AWW Visiting Artist Program
The Allagash Wilderness Waterway (AWW) has fueled the imagination of native Americans, rusticators, artisans, and the general public for centuries. Many visitors have attempted to capture the Allagash headwater lakes and lower river's beauty and solitude through stories, drawings, photography, and music. When Henry David Thoreau made his journey to Pillsbury Island on Eagle Lake in the mid-1800s, he was inspired to write about his adventure in The Maine Woods.
To honor this history, the Bureau of Parks and Lands AWW is continuing its Visiting Artist Program. The Program's goal is to immerse a visual artist in the exceptional AWW wilderness to interpret and share their experience through their art.
The selected artist will receive:
- Rustic cabin lodging on the Waterway for two weeks during the month of August
- An orientation to the Waterway by AWW rangers
- Ranger safety check-ins and coordination of AWW transportation, the open studio, and public program(s)
- Opportunity to invite one guest to join them free of charge
- Media coverage before, during, and after their Allagash stay, through the Department’s press releases and social media posts, and the Bureau of Parks and Land newsletter.
Please note that no stipend is provided.
In return, Visiting Artists are asked to:
- Hold at least one evening program, and
- At least one open studio to demonstrate their skills and techniques to the public.
(Note: Waterway AWW staff will work with the artist in designing and implementing their programs.)
- Give one original piece of their Allagash-inspired art to the Bureau/AWW, and
- Provide the AWW with reproduction quality prints or digital imagery of finished works representative of their style and resulting from their experience in the AWW within one year of their stay.
(Note: The AWW has the right to reproduce the images for noncommercial use by the AWW at its discretion. Noncommerical use includes the Bureau's social media, newsletter, and website. Commercial use of the images will require the permission of the artist. The artist retains ownership of all other rights to the artwork.)
The one-room cabin provided is located at Lock Dam on the northern end of Chamberlain Lake. For 28 summers, it was the home of Dorothy Boone Kidney and her husband Milford - where they provided information to canoeists and tended the dam. Dorothy wrote two books about their life at Lock Dam. The dam is now a favorite spot for canoeists traveling the AWW, anglers, and those who are looking for a quiet retreat from our modern world. The cabin is located approximately 10 miles from the boat launch at the southern end of Chamberlain Lake and 60 miles from the nearest town, Millinocket. It does not have electricity. It has hand-pumped running water, a woodstove, gas appliances (cookstove, and refrigerator), solar-powered lights, and a canoe. The selected artist must supply all their own food, clothing, outdoor gear, bedding, and art materials.
- Judging: Artist is selected by a panel of judges that include artists, art professionals, AWW staff, and laypeople.
- Arrival Date: We will try to accommodate any two-week period during the month of August. Visit dates and studio session(s) will be confirmed with the artist by June 15.
- Applications: Must be completed by February 6, 2024. Notification will be made by April 3, 2024. A link to the Online Application is provided below.
- Guests: We encourage the artist to use the stay as an opportunity to shed the cares of daily life and concentrate on his/her art in a natural environment. For this reason, only one guest may stay with the artist in the cabin.
- Sale of work: Sale of artwork and individual promotion for profit is prohibited while in the AWW. Sharing of contact information, including business cards, is acceptable.
- AWW Rules & Regulations: All rules and regulations pertaining to the AWW visitors apply to Visiting Artists.
- The 2024 application will open on Friday, January 5 and close on February 6.
- Get notifiied when the Application Period will open each year by signing up for the AWW Artist Program News.
- The items and information you will need to apply are listed on the application. Be sure to collect these items before starting to fill out the application. You must complete and save the application in one session. You will not be able to save and return to your work.
- List of application items and the Online Application will open here on January 5.
Previous AWW Visiting Artists:
2023 - Peter Yesis
2022 - Jordan Parks
2021 - Marty Kotter
2020 - Michael Vermette
In the video above, Michael Vermette, the first AWW Visiting Artist (2020), reflects on his experience and encourages artists to apply and visit the AWW.