Valerie LeBlanc and Daniel Dugas

Valerie LeBlanc and Daniel Dugas

An Evening with AIRIE (Artists in Residence in Everglades)

Miami Bookfair International 2014

Tuesday, November 18th @ 7pm at The Swamp Pavillion

Look for the big tent at the southeast corner of N.E. 3rd Street and 2nd Avenue.

Science + Art:  Transformative Experiences in the Everglades

Despite its importance, abundance of wildlife, and great natural beauty, many people have never visited  the Everglades and only have a vague idea of it as a tangled swamp rife with pythons, mosquitoes and alligators.  AIRIE executive director and artist Deborah Mitchell and biologist Skip Snow will co-moderate a panel of five AIRIE artists on the transformative experience their residency in the Everglades has had on their work.  Audio composer Gustavo Matamoros, Visual artist Reed Van Brunschot, author Anne McCrary Sullivan, and multi-disciplinary Canadian artists Valerie LeBlanc and Daniel Dugas will share their recent experiences with the audience while a slide show of AIRIE art provides visual support for their moving narratives.

About the artists

LeBlanc and Dugas will debut their new project FLOW- BIG WATERS, a sound walk video produced in the Everglades National Park.  Recording and researching several aspects of this unique biosphere, this dynamic duo explored and experimented through tools of audio, writing, still and moving images to create a project available to the public through a link on their website. The root of their desire is to share the aesthetic joy of being there in the moment.

Matamoros will present Bats & Insects, a sound-scape audio composition on exhibit September 19-November 5th at the critically acclaimed Common Ground:  Artists in the Everglades at Florida Atlantic University. This Venezuelan composer is the driving force behind ISaw + Subtropics, the leading proponent of experiential music and sound art in the Southeast.

McCrary Sullivan has had poems widely published in literary and academic journals including The Gettysburg Review, the Southern Review, and Harvard Educational Review.  During and after her AIRIE residency, she accumulated thousands of hours paddling the waters of the Everglades National Park, which resulted in two books:   Ecology II: Throat Song from the Everglades and Paddling the Everglades Wilderness Waterway.

Van Brunschot is a visual artist who uses multiple mediums including sculpture, painting, performance and video.   Based on evoking memories of childhood, home life and a general commonality found in nostalgic experiences, her work examines transitions and places them in the public sphere.  Van Brunschot will discuss how her recent transformative residency experience has affected her studio practice.

About the Moderators

Biologist Skip Snow worked for the National Park Service for 38 years, the last 25 at Everglades National Park. He has evaluated the effects of water management on park wildlife, worked to reintroduce native species, and spent considerable time working on eradicating the Burmese python.  Since retiring in 2013, Skip has been pursuing a keen interest in the intersection of art and science, and continues to volunteer for the park as an emeritus wildlife biologist.

Artist and Executive Director of AIRIE, Deborah Mitchell, participated in the Artist-in-Residence program in Big Cypress in 2007.  Since then, environmental awareness and community outreach has been the focus of her multi-disciplinary work.  In addition to working with AIRIE fellows and organizing cultural programs, she curated The Preserve in 2012 and Flight: Aloft in the Everglades in 2014. Mitchell’s photographs can be seen in Swamplife, (Minnesota Press).

An evening with AIRIE in the Swamp Pavilion at the Bookfair will be an informative program which presents a nuanced look at the Everglades by letting AIRIE Fellows share their work and perspectives on the park with both local and international book lovers.