The Friends of Virgin Islands National Park Artist-In-Residence program aims to help Virgin Islanders explore and develop their creative talents. The program assists the artist by promoting their work, offering mentorship, and providing work experience and financial support.The Friends of Virgin Islands National Park is committed to enriching local talent, investing in preserving Virgin Islands culture, and connecting creatives to the Park.

We believe that good conservation work does more than address the environmental challenges we see today. It connects people with their environment and invests in the future.

Kayden Richards |Photographer-In-Residence 2022 & 2023

Kayden Richards is an ancestral native Virgin Islander from St. John. Fascinated with animals and nature, he grew up watching hours of Animal planet, nature documentaries, and looking up to his grandfather Alva Richards who was pretty much an animal whisperer. Kayden graduated high school in 2016 in Georgia with little to no idea what he wanted to do or be aside from that it would have to be nature and animal related. On moving back home to St. John, he worked at the Animal Care Center and saved up to buy his first camera, a Canon Rebel T6. As soon as he picked up that camera he knew what his main subject matter would be. Kayden has been on a bumpy, self awakening, beautiful journey since.

On his behalf, the Friends applied for, and managed a major grant from the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands with funding provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities.  The grant funded a project entitled: Personal Legends - A Visual Documentary Of Virgin Islanders.

Kayden's website was designed and developed by Friends and showcases his talent.  Visit his website as well as his online store to see more of his work and purchase prints. Follow him on instagram.

Kayden Richards
Kayden Richards

Virgin Islanders preferably based on St. John and interested in being considered for the Artist-In-Residence position should contact Paula Smail at