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Celebrating 100 years: 5 Artists-in-Residence bring Idaho’s Craters of the Moon to life

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Celebrating 100 years: 5 Artists-in-Residence bring Idaho’s Craters of the Moon to life

May 18, 2024 | 6:00 am ET
By Lexie Ponce
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Celebrating 100 years: 5 Artists-in-Residence bring Idaho’s Craters of the Moon to life
Description
Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve has selected five Artists-in-Residence to help celebrate the park’s centennial. All of the artists live in Idaho and have connections to Craters of the Moon and the region. (Evan Nelson/National Park Service)

Five Artists-in-Residence have been selected by Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve to honor the park’s centennial this year.   

The five Artists-in-Residence are revisiting the park’s lava landscape and hosting events to inspire, inform and educate the public about their craft, according to a National Park Service press release.

Wade Vagias
Wade Vagias has served as the superintendent of Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve since 2015. (Courtesy of Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve)

“Hosting Artists-in-Residence and providing opportunities for the public to engage with them are a very important part of our centennial celebrations as landscape art and photography have played a vital role in generating public support to establish Craters of the Moon and other parks and protect these special places for future generations,” said Wade Vagias, superintendent of Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve, in the press release. 

Since its inception in 2010, the Artists-in-Residence program at Craters of the Moon has hosted more than a dozen artists, photographers, writers and musicians from across the country. 

The Craters of the Moon Centennial Artists-in-Residence are:  

  •  Mary Arnold, Boise – painter 

“I am inspired by my love of Idaho and the animals that call it home,” Arnold said. “I hope that my art broadens a message of shared use and advocacy for protecting and sustaining our open spaces and wildlife.”  

  • April Felker, Twin Falls – painter, photographer, printmaker and sculptor 

“Patterns and processes I encounter in natural systems stimulate and instruct me,” Felker said. “So long as I have access to wild spaces and things, I have an endless inspirational source for making art.” 

  • Karen Jacobsen, Sun Valley – plein air painter, muralist and illustrator 

“I combine my love of art and science to create a truly unique career as an expedition illustrator,” Jacobsen said. “I get to travel, paint and illustrate some of the wildest and most unreachable places on earth and beneath the sea.” 

  • Evan Nelson, Idaho Falls – wildlife and landscape photographer 

“The unsettling beauty of this volcanic landscape has captivated my imagination for several years,” Nelson said. “The alluringly violent past, the undeniable contrast of wildflowers against dark cinders, and the unimaginable night skies seem to beckon to my very soul.”  

  • Josh Olson, Boise – watercolorist and printmaker 

“My love affair with nature began when I was 18 years old. I was introduced to plein air painting on a sage brush hill with distant aspen groves in full display of fall colors,” Olson said. “This simple morning began what has become nearly a lifetime of outdoor painting adventures.” 

From May through September, Craters of the Moon Artists-in-Residence will host in-person and online events showcasing the park’s 100-year history, titled “Phases of the Moon.” The events will provide the public with opportunities to learn about the artists’ craft.  

May: Felker will hold plein air painting demonstrations from 12-1:30 p.m May 25 at the Robert Limbert Visitor Center and from 2-4 p.m. at the Devils Orchard Train area. 

Craters of the Moon is Idaho’s ‘weird and scenic landscape.’ Let’s celebrate its centennial.

June: On June 15, Olson will demonstrate nature journaling. On June 29, all five Artists-in-Residence will hold a group art event to demonstrate their mediums. 

July/August: Arnold and Jacobsen will demonstrate nature journaling and the practice of bringing art techniques to the field through a series of online videos posted on social media and the park website. 

September: In conjunction with star parties and a full moon hike, Nelson will demonstrate how to take night sky photographs at 8:30 p.m. on Sept. 6, at 8:30 p.m. Sept. 7, and at 8:15 p.m. Sept. 15.

Full biographies and photos of the Artists-in-Residence are available on the Craters of the Moon website at  www.nps.gov/crmo/planyourvisit/centennial-air.htm.

For more information about the Craters of the Moon Centennial Artists-in-Residence program and other centennial events, visit the park’s website at go.nps.gov/CRMO100.