Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge Complex
Southeast Region
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Artist-In-Residence Program Sam D. Hamilton Noxubee Wildlife Refuge
Partnership with MSU Department of Art in the College of Architecture, Art and Design, Starkville Area Arts Council and the Friends of the Noxubee Refuge

Artists in Public Lands
Artists have had a long-standing impact on the formation, expansion and direction of our national public lands. J.N. “Ding” Darling was a renowned editorial cartoonist who advocated conservation of our nation’s natural resources.  As father of the Federal Duck Stamp Program, founder of the National Wildlife Federation, creator of the Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit Program, “Ding” Darling and his artwork laid the groundwork for the systems of today’s National Wildlife Refuges. It was the visual records of early artists that helped to stimulate the importance of our public lands in conserving our wildlife and wild places. It is today’s artist that can continue this important legacy. Today, painters, writers, sculptors, musicians, composers, and performing artists continue to be inspired by and document our national landscapes with contemporary approaches and techniques. Artists are needed to translate the national wildlife refuge’s purpose, as a place where wildlife comes first, into images and other forms of art that bring enjoyment and a deeper understanding of the refuges. The Sam D. Hamilton Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge, Mississippi State University Department of Art, and the Friends of Noxubee Refuge are partnering on this Artist-In-Residence Program to continue this tradition.

Sam D. Hamilton Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge
Noxubee Wildlife Refuge is located across three counties in east-central Mississippi. The 48,000-acre refuge was established in 1940 and serves as a resting and feeding area for migratory birds and resident wildlife including blue herons, white-tailed deer, alligators, egrets, ibis, beaver, and the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker. The refuge contains wetlands, cypress groves, prairie grasslands, and forests. Complete information about the refuge can be found at

Artist-In-Residence Program
The Artist-In-Residence Program at Sam D. Hamilton Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge offers professional writers, composers, and visual artists the opportunity to pursue their artistic discipline while being surrounded by the refuge's inspiring landscape and wildlife. Selected artists stay in refuge housing for two- to four-weeks during each of three periods from March-April, June-July, and September-October.

The Artist-In-Residence Program aspires to share with the public the scenic beauty and stories of the refuge through the world of art. Artists will have the opportunity to participate in the daily and seasonal activities of park rangers, such as monitoring wildlife, as well as special events including acting as juror for the Federal Duck Stamp Program or the MSU Student Juried Exhibit.

Bluff Lake Residence
During spring, summer, and fall a house within the Bluff Lake Residential Unit will be the home of Sam D. Hamilton Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge’s Artist-In-Residence.

The 1960’s-built home, known as “The Ibis,” is located above the shores of Bluff Lake in the area of the original location for the refuge’s headquarters and manager’s home when established in 1940. The home is a three bedroom, one bath with fully equipped kitchen, living/dining area with a wood stove, and deck that overlooks the wooded water’s edge. There is central heat and air but no phone or internet; however, personal cellular phones and wireless data plans can be used from this location.

The home is fully furnished including linens and kitchenware. Artists must provide their own groceries and may choose to bring personal amenities. Pets are not allowed. Artists must provide their own art supplies and transportation for driving outside the refuge.

Artists-In-Residence Requirements
Artwork Donations: Selected artists participating in the Artist-In-Residence Program are asked to donate to the refuge an original piece of work from, and representative of their residency in Sam D. Hamilton Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge. This piece will serve to promote and celebrate the refuge and its wildlife. Donated artwork must be received no later than one year after an artist's residency.

View of Bluff Lake

Photo by USFWS

Artists are also required to provide the copyright for this artwork to the Fish and Wildlife Service and Mississippi State University. The Fish and Wildlife Service and Mississippi State University will not allow the commercial use of any donated artwork once accessioned into the program's collection. Artwork may be used in exhibits and for educational purposes by Sam D. Hamilton Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge, Mississippi State University, or Friends of Noxubee Refuge nonprofit cooperating association for their products.

1.    The artist retains a royalty-free, nonexclusive use license under the copyright of the art.
2.    The Fish and Wildlife Service owns the artwork and the rights to reproduce it. Under those rights, the artist has a license to make use of the artwork for his or her purposes. When artists reproduce artwork for their own purposes, publication information will include the language:
"This artwork was produced under Sam’s Artist-In-Residence Program at Sam D. Hamilton Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge.”

These creative works will be exhibited as frequently as possible and shared with the public through other appropriate means. Donated pieces not used for long-term use within the program's collection will be displayed and available for purchase at Friends of Noxubee Refuge gift shop.

All proceeds from these sales will be kept by the non-profit Friends of Noxubee Refuge and used for continued support of Sam’s Artist-In-Residence Program. These funds will be used to offset program operational costs.

Public Presentations:
Artists will present two 45-minute public programs during their residencies. This interaction can be tailored to an individual’s medium, interest, and experience using only a few hours of one’s stay. Programs can be demonstrations, talks, exploratory walks, or performances. Artists must provide their own supplies and equipment for these presentations. In addition, artists are requested to give public presentations in their communities about their residency experiences.  Any revenue generated (i.e., registration fees) as part of the presentations will be shared equally with the artist and the program. 

The Artist-In-Residence Program aspires to share with the public the scenic beauty and stories of Sam D. Hamilton Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge through the world of art.

How to Apply
Applications are accepted for the 2014 Program with postmarks dated October 1, 2013. Applications postmarked after the deadline will not be considered. Notifications will be made to finalists by December 15, 2013.

The Selection Process: A panel consisting of staff from Sam D. Hamilton Noxubee NWR, Mississippi State University Department of Art and Friends of Noxubee Refuge will choose five to six finalists, & two alternates. Selection is based on artistic merit, the Statement of Purpose, and appropriateness to a national wildlife refuge residency.

Program Management: Sam‘s Artist-In-Residence Program is managed by the main office of the Sam D. Hamilton Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge. It is a newly established program developed in partnership with Sam D. Hamilton Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge, Mississippi State University Department of Art, and Friends of Noxubee Refuge. The works completed under this program contribute to the public understanding and appreciation of our national wildlife refuges and create a legacy for future generations.

Click HERE for application or for additional information call: 662-323-5548






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Last updated: October 21, 2013