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Contact: Lauren Gurniewicz, 803-647-3969
Congaree National Park's winter Artist-in-Residence, Mary Gilkerson, will begin work on a mural in the park's Harry Hampton Visitor Center in January. Mary Gilkerson is Congaree's second Artist-in-Residence. A contemporary South Carolina painter, Mary finds inspiration in landscapes. She holds an MFA in drawing and painting from the University of South Carolina and works as a professor of art at Columbia College. For more information about Mary's work visit http://www.marygilkerson.com/.
As part of her residency, Mary invites the public to join her on several casual walks to observe the forest environment and find inspiration for the mural. Through these walks Mary will sketch park landscapes, looking for lines, colors and patterns. The walks will take place at 11:00 am on January 11, 18 and 25. Meet at the Harry Hampton Visitor Center. Visitors can bring a notebook and pencil for sketching, as well as a camera to document the landscape. Park visitors are also invited to meet Mary and observe her at work on the mural in the Visitor Center beginning in early January. The Harry Hampton Visitor Center is open 9:00 am-5:00 pm Tuesday-Saturday. "The Artist-in-Residence program provides a fantastic opportunity for all of us to see firsthand how the Congaree landscape can inspire us to create our own memories. I encourage park visitors to meet Mary and learn more about the program," said Superintendent Tracy Stakely.
Many artists spend time at national parks around the country gleaning inspiration, documenting their experiences, and sharing the arts with park visitors. Writers, sculptors, musicians, composers, painters, photographers and other arts draw on the parks for inspiration through the Artists-in-Residence program. The artists participate in public programs and donate works of art to their host park at the end of their residency. For more information about the nationwide Artist-in-Residence Program visit https://www.nps.gov/getinvolved/artist-in-residence.htm.