Practice your art while immersed in the awe-inspiring landscapes of Deception Pass State Park through our new Artist in Residence (AIR) program!
Launching as part of this iconic park’s centennial year, the four-week summer residency provides the opportunity for an artist to live and create while surrounded by the natural beauty and cultural significance of Washington’s most visited State Park.
The AIR program is open to a wide range of artistic mediums and offered in partnership with the Deception Pass Park Foundation and Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission’s (WSPRC) Folk & Traditional Arts Program.
Meet our 2022 Residents
Mid-July to Mid-August
Nina Vichayapai uses fabric as a language to reveal how surroundings embody humankind. Her work explores physical spaces as expressions of the many people who shape them. Through hand stitched textiles her work addresses the important role of homemaking in establishing belonging within the American landscape.
“As the artist in residence at Deception Pass State Park this summer I am thrilled to dive deep into the park’s history while exploring its beautiful settings. I hope to weave stories from the past and present together to create artwork that will showcase the park’s rich cultural heritage, from its natural beauty to the many people who have made the park what it is today.” – Nina Vichayapai
Mid-August to Mid-September
Michael Torkildsen was introduced to the arts at an early age thanks to his grandmother and mother, both artists. From an early age they put him into art classes where he learned the basics of sketching and painting. Later his mother opened a one-hour film processing lab where he worked. This provided Michael with unlimited access to film and film processing.
Armed with his grandfather’s SLRs and point-n-shoot cameras from the family camera store, Michael began to take snapshots of the world around him, occasionally making some decent images. While his hobby continued and as his portfolio grew, his dissatisfaction with the corporate life did as well eventually leading to a break from the 9-5 and pursing photography full-time.
Today Michael lives in a travel trailer, touring the U.S. and taking photos.
“My photography style is natural. I emphasis composition over photoshop. I’m picky about my subject, the (natural) light conditions, and how it’s composed. I’m old school like that. I believe that it’s the last 5% of effort that you put into composing a shot that really turns the photo from good to great. The PNW is where I really got started in photography and it is an honor and a privilege to return. I can’t wait!” – Michael Torkildsen
About the Residency
Applications for the 2022 AIR program have closed. Follow our Facebook or Instagram to be the first to know when our 2023 applications open.
2022 Residency Dates: July 13th, 2022 – August 13th, 2022
- Artwork Donation: The artist will be required supply a full digital portfolio (minimums negotiated in the application process, dependent on medium) no later than 6 months after residency ends. Park staff and partners will select one piece of artwork to be donated in its original form (dependent on medium) to the Deception Pass Park Foundation (DPPF). The artist will also be required to write one article to be published in DPPF’s newsletter.
- Volunteer Service & Outreach: The artist will be required to volunteer, in uniform, in the park for:
- A one-time, 1-hour public program, lesson, or demonstration in the park during the final week of the residency, to be created in collaboration with Interpretive Staff.
- 12 hours per week practicing or engaging with visitors about their medium in a public setting within the park.
- 3 hours each week assisting at interpretive events such as Game Night, American Roots Concert Series, and environmental education programs.
Stipend: $1000 Provided by DPPF. Half paid at the end of the six week residency, half paid once all artwork is received.
Housing: The idyllic Ben Ure cabin at Deception Pass is located on Ben Ure Island near Cornet Bay, with views of the Salish Sea and Mount Baker. Near to the mainland, the island can be accessed by kayak or rowboat. The modern cabin is 12-by-24-feet in size and features a large deck overlooking the water, as well as a fully furnished electric kitchen, queen size futon, electric heat, lights, half bathroom, outdoor shower, and outdoor picnic table. A volunteer caretaker lives on the island and is available to assist with questions and logistical advice for living on Ben Ure. The artist may host one visitor for no more than 48 hours at a time. Pets and indoor/outdoor smoking (both tobacco and cannabis) are not allowed.
Transportation: The artist will be responsible for transportation to and from the park, as well as within the park areas during the residency. Deception Pass State Park will provide two free boat rides, one to help move in and one to move out. All other transportation between Ben Ure Island and the mainland are the responsibility of the artist and must be with a self-powered and beachable vessel. Reserved parking for one vehicle will be available on the mainland for the duration of the residency along with a volunteer parking pass good for day-use in all areas of Deception Pass State Park.
Internet and Cell Coverage: The cabin on Ben Ure does not have wi-fi. AT&T and T-Mobile have decent cell service on the island; Verizon has very limited connection. There is free wi-fi for artist use at the park’s administrative office by appointment. A staff radio will be provided by the park for emergencies.
Food and Potable Water: Deception Pass State Park will provide 15 gallons of potable water at the start of residency. Any additional potable water required will need to be transported by artist. Artist is responsible for all meals and meal preparation.
Accessibility: Due to the isolated nature of housing accommodations, this program does not meet ADA accessibility standards. If the applicant is in need of ADA accommodations and live close by, and need to use their own accommodations, they need not live in the State Parks owned facility, and are welcome to apply.
The deadline to apply for the 2022 program is end of day April 24th.
Applicants are welcome from a wide variety of disciplines including visual art (two and three-dimensional, photography, sculpture, painting, textiles, drawing, collage, among others), film, writing, music, performance art, dance, theater, new media, folk and traditional arts, and many other disciplines.
Applicants must submit the following:
- 3-5 digital samples of work
- Artist biography (if accepted, this bio will be used on social media and other outreach)
- Most recent CV/resume
- One professional and one personal reference
- Artist statement of interest
Representatives from Deception Pass State Park, DPPF, and WSPRC’s Folk & Traditional Arts Program will review the submissions and select top candidates to interview. Selections will be made based on merit and understanding of the mission of the agency. Selections will be made without regard to race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, disability, marital status, veteran status, or age.
Residency will be contingent on passing the volunteer program’s background check and proof of COVID vaccination.
There is no fee to apply.
For additional information, please contact by email at DeceptionPass.Interpreter@parks.wa.gov or by phone at 360-675-3767.