Got some fabulous news just the other day: I was awarded the 2016 Artist-In-Residency from the Bureau of Land Management's Eastern Interior Field Office. The program hosts two separate opportunities for artists: one is in the White Mountains National Recreation Area, and the second, up in the town of Eagle + the Fortymile River wild and scenic river corridor.
I've had a lot of experience up in the White Mountains before - see here for an article that documented one of my more crazier solo hikes - so the second, more comparatively urban location was where I was keen on applying for. Not to mention the romantic appeal of rustic living in a cabin kinda rubs off a wee bit when you already live in one. In particular the Eagle setting will hopefully be a chance to interact with the community as there's both a library and a school there, which means I can take my usual show + tell on the road.
Another exciting aspect is how, despite all my adventures across Alaska, there's just so many places left yet to explore: having never migrated up this neck of the woods there's adventures like the infamous "Top of the World" Taylor Highway, not to mention interesting events like Chickenstock. But the wealth of history, culture and wilderness that's available around Eagle is what I'm excited about. Also I didn't pitch any of the "Fine Art" on the proposal - just straight-up cartooning, which is a refreshing change of pace, and another example of how comics can stand on their own as a legitimate medium and, as well as artistically inspiring, be a potentially valuable tool for literacy.
In the meantime I better buy some new sketchbooks: the gig is for two weeks in the fall, sandwiched inbetween teaching at the Visual Art Academy/Summer Sessions and the start of the fall semester. See here for more information on this outstanding artistic opportunity with BLM.