Journalism graduate student chosen as artist-in-residence in the National Parks Residency Program
Mark Maynard, a graduate student at the Reynolds School of Journalism and professor of English at Truckee Meadows Community College, has been chosen to attend the School of the Arts at the University of Nevada, Reno and the Artists Program this summer. residence of the Great Basin National Park Foundation. As one of two selected artists, Maynard will participate in a multi-week camping residency in Grand Bassin National Park from July 22 to August 7.
“I was so excited when I got the email that I had been cast,” Maynard said. “I am particularly honored to have been chosen as a literary artist, as often these application materials do not have the same obvious aesthetic appeal as materials submitted by visual artists.”
As a finalist in last year’s program, Maynard was motivated to reapply this year. The residency allows artists to step away from everyday life to draw inspiration from nature and produce creative works. Maynard plans to hold a public event in the Star Amphitheater during his residency to interact with park visitors.
“I invite people to share with me not only their stories of why they traveled to visit Great Basin National Park, but also anything significant, [such as] a walking stick, a favorite hiking hat, or a postcard from the gift shop, to be recorded in a ledger,” Maynard said.
As a result, he hopes to create both an archive of travellers’ objects, sketches and stories, as well as a piece of narrative fiction inspired by some of their tales and objects.
“I’m very interested in how we come to understand past peoples and cultures through the artifacts left behind by them,” Maynard said. “I want to create a snapshot of a specific place and time through artifacts and stories.”
Maynard hopes this collection will be seen and interpreted by people in the distant future. He will use the skills he learned at Reynolds School to inform his time in the park and the resulting work.
“The Reynolds School has really broadened my ideas and my skills used in storytelling,” said Maynard, who will graduate with a Master of Arts in Journalism in the spring of 2023. “I’m more comfortable now integrating multiple modes and media in my work and I hope to be able to incorporate more audio and visual elements into what I produce during residency and beyond.”