Selected Artists - North Rim - 2011

Archive of Past Artist - for reference only

At the close of the 2017 Season, Both North Rim and South Rim AiR Programs will be been suspended indefinitely.

You may check this webpage periodically for updated information. If you have further questions, you may email us at

Monet'sGardens Sharin for website
Monet's Garden at Giverney
digital print on watercolor paper 2004

Photographer Sharin Smelser is the first 2011 north rim artist-in-residence.

Sharin lives in Berkeley, California and holds her BA from the University of California in Santa Barbara and her MFA from Mills College in Oakland California.

Sharin: "My Photo-quilt series combines two long-time interests: photography and quilting. I arrange photographs in a collage using the color theory and patterns of traditional American quilts. Each "quilt" is composed of multiple images deriving from a common theme or location. My goal is to produce a photo-collage that appears as a quilt when viewed from a distance and as a series of small photographs upon closer inspection."

Check at the Visitor Center to find out when and where Sharin's public demonstrations will be offered. While in residence she will focus on creating a Photo-quilt using an American quilt or Navajo rug pattern. Photographs are from her journeys to and into the Grand Canyon.

Thea at the North Rim

Writer/poet Thea Gavin is the second 2011 north rim artist-in-residence.

Thea is a native Orange, California and holds her BA in English from Concordia University in California and her MFA from Spalding University in Kentucky. She is an Associate Professor in English at Concordia University in California. Her poetry appears in many publications including New Poets of the American West and Fishtrap Anthology 2009.

Thea: "Spending time outside recording facts and feelings, details and ideas, has been a vital part of my writing practice over the years. My relationship with the landscape deepens when I absorb it, write about it. Each place has its own stories of wind and dirt and creatures and clouds. What a glorious struggle: to make sense and beauty out of each place via words, lines, sentences, stanzas, poems. That's the feeling I hope to inspire in others via my creative writing hikes - a connection to the land. To slow down and observe is to connect in a whole new way, especially as a person engages in the creative discipline of searching for words to translate the experience into something that can be shared with others."

Check at the Visitor Center to find out when and where Thea's public demonstrations will be offered. While in residence she will focus on writing a new body of poetry that will deepen not only her own, but others' connection to "one of the Earth's most powerful and scenic natural landscapes."

Mountain Meadow Mariposa

"Consider the lilies of the field." Matt. 5:28

By Thea Gavin

I have considered you, astonishing

mariposa lily - here for a few

tomorrows in your wine-

stained petal blouse of pink.

No other wild blossom whispers

half so clearly: let us shirk

responsibility with bunch grass

in the bright skirl

of meadow light between wide pines,

all of us rooted and free,

owing our future to the wind

that combs the grasses summer afternoons

so full of the invisible-

pollen, maybe, courage for what's next.


Ruane Miller, painter, is the third 2011 north rim artist-in-residence.

Ruane lives in Weehawken, New Jersey and holds her BFA from Tyler in Philadelphia and her MFA from Rochester Institute of Technology in New York. She is a Professor of Art at The College of New Jersey. She has previous experience as an artist-in-residence for Petrified Forest National Park. Ruane's artwork is in numerous private collections here and abroad and in public collections including Museum of Art in San Francisco and the National Park Service Fine Art Collection.

Ruane: "I have explored and studied the landscape, the flora, and the cultures of the Southwest and the natural, preserved "wilderness" environments in the Northeast over the past twenty years. This "research" has formed the basis of my artwork and has enhanced my understanding of the impact of the environment on our sensibilities and the quality of our lives. My art, often an intuitive interpretation of this exploration and experience, is an expression of my advocacy for the preservation and maintenance of natural and wilderness spaces. I look forward to the creation of a new series of images dedicated to the Canyon's physical and spiritual space. I will create visual interpretations of the regenerating energies of water and wind, the ever-changing color and light, and the variable sounds of day and night."

Check at the Visitor Center to find out when and where Ruane's public demonstrations will be offered. While in residence she will focus on developing new prints and paintings that are directly inspired by the unique exposure to the Grand Canyon.


Painter Mark McGinnis is the fourth 2011 north rim artist-in-residence.

Mark lives in Boise, Idaho and holds his BS in Education from Northern State College in Aberdeen, South Dakota and his MFA in Painting from University of Illinois. He is a Professor Emeritus of Art at Northern State University in Aberdeen, South Dakota. His work is in public collections including The Museum of Modern Art Library in New York.

Mark: "My paintings often point to realities and truths that are present but not always sensed. Much of what is happening around us is beyond our abilities or habits to see. Habits such as when we are so in our thoughts that we cannot see what is around us - lack of abilities such as the incapacity of our eyes to see the billions of galaxies that swirl around us in space or the trillions of atoms that spin within our bodies. My paintings attempt to reveal both the seen and bits of the unseen - dealing with connections, cycles, and relationships in the natural world. I can think of few other locations on the planet that is more suited for this metaphysical musing connected to landscape than the Grand Canyon."

Check at the Visitor Center to find out when and where Mark's public demonstrations will be offered. While in residence he will focus on "metaphysical" landscapes that continue the stylistic and conceptual direction of previous paintings.

Tony for website_
Tony Amadore

The fifth and last 2011 north rim artist-in-residence is singer/songwriter Tony Amadore.

Tony lives in Orlando, Florida. He has over 40 years experience writing and performing original music and lyrics that evolved from "Americana" genres including folk, country, rhythm and blues, rock and roll and jazz. He plays guitar, bouzouki, bass, banjo, mandolin and harmonica. As a professional musician he performed at the famed Cellar Door and toured with Tom Paxton.

Check at the Visitor Center to find out when and where Tony's public demonstrations will be offered. While in residence he will focus on writing and performing songs that relate to Grand Canyon.


Last updated: September 28, 2016

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