Tuesday, Nov 29, 2011
At the turn of this century, the Florida Everglades was much in the news with the new water restoration plan passed by Congress in 2000. Florida-born New York artist Donna Marxer thought it would be a great idea for artists and writers to be able to come to Everglades National Park, live there for a month and create works that celebrate this unique corner of the earth. The Park eagerly agreed and joined 27 other national parks that host artists, and it has been a huge, 10-year success.
For the AIRIE program, the Park provides housing and care for the residents under its volunteer program. In return, the artists provide programs for Park visitors, such as exhibitions, workshops, and lectures. And, most important, they donate an art work or literature that then becomes part of the Park’s AIRIE Collection.
The Everglades is unique, one of the most amazing places on earth, and it is an important contribution to our heritage that this place be interpreted with the magic that only art can provide. In ten years, 75 artists and writers, known as Everglades Fellows, have come to the Park to live and work in staff housing that serve as studios, and have produced some astounding works.