The story of America’s national parks has long been told through the heightened sensibilities of the country’s artists. The watercolors of Thomas Moran played an important role in convincing the U.S. Congress to set aside Yellowstone as the nation’s first national park in 1872. National parks are now called “America’s best idea.” Since that time artists continue to be inspired by national park landscapes and cultural and historic themes to create works that share their unique vision with the American public visiting our national parks.
Olivia Parkes is a British-American artist who currently lives and works in Berlin. She received her B.A. from Wesleyan University in 2011 with Honors in Studio Art and Art History and is now enrolled at the Universität der Künste Berlin. Olivia was AIR March-April 2014 and has close ties to the local area. In spring 2015, Olivia returned to Joshua Tree for a residency at BoxoProjects, where she expanded on some of the themes and imagery she had developed in the park. Joshua Tree visitor center is open every day 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. For more information about the Artist-in-Residence program, please contact Caryn Davidson at Caryn_Davidson@nps.gov or www.joshuatree.org/artist-in-residence.