For Inspiration, Everglades National Park Inserts Artists Deep in the Swamp

Trisha Woolfenden for WLRN

Naomi Fisher, March 2013 AIRIE Fellow

Miami, FL April 1, 2013–Discussions of South Florida artist enclaves and art incubators typically reference places like Wynwood in Miami, FAT Village in Fort Lauderdale, or downtown Boynton Beach. Rarely do the Everglades enter into the conversation. Artists in Residence in the Everglades (AIRIE) could change that.

The program brings a different professional, working artist each month to reside in the Everglades National Park. They’re designated as Volunteers in the Park and live and work in a cottage/workspace in Long Pine Key. Each artist is given room to explore the park and draw inspiration from the natural surroundings. They also get plenty of solitude.

“It facilitates an immersive experience in the Everglades,” said Christy Gast, president of the AIRIE board of directors.

Twelve artists are selected each year. They represent a variety of mediums, with everything from painting and sculpture to poetry, music composition, and dance. One of the goals of the residency program is to put artists’ boots on the — sometimes muddy and mosquito-infested — ground to impart a more meaningful understanding of the Everglades. They then can go on to act as ambassadors for Florida’s imperiled “River of Grass.” Read More at WLRN