The Everglades, lovingly known as the “River of Grass” thanks to Marjory Stoneman Douglas’ iconic book of the same name, are now a host site for artists in residence. They can come and create among the natural setting of Everglades National Park as part of AIRIE, the Artists in Residence in Everglades Program.
The current artist in residence is Carol Hendrickson, a cultural anthropologist, visual artist and writer based in Vermont. On Sunday, May 19, Hendrickson will speak about her experience at AIRIE as part of an author talk at Books & Books in Coral Gables.
During her residency, which began on May 1, Hendrickson has been collecting words and images to use in the creation of “anthro-artist’s books.” She’s been engaging with different constituents of the park — park staff, visitors, AIRIE volunteers, and others—learning from them, joining in conversation with them, and, where appropriate, encouraging or even teaching them how to create their own visual notes.
“Carol will share the benefits and challenges for artists working in the Everglades,” said Sarah Michelle Rupert, AIRIE’s interim executive director. “At the talk, we’ll be taking questions and sharing news about the upcoming information session for our residency program, scheduled for May 22 at the Bakehouse Art Complex in Wynwood. Interested artists can learn all about the application process and residency at either event.”
Those applications are being accepted until June 1 and also new this year is the AIRIE Diversity and Inclusion Award. The Award is made possible the generosity of the Wege Foundation.
Thanks to the Foundation, AIRIE has $2,500 for up to three selected residents who will be awarded the 2020 Artists in Residence in Everglades cycle. The award is in addition to the $1,000 mini grant each resident receives. Winners will be announced in August.
The Award is part of a wider Diversity Initiative program aimed at celebrating and supporting the careers of emerging artists of color by working to remove or reduce economic barriers, expand access to this unique opportunity and promote inclusion among Artists in Residence in Everglades programs, artists and applicants.
Artist journal page from the Yucatan, Mexico by Carol Hendrickson, photo courtesy the artist.
AIRIE collaborates with like-minded organizations in Miami often “we try to connect with local organizations as much as possible. Just this past March we held a roundtable discussion in partnership with PAMM (Perez Art Museum Miami),” she says. “This gives us all a wonderful opportunity to build our community.”
Aside from giving artists a unique experience, AIRIE “is a way for us to show people you can advocate for the environment, in this case The Everglades, through the arts. The park rangers are so invested in our program and helping expose people to the fragile Everglades ecosystem.”
Carol Hendrickson will begin her author talk at 5:15 p.m. and she’ll be followed by Sarah Michelle Rupert at 6:15 p.m. for the Application Q&A where she’ll be joined by current and past AIRIE residents to address questions and share experiences of working in the Everglades.
Click here for full details on the talk at Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables
ArtburstMiami.com is a nonprofit source of theater, dance, music and performing-arts news. Sign up for our weekly newsletter and never miss a story.
Top photo: Artist Book by Carol Hendrickson, Costa Rica Interlude. Photo courtesy the artist