Glacier National Park Announces Upcoming Artists-in-Residence

Between 2022 and 2023 six different artists will take on creative projects amid the park’s inspiring landscape.

By Mike Kordenbrock
A man painting at Lake McDonald in Apgar in Glacier National Park on June 11, 2020. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

Glacier National Park has announced its artists-in-residence for the summer 2022 and 2023.  

In total there will be three different artists participating in the program this summer, and another three in the summer of 2023. The first two are Ilana Goldman and Gabriel Williams. Goldman and Williams will begin their residency in early June. The two are described in a park press release as dancers, choreographers, educators and filmmakers “who create short dance films in spectacular natural environments.”

Their work focuses on the human relationship with nature and how it influences identity. Goldman and Williams have created three short films that have screened in 30 international film festivals and venues, and they plan on creating a short dance film in Glacier National Park that will investigate human impacts on nature. “They will specifically be addressing the plastic trash crisis, with Goldman wearing a costume made from plastic trash which she generated over a four-month period,” according to a park press release. Their residency is scheduled to conclude July 1.

Starting on July 5, the portraitist and documentary photographer Rosalyn Gerstein will begin her residency. Gerstein’s work aims at documenting the relationship between people and the environment, and exhibits of her work include interview quotes from subjects, according to a park press release. During her residency she plans to portray park stewards “who have dedicated their lives to preserving these public lands for future generations and exploring their motivation for carrying on this meaningful work.”

In addition to working as an artist, Gerstein has also taught art and creative expression to students from ages 4 to 94, according to the press release.  

Beginning in June 2023 knitting and textile artist Virginia Catherall will begin her term as an artist-in-residence. Catherall’s work is inspired by the landscapes of the west, and she uses knitting to interpret the history, science, geography and biology of an ecosystem, according to a park press release. “Whether it is color, texture, or form, the uniqueness of each piece makes the viewer or wearer more conscious of what the objects are and why the are wearing them,” the press release says.

In July 2023 photographer Ben Rusnak and Susan Bryant will begin their residency. Bryant has been rebounding from both breast cancer and a traumatic brain injury. Rusnak has documented her experiences, and during their Glacier residency the two will collaborate with images from Rusnak and haikus from Bryant that will “encompass visitors healing from their own traumas,” a press release says. “Their mission is to help visitors discover the transformative power of nature to not only preserve themselves but also our national parks.”

Artists-in-residence will be involved in public outreach programs. In the past, artist residency programming has taken the form of demonstrations, talks, exploratory walks or performances. Since 2006, Glacier National Park has hosted 36 different artists-in-residence.