The Wrangell Mountains Center (WMC) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is connecting people with wildlands through art, science, and education in the Wrangell Mountains. The Wrangell Mountains Residency Program aims to support artists of all genres, writers, and inquiring minds. Our organization and community will provide a unique and rustic workspace located in heart of the nation’s largest national park. We invite applicants with creative and inquisitive minds who will both add to and benefit from the interdisciplinary efforts at our community hub in McCarthy, Alaska and the surrounding Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve.
Located in the center of McCarthy, a small mountain community, and within the boundaries of the nation’s largest unit of the national park system (over 13 million acres), our vast and spectacular setting provides a unique natural and cultural environment for the WMC. Positioned near ice-capped mountains, the roaring Kennicott River and McCarthy Creek, and the raw terminus of the Kennicott Glacier, the local landscape is a dynamic laboratory for study in ecology, glaciology, and geology. The town of McCarthy was established during the copper mining period in the early 20th century. After the local copper mines were abandoned in the 1930s, the once booming community virtually became a ghost town, but as the national park was established in the 1980s and with the growth of local tourism, McCarthy has been rediscovered by everyone from Alaskans to international travelers. Many historic sites and buildings in McCarthy and Kennecott combine to make the area a rich cultural environment, hosting vibrant communities full of character and dynamic narratives. It is an ideal place for contemplation and creative endeavor.
The Old Hardware Store (OHS), located next to McCarthy Creek at the end of main street McCarthy, is the heart of the WMC where meals are prepared and shared among staff, volunteers, and program participants. The OHS was built in 1911 as a town general mercantile and was converted into a community hub for arts and sciences in the 1980s. This 100 year old building is currently on the National Register of Historic Places. Across the street from the OHS is Porphyry Place, a former homestead cabin, where artists, scientists, and locals give public lectures and weekly youth programs take place. Located behind Porphyry Place is one of three gardens at the WMC, including a small greenhouse, which supply the WMC kitchen with fresh greens throughout the summer months. Residency participants will have the opportunity to experience and contribute to the sustainable living system at the WMC.
Each resident will be provided with a private and furnished live/work space. The smaller of the two is a cozy 12’ x 12’ standalone cabin with a small wood burning stove, desk, and twin size bed. The slightly larger studio is located on the second floor above a small workshop and includes a small propane heater, work tables, and queen size bed. There is an outhouse located just a few paces from both spaces. The studios are not equipped with electricity, but the long Alaskan summer days provide ample natural light for many hours and small electronics can be charged on our solar power system at the OHS. Residents will have access to common areas on campus and simple, healthy meals (mostly vegetarian) will be provided and shared communally with WMC staff, students, and visitors.
Our remote location limits the ability of visitors to obtain many goods and services in the area. Participants should come prepared with all the necessary research materials and art supplies since they are not available for purchase locally. Please communicate specific needs for the residency period to ensure enjoyment and productivity. Internet access can be purchased on a personal computer, but the ability to charge electronic devices is dictated by solar power availability, which can be limited in inclement weather. Laundry opportunities are available.
Read about our past residents from 2014-2017.
- Provide work time and space for artists inspired by the wildlands of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve
- Facilitate a personal experience with the dramatic landscape and sense of place
- Foster meaningful connections between artists/writers and the McCarthy community
- Provide educational opportunities for locals and visitors at the WMC
- Create lasting collaboration and development between artists in residence and the public space and local community
- Promote professional and personal relationships between artists in residence
Meg Hunt Residency:
Artists and writers of all genres and stages in their career are encouraged to apply for one of several two-week residencies. The WMC will make selections through a competitive admissions process. We hope to encourage emerging and mid-level career voices as well as mature professionals. Selected artists will receive room and board for their entire stay in exchange for community outreach or the donation of artwork as a result of the residency. During the residency, the artist will be asked to share their experience with the public by demonstration, talk, or other means. The presentation will depend on the artist’s medium, interests, and experience. This exchange component will be outlined before resident arrival but may be revised on-site. The WMC will assist with arranging transportation (within Alaska) if needed.
In 2018 we plan to host four residents on the following dates:
- July 30 - August 13
- August 16 - 30
The Meg Hunt Residency Program is sponsored in part by the Alaska State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts