Great Smoky Mountains National Park is piloting an Artist-in-Residence (AiR) program which will provide artists with uninterrupted time to pursue their body of art work as well as the opportunity to engage and inspire the public through outreach programs. The program is a part of the National Park Service Volunteer program.
Each artist selected will have the adventure of living in and creating their art within the Park for 4-6 weeks. The resident artist will have an opportunity to create works and experiences that promote an understanding of the need to preserve and care for Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
“Artists have historically had a major impact on the formation of the National Parks,” said Superintendent, Dale Ditmanson. “The artwork of the western parks provided some of the first images of our nation’s iconic landscapes which, in turn, encouraged the American public to set aside those lands for future generations to enjoy. We are excited to continue the tradition of artists commemorating our landscapes through their original pieces of art.”
The park has selected the following seven artists for the remainder of 2012:
Tom Virgin from Miami, Florida; woodcuts
Kelly Adams from Greenville, North Carolina; painting and drawing
Michael Burke from South Bend, Indiana; filmmaker
Rob Wilson from Orlando, Florida; photography and writing
Leigh Ann Carter from Monterey Bay, California; scientific illustration
Michal Truelsen from Lowell, Massachusetts; paper relief images
In addition to resident artists, the Park has also selected Tagan Crowe, an EBCI tribal member and local student artist from Cherokee High School, to participate in the program. Tagan works primarily in oils and paints on large canvases and currently has an original painting on display at the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. He is the grandson of John A. Crowe, former Chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Tagan can be seen on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 12:30- 5pm at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center until Saturday, July 28.
Each artist will contribute a piece of original artwork which characterizes Great Smoky Mountains National Park and present two public programs. The programs will be announced by the park as they are scheduled.
The AiR program is possible due to support from Friends of Great Smoky Mountain National Parks and collaboration with Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts. To learn more about Great Smoky Mountains AiR programs, please contact Dana Soehn at 865-436-1265.