A name given to exhibitions of the National Park Foundation, a non-profit group formed in the 1980s to reinvigorate landscape painting as a legitimate subject for artists.
The stated goal has been to identify and promote artists “whose paintings best captured the ‘essence’ of the landscapes, wildlife, and history of the more than 300 units of our National Park System.
The first exhibition was in 1987, and from that time, Arts for the Parks exhibitions became annual events. An initial and ongoing goal of its organizers is to promote landscape as subject matter in American art, which has had a period of domination by abstraction.
However, in 2006, it was announced that the Arts for the Parks exhibition may be terminated as the owners announced that, although they would entertain an offer of buying, they wanted to retire.
Also controversy had arisen because participating artists were required to sign documents that allowed with little control of images of their entries.
The 2006 Arts for the Parks winner, possibly the last one, was Maron Hylton for “One of the Fallen”.