Artist-in-Residence Program at Canyons of the Ancients National Monument

Explore Creativity in a Cultural Landscape

The Canyons of the Ancients National Monument (CANM), in collaboration with the Southwest Colorado Canyons Alliance (SCCA), invites artists to partake in a transformative residency amidst one of the United States’ richest cultural landscapes. This unique Artist-in-Residence (AiR) program offers a profound connection between art, history, and nature, fostering creativity and inspiration in an extraordinary setting.

About the Monument

Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, designated in 2000, encompasses 174,000 acres of awe-inspiring high desert terrain, holding the highest density of cultural sites in the country. These sites, estimated to number around 30,000, reflect human habitation spanning over 10,000 years. The monument is the ancestral home to 26 Associated Tribes and Pueblos, preserving their cultural heritage and traditions within its rugged beauty.

Program Highlights

  • Residency Period: Two weeks, with flexible options for longer stays.
  • Location: Nestled in the Four Corners Region of Southwest Colorado, near Cortez and Mesa Verde National Park.
  • Stipend: $600, generously provided by SCCA.
  • Exhibition: Showcase your work at the Canyons of the Ancients Visitor Center & Museum.

Residency Seasons

  • Summer Residency: Exclusively for Indigenous artists, fostering a deep connection with ancestral lands. Two weeks ending with a public event on the fourth Saturday in June at our annual Four Corners Indigenous Art Market.  
  • Winter Residency: Open to artists of all backgrounds, promoting diverse artistic perspectives. Two weeks ending with a public event on the second Saturday in February. 

Your Experience

Artists will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the cultural and natural wonders of CANM, engaging with its extensive collections through guided tours and research opportunities. You will host one public event, contribute a piece of art to the CANM/SCCA AiR collection, and embody the principles of responsible stewardship and conservation.


Housing accommodations have been generously provided by Willowtail Springs Nature Preserve and Education Center, nestled on 60 acres in Mancos, CO. This non-profit, dedicated to fostering creativity and environmental stewardship, offers lodging and studio space for artists, fostering creativity in a serene environment where art and nature coexist harmoniously. To learn more about our wonderful partner, who enhances our community by nurturing a creative network of artists and ecologists, please visit:

Application Requirements

  • Application Form
  • 5 to 10 digital samples of work
  • Resume
  • Public event proposal
  • Application questions about your motivation and goals for the residency
  • Donation to SCCA

The Artist in Residence application period for 2025 is open August 1-31, 2024. 

Click here for full program details | Click here to apply

Contact Us

For more information, contact:

Markleigh Swanson
Southwest Colorado Canyons Alliance
Executive Director

Amala Posey-Monk
Canyons of the Ancients National Monument
Supervisory Park Ranger
Visitor Services and Recreation Program Manager

Join us at Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, where history, culture, and creativity converge, inspiring a new generation of artists.