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Installation Artist and Photographer Selected as First Fort Union Monument Artists-in-Residence

Santa Fe, NM, September 28, 2015 --( Fort Union National Monument’s first Artists-in-Residence will be sculptor & installation artist, Marlene Alt and landscape photographer Steven Martin:

The National Parks Arts Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit, is pleased to be working with the National Park Service at Fort Union National Monument to provide the inaugural Fort Union National Monument Artist-in-Residence (AiR) program. The artists, selected by a panel of judges, will spend the beautiful late fall months of October and November 2015 at the historic Northern New Mexico monument.

October’s resident, Marlene Alt, based in Ashland, Oregon, is originally from North Dakota. Her work is focused on how the often melancholy material traces of everyday culture resonate and awaken in constructed contexts as symbolic landscapes. Alt’s fascination with the rich interaction between inner landscape of culture and history and the outer landscape of natural phenomena makes her a fitting choice for the mysterious character of the remnants of Fort Union.

Marlene Alt's work has been shown in solo and group exhibitions in museums, university art galleries, and non-profit spaces, such as the San Jose Museum of Art, the Nevada Museum of Art, the Yellowstone Art Museum, the Portland Art Museum, Northern Arizona University Museum, the Ohio University Art Gallery, A+D Gallery, Columbia College, Chicago, and the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, Grand Rapids, MI.

November’s artist, Steven Martin, comes to landscape photography, a bit unusually, from a long career as a BLM Law Enforcement Officer. Now retired, he still feels passionately about public lands issues and uses his creative vision to interpret lands that he knew well in his working life: “I wish to continue in this effort through the imagery of my photography and help/work with others to make beautiful images of important natural, cultural and historic resources. Photography is a powerful medium that can be used to educate, inspire, and garner appreciation of the National Treasure these public lands and resources are, which should remain in the public trust in perpetuity for the benefit of all.”

“National Parks have always welcomed artistic interpretations in support of land advocacy,” said Charles Strickfaden, superintendent of Fort Union National Monument. “We are pleased to host artists who communicate complex and contemporary issues through their chosen medium.”

Fort Union National Monument, located in Mora County near Watrous, New Mexico, was the largest frontier military post and supply center of the southwest. It also was the hub of commerce, national defense, and migration at the final stretch of the Santa Fe Trail. The richly evocative remnants of a post-civil war era adobe fort became a National Monument in 1954 under the Eisenhower administration. The Fort Union National Monument Artist-in Residence program will be another interactive public feature to highlight and honor the upcoming Centennial of the National Parks in 2016.

This program, implemented with great success by NPAF at other National Parks, allows visitors to see the Monument through the eyes of world-class artists and visionaries. Fort Union’s Artist-in-Residence will also directly interact with monument visitors by speaking about their art projects and interests during on-site workshops and lectures.

The AiR program is made possible through the philanthropic support of donors of all sorts ranging from corporate sponsors, small business, and art patrons and citizen-lovers of the Parks. NPAF ( is always seeking new partners for its wide ranging Artist-in-Residence programs.
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National Parks Arts Foundation
Cecilia Wainright

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