• The Florida panther's steely gaze - NPS/RALPH ARWOOD

    Big Cypress

    National Preserve Florida

About The Artists 2014-2015

April McKay- Photography & Ceramics
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
"As an artist-in-residence at Big Cypress National Preserve, I intend to highlight the true, beauty of the swamp and its many residents. Throughout my journey, my passion for nature and ensuring its preservation will resonate highly throughout my photographic and ceramic artwork. My images, taken at eye level with each creature, will connect viewers face-to-face with the various inhabitants of Big Cypress and capture their true essence and character. Typically, the animals and habitats that I have not yet photographed become the basis of my ceramic exploration."
April's residency at Big Cypress will be August 1-21, 2014.

Priscilla Humay- Painting & Drawing
Highland Park, Illinois
"Our nation’s untamed beauty continuously captivates me. For many years, I have explored the extraordinary features of the national parks and state parks throughout this country trying to create and document what I see and sense. I am intrigued with uninterrupted visuals as far as my eyes can see. Except for these parks, tranquility and non-intrusive treasures are a rarity.I have often hiked through areas of Big Cypress and always wished to record its raw beauty. There is a rhythm and emotion to this natural area that I want to share through my art. My intent is to capture the essence of this vast 'place' and emphasize its unique beauty. Vistas embellished by changing skies and existing flora and fauna are my inspiration."
Priscilla's residency at Big Cypress will be September 8-28, 2014.

Rachael McClellan Leonard- Modern Dance, Choreography, Performace, Videography
Port Orange, Florida
"I have had the great fortune to witness and even immerse myself in nature by trudging waist deep through swamp waters and watching a late day sun fall into the prairie at dusk. Iwould like to create a series of dance vignettes and videographic images that capture this same sense of synergy that I have felt personally when connecting with the Big Cypress ecoworld. Using one male and one female dancer, I plan to create an interactive dancework and film that depicts dancers coming in contact with various aspects of nature in supportive and symbiotic ways. I plan to exhibit dance bodies in tandem with the natural landscape. I envision this piece serving as an artistic rendition of the reversal of negative human impact that parallels the positive role the Preserve has played in remedying the damage. This project promises to be a stunning series of kinesthetic and scenographic moving images that reveal both the diverse beauty and the immersive nature of Big Cypress."
Rachael's residency at Big Cypress will be December 27 through January 3, 2015.

Photography - Micky Girardi
Hilton Head, South Carolina.
While I embrace technology by printing archival, giclee style prints, every one of my images are captured using 120mm film. While there are many great photographers shooting digitally, I believe that too much technology - overdigitalization in the process - waters down the craft of capturing an image. I feel there is a certain art to not only capturing light on a negative, but being able to create a final product from the tangible. I choose to shoot in black and white because it provides a unique set of challenges. I must strip down my subject of color and represent it in its true form. Shooting in black and white relies on subject matter and layout rather than color alone and while color evokes emotions quickly on the surface, my photos challenge the viewer to pause and look deeper into the image to see the beauty and mystique within.
Micky's residency at Big Cypress will be January 10-24, 2015.

Xiomaro- Photography
Roslyn Heights, New York
"I wish to 1) create a photographic collection of Big Cypress to emphasize the subtle beauty found in water reflections, soil formations, tree textures and other landscape details and 2) produce an experimental video celebrating the preserve through my experience and that of a park employee."
Xiomaro's residency at Big Cypress will be February 1-28, 2015.

Alyse Knorr- Poetry
Anchorage, Alaska
"The natural world is my most powerful inspiration as a poet. 'History' and 'wilderness' are two terms held in tension for me in many interesting ways. Nature is always growing and changing, yet in many ways, it is also timeless. I am fascinated by the effect that one's natural environment has on his or her thought process, emotions, and value system. I have lived in rural, suburban, and urban settings, and want to investigate how all of these types of settings can make up a unified 'America,' let alone one unified individual like myself. For this reason, it would be particularly inspiring forme to transplant myself from the arctic tundra of Alaska to the swamp environment of the Big Cypress National Preserve and see how this affects my writing."
Alyse's residency at Big Cypress will be May 31-June 14, 2015.

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