Jill Osgood at Garfield Falls. The Portland artist will be a visiting artist at Baxter State Park this fall. Photo Carri Kivela

Artists across the world come to the Maine coast because of its challenging and rewarding vistas, and many of them treat painting trips to Ogunquit, Monhegan and Acadia as something like a pilgrimage. Far fewer artists and writers choose Katahdin and its surrounding woods and lakes, though they’ve been coming with the same zeal of their coastal compatriots and for just as long, led by Henry David Thoreau and Frederic Church.

This September, Portland painter, illustrator and book artist Jill Osgood will follow in the tradition of Thoreau and Church and spend two weeks as a visiting artist at Baxter State Park. She will stay at Kidney Pond Campground, and will host at least two plein-air sessions that will be open to the public, according to a press release from the park. Through the visiting artist program, the park provides a cabin for two weeks each year to a visual artist or writer.

“I am thrilled and honored to have the opportunity to spend two weeks exploring my surroundings on Kidney Pond and throughout Maine’s iconic state park. My work is inspired by both the natural and cultural history of Maine’s north woods, and my hope is to immerse myself and capture as much of the awe inspiring magic as I possibly can,” Osgood said in an email.

This is the second wilderness residency awarded to Maine artists in June. Earlier, the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry chose painter Michael Vermette as the Allagash Wilderness Waterway Visiting Artist for 2020. It’s a new program, designed to recognize the long tradition of artists heading deep into Maine’s inland woods and waters.

Vermette, who lives in Old Town, will spend two weeks at the Waterway’s Lock Dam Cabin. He also will host an open studio session and a public program.

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