Artist in Residency

Meet the 2024 Artist In Residence

About the Program

The Role of Art in Conservation

The history of conservation is deeply intertwined with the history of art. Since ancient times, our human ancestors the world over created art to convey something of their time and how they imagine places in an ever-changing landscape. Our earliest human ancestors created petroglyphs, carvings and vast murals on cave walls hidden to us by time. In the 18th century, the romantic poets encouraged us to seek the sublime and not settle for ideas that aim to separate us from the fact we are part of nature and not, mere spectators. In the 19th century during westward expansion in America, it was the work of painters and photographers that inspired the creation of the National Park Service and the National Forest Service.

artist painting in the pando tree
Artist Kirk Henrichsen painting plein air style in Pando ~Photo by Lance Oditt

In more recent times, Robert Glen Ketchum’s documentary work on the Tongass National Forest played a critical role in land use policy in Alaska. Groups like The Place Collective in the United Kingdom Global Information Systems, poetry and land art installations to draw attention to our connection with the land, while projects like  Marshmallow Laser Feast’s “Wawona” use emerging technologies like computer generated art and virtual reality to educate people about Coastal Redwood trees.

Whether carvings or cave paintings, poetry or photographs, artists have played a vital role in conservation as creative partners who observe and document the world and re-assert our place as part of nature’s imagination.

A recent discovery in need of inspired stewardship...

Despite Pando’s estimated age of 9,000-years old, Pando’s size and scale were not verified until 2008, making it a recent discovery. Although human history in the Fishlake Basin spans some 8,000 years, the tree remained “hidden in plain sight” for most of that time.  As a result, we lack a record of the human experience of the tree and the land it calls home. 

In 2020, Friends of Pando began work to develop an artist-in-residency program, gathering feedback and insights from artist working in a variety of mediums with the goal to pilot the program in 2022.  Since that time, Friends of Pando has sponsored artists working in sound and image, prints and paint and fabric and clay to observe, record and communicate the human experience of Pando so it may be enjoyed for generations to come.

Program Overview

Modeled after successful programs on other US Forest lands, each artist who takes part in the program will earn a  stipend in advance in exchange for the following:

  1. Provide materials to create an artist page on our website
  2. Plan and undertake a visit to Pando
  3. Create a series of works about Pando over the course of the year (June to June)
  4. Write at least a 750 -word essay about the creation of works and their experience of the tree
  5. Provide images of their works to update their artist web page on our site
  6. Agree to submit at least one completed work work to the Pando Archive, an ever-growing library of creative works about Pando
  7. Work with us to document and promote the work on our social channels

Applying (2025 Season)

If you would like to take part in the 2025 season, please use the contact form below to introduce yourself. Please allows up to 3 weeks for a reply.  

Friends of Pando is dedicated and working to educate the public, support research and preservation efforts and inspire stewardship of Pando, the world’s largest tree.


Friends of Pando is a proud partner of Pando’s public land stewards, Fishlake National Forest of the U.S. Forest Service, Department of Agriculture. Learn more about our partnership.


Friends of Pando and its partners are equal opportunity employers.


Just $14 a month supports work to ensure Pando can be enjoyed for generations to come. Make a one-time or, recurring tax deductible donation today.

Friends of Pando
PO Box 12
Richfield, UT, 84701
Phone: 435-633-1893
IRS EIN: 87-3958681