Wayne Rice (Artist-in-Residence, 1992)

A colored pencil drawing shows a water scene
"Scoville Point, Isle Royale National Park", 19” x 11 ½” colored pencil drawing, 1992

NPS/Wayne Rice

Isle Royale Reflection

"I always want my work to reflect a sense of emotional movement and a sense of the mysterious. As an artist-in-residence at Isle Royale, I wandered the forests alone with my camera for hours photographing beds of small green clover-like plants, lichens, wildflowers, piles of fresh leaves, ferns, and tree bark. I felt like I was in a mystical land, timeless and lush with the exotic and new, so different from the dry and dusty American Southwest. I began to incorporate these “textures” into my drawings. I used a drawing technique that employs interplays of light and color, texture and pattern to define a kind of visual habitat for both representational and abstract imagery. The Isle Royale forest floor images began to appear as background patterns and “fabrics” in my artworks and continue to do so.

The Dassler Cabin on Scoville Point was a special spot, wild, windblown and beautiful. The cabin was built by hand in the 1930s and the bottom half, made of natural stone, was covered in thick green moss and lichens. Small bent trees protected it from the wind. The next door tiny “bunkhouse” was my temporary studio for the next two weeks. We had no electricity, water was from a cistern, and an outhouse completed the accommodations. Most of our luggage was canned goods, diapers, and art supplies. The cabin interior was simple, comfortable, and stocked with many useful hardware items.

I spent my days roaming the nearby forest, walking the rocks along Scoville Point, changing diapers, cooking meals, and drawing in the bunkhouse. My son played on the little pebble beaches and chased island insects. With the help of a borrowed power boat we visited the far reaches of Tobin Harbor and saw fish, butterflies, moose, and many varieties of plants and birds. My time spent at Isle Royale National Park was precious to me. The island is a jewel that must be preserved and protected as wilderness."

- Wayne Rice*


About the Artist*

Wayne Rice was an Isle Royale Artist-in-Residence from August 1st to August 16th, 1992. He was born in Chicago, Illinois. As part of a military family, he grew up in New Jersey, Louisiana, Massachusetts, and Illinois. Trained in painting, drawing, printmaking, and mixed-media, he has also worked in experimental film, computer animation, commercial art, and publications design.

He completed his university degree at the University of New Mexico at Albuquerque and received teacher certification from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He was selected as an artist-in-residence with New Mexico and Wyoming, and is currently active with the artist-in-residence program in Colorado. His drawings, prints, paintings and mixed-media works have been exhibited in juried and invitational shows across the United States and are held in many private and corporate collections.

My artistic ideas come from a variety of interests. In the past my work included influences from computer generated digital imagery, dream imagery, Eastern mystic religious traditions, children’s art, historic Japanese Ukiyo-e color woodblock prints, southwestern Native American textile design, and American popular culture.

*[Source for all Wayne's page content: Root, Robert and Jill Burkland, editors. (2000). The Island Within Us. Houghton, MI: Isle Royale Natural History Association. p 34. Print.]

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Last updated: January 5, 2020

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