an understanding of the mission of Wild Basin. Selections will be made without regard to race, religion, sex, disability, marital status, age or national origin. Deadline for Spring 2022 application is September 30, 2021. Awards will be announced one month before the start of residency.
About Wild Basin
Since 2009, Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve has been co-owned and co-managed by St. Edward’s University and Travis County. Starting with the grassroots establishment of the preserve in the 1970s, Wild Basin supporters and staff have had a long history of being innovators in protecting what is essential to Austin and supporting interdisciplinary creative research opportunities on the stunning 227 acres of protected wilderness. In addition to serving the university community, the preserve is open to the public 365 days of the year for trail hiking and events. Wild Basin also offers volunteer opportunities, environmental education events, and guided school tours. We are excited to extend this treasured educational resource to provide more for the local community via the biannual Artist in Residence Program.
Past Artists in Residence
Fall 2021 / Spring 2020 – Danika Ostrowski. Ostrowski is based in Austin and is a dedicated advocate for the preservation of public lands. She paints both en-plein-air and creates in-studio work based on photographs, sketches and memories. Ostrowski began painting on the porch at Wild Basin every Friday morning until Wild Basin closed due to COVID-19 in March 2020. We look forward to opening the Visitor Center and restarting public programs with Ostrowski in residence for Fall 2021.
Fall 2019 – Precious Parker. As a visual artist, storyteller and photographer, Parker explores "the relational connection between subjects and space with subtle elements of emotion." During her residency at Wild Basin, Parker examined how humans and nature live in tandem and hopes her artwork will encourage people to reflect on their connection to nature and the spaces they occupy. In November 2019, Parker guided 14 children and adults in the technique of cyanotype nature printing.
Spring 2019 – Bethany Johnson. Johnson is based in Austin and her art explores the intersection between art and science: between the poetic experience of nature and the more objective study thereof. She works mostly in the medium of drawing, intermingling the aesthetic approaches and media associated with landscape art traditions with data-oriented, informational components, such as seismic imaging, geologic surveys, and others. Learn more about Johnson at www.bethanyjo.com.
Fall 2018 – Jaime McCormick. McCormick’s work highlights the connection between people and the environment primarily using acrylic, gouache, and collage techniques. Passionate about conservation and preservation, McCormick hopes to create art that connects visitors to Wild Basin and sparks exploration of our natural spaces. Learn more about McCormick at www.jbm.studio.
Fall 2017/Spring 2018 – The awardee for the Wild Basin Artist in Residence Program is local artist, Heidi Miller Lowell. Lowell has over 9 years experience as an art teacher and a keen appreciation for nature from her childhood in Colorado. Using 3D modeling and watercolors, the artist aims to celebrate the flora and fauna at Wild Basin, bringing attention to the importance of caring for our wild spaces. Learn more about Lowell at https://heidilowell.art/.
Spring 2017 – The inaugural awardee for the Wild Basin Artist in Residence Program was local wildlife artist, Andrea Wolf. Wolf’s work focuses on contemporary portraits of regional wildlife. The artist painted at the preserve weekly and conducting two events open to the public at the Wild Basin Creative Research Center during her time with us. An event geared to an adult audience explored the influence of local wildlife with a painting demonstration. A second event for children focused on incorporating nature in art. Learn more about Wolf at https://andreawolffineart.wordpress.com/.