Festivals & EventsUcross Founders Day

Saturday June 4, 2022

Explore the beautiful Ucross campus, visit studios, meet artists, and enjoy a picnic outside of the historic Big Red Ranch House.

About this event

You are invited to the inaugural Ucross Founder’s Day!

We are recognizing the centennial anniversary of our late founder, Raymond Plank, with an open house on Saturday, June 4. This is a rare opportunity explore the artist residency campus; preview the Ucross Art Gallery, which is currently undergoing renovation; and be the first to hear a major announcement about our 40th Anniversary plans.


11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tour the beautiful campus grounds, get a behind-the-scenes look at the studio spaces, meet artists, and enjoy a picnic outside of the historic Big Red Ranch House, one of the oldest standing structures in Sheridan County and part of the National Registry of Historic Places. Stoked will be onsite slinging the food truck’s wood-fired pizzas, or you can pack your own picnic. (Don’t forget your blanket!)

1 p.m. Join us in front of the Big Red Barn, which houses the Ucross Art Gallery, for a tribute to Raymond Plank and an exciting announcement about Ucross’s future.


Since the Ucross mission is to provide artists with uninterrupted time and space, it’s a very rare opportunity to visit the studios while the residency program is in session. You will be able to meet and visit the studios of composer Anahita Abbasi of San Diego, California; photographer Michael Kolster of Brunswick, Maine; and poet Adele Williams of Houston, Texas.


Ucross Founder’s Day is free and open to all. Parking is limited, and carpooling is encouraged. Registration is required, so get your tickets today!


Raymond Plank, born on May 29, 1922, grew up on his family farm in Minnesota. He entered Yale University in September 1940 but left just three months later, after the attack on Pearl Harbor, to enlist in the U.S. Army Air Corps Reserves. During World War II, he piloted B-24 bombers, completed 40 combat missions, and earned numerous commendations. After the war, Raymond went on to graduate from Yale, form an accounting and tax service and eventually co-found and become chairman and CEO of Apache Corporation.

In 1981, Raymond founded Ucross, and the residency program began welcoming its first artists in 1983. In the four decades since, more than 2,500 visual artists, writers, choreographers, and composers have been to Ucross, enjoying uninterrupted time, studio space, living accommodations, meals by a professional chef, and the experience of the majestic High Plains. Many alumni have gone on to earn national recognition, including 11 Pulitzer Prizes, nine MacArthur “Genius” Fellowships, nine National Book Awards, nine Tony Awards, two Academy Awards, and more.

Raymond passed away in November 2018 at age 96.

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