Bernheim now accepting applications for regional Artist in Residence program

By Bernheim

Program celebrates four decades of sponsoring art in nature

Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest celebrates four decades of its Artist in Residence program, with a series of regional and invitational residencies. The application period for regional artists is now open.

In honor of the 40th anniversary of the program in 2020, Bernheim has invited several nationally recognized artists whose work exemplifies its mission of connecting people with nature in new and exciting ways. During this milestone anniversary, Bernheim is focusing the artist in residence application process on regional artists currently living in Kentucky, and Clark and Floyd counties of Southern Indiana, with an honorarium of $2,000.

Bernheim will accept regional artists entries through Jan. 20. The selected artist will live at Bernheim for four to eight weeks, where they will create nature-related public art and explore new avenues in their work.

Established in 1980, Bernheim’s Artist in Residence Program annually awards artists the opportunity to live and create site-specific work inspired by their experiences while immersed in the natural environment at Bernheim.

In recognition of the 40th anniversary, two artists from around the country have been invited to tell their Bernheim “stories.” Lee Running, a drawing, sculptor and installation artist and Full Professor of Sculpture at Grinnell College Department of Art and Art History in Des Moines, Iowa, will be onsite in March. Running will design a site-specific, transparent, colorful window installation using native flora and Bernheim’s herbarium collection as inspiration. In April, Gabriella Boros, a drawer, printmaker, and photographer from Skokie, Illinois, will create a series of woodblock prints that celebrate eight Kentucky women whose spirits are invoked by eight Kentucky plants. Other exciting residency announcements will come as the year unfolds.

The Artist in Residence program is the centerpiece of Bernheim’s Arts in Nature program, from which also recently came the highly acclaimed Forest Giants in a Giant Forest installation.

Bernheim Executive Director Mark Wourms, Ph.D., said the program helps fulfill the vision of founder Isaac Wolfe Bernheim to unite in people their love of nature, beauty and the arts.

“In 2020, we will celebrate 40 years of this internationally renowned program that has hosted a multitude of sculptors, photographers, painters, printmakers, installation artists, videographers, and sound artists,” Dr. Wourms said. “The work created through this program allows our visitors to experience nature in a new way while enhancing awareness of Bernheim’s mission of connecting people with nature.”

In exchange for comfortable rustic housing, an honorarium, access to studio space, and staff support for the development of new work, artists will create a site-inspired artwork, temporary installation, or project as a donation to the Bernheim Foundation. Recipients are asked to engage the public with their work and process, which may include (but are not limited to) demonstrations, workshops, lectures, and participation in one of Bernheim’s programs or annual events.

Bernheim Visual Arts Coordinator Jenny Zeller, who manages the program and was a 2017 Bernheim Artist in Residence, says she is looking forward to 2020 for the chance to recognize the internationally renowned Artist in Residence Program.

“This is a really exciting time for arts at Bernheim. Not only are we able to invite selected artists from outside the region to the program whose work is especially relevant in 2020, but we are also able to increase creative opportunities for our regional artists. By focusing this year’s application call on regional artists with an increased stipend, we will get a better sense of how nature inspires artists on a local level. This is especially important as Bernheim continues to look for ways to incorporate the arts in our annual programming and events.”

To apply or learn more about the Artist in Residency program, visit

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