LIBERTY ISLAND — Professional artists will join the huddled masses of tourists on Liberty Island this summer.
The National Park Service is about to launch its first-ever artist residency on Liberty and Ellis islands, in honor of the Statue of Liberty's reopening this fall after a year of renovation and construction.
The federal agency is now accepting applications from artists who want to spend the month of July in Lady Liberty's shadow, creating artwork that celebrates the statue's reopening and depicts its importance as a national symbol for more than a century. Painters, sculptors and photographers are all welcome to apply.
"It's an opportunity to see the Statue of Liberty in a different way," said Mindi Rambo, spokeswoman for the National Park Service. "We're excited to see what they come up with."
The artists will have access to libraries, archives and oral histories that are not available to the public, and will receive free living and studio space just across the harbor at New Jersey City University.
The National Park Service will award the residency to three to six artists based on an application including a short essay and samples of their work. The artists will spend between two and four weeks working on the island, and the resulting artwork will go on display in late fall, when the Statue of Liberty's base reopens to the public.
Applications for the artist residency are available online and must be postmarked by May 21.