A number of works of art inspired by the Everglades will be on display at the Homestead Old Town Hall Museum and ArtSouth through Councilman Stephen R. Shelley’s Artist in the Spotlight Program. The program, which highlights local artists by organizing exhibits accessible to the public, is hosting the Artist-in-Residence-in-Everglades (AIRIE) collection in an effort to inspire and educate our local communities of the importance of our neighbor, Everglades National Park.
“We are excited to create yet another partnership with Everglades National Park by working with the AIRIE program to bring this exhibit to Homestead that promotes public awareness and appreciation of the Everglades,” said Councilman Shelley, who developed the resolution to name Homestead as the Gateway City to Everglades and Biscayne National Park and is also working on a program that will bring free transportation from Homestead to both of our neighboring National Parks. “The collection is comprised of works by various artists who have participated in the residency program and who explore and express their vision of the Everglades through various media.”
Started in 2001, AIRIE has hosted a total of 109 artists and writers to Everglades National Park. AIRIE, Inc.’s purpose is to inform, connect, and support artists, writers and musicians who wish to be ambassadors for Everglades National Park. AIRIE offers artists an opportunity to live and work in the Everglades for one calendar month and allows them to develop a deep understanding of the Everglades, and then share their perspective through their work and creative public programs, such as exhibitions, workshops, and lectures.
“The perspective that is gained for an artist through the AIRIE program is then used to help raise awareness of the park in the public,” explained Park Ranger Kevin Bowles Mohr, who administers the program. “The idea is that when you bring artists in to live and work, they share their view of the national parks with their home communities and in some cases their home countries so they then become ambassadors for the park and the importance and uniqueness of our Everglades.”