"Art takes nature as its model," Aristotle asserted. Thanks to the Artists in Residence in the Everglades (AIRIE) program, our local eco-system can play muse to the artistic machinations of photographers, performance artists, writers and thinkers. The programs allows artists to shadow scientists (who know the land well enough to not step into a 'gator's nest) for one month and use the experience as inspiration to create, well, anything.
See the artistic fruits of these residencies in the Everglades from 5-8 p.m. this Sunday at the first AIRIE Summer Salon fundraiser taking place at an historic private home in the South Grove. On display will be works by past artists-in-residence Jules Buck Jones and Deedra Ludwig and more plus a sound installation and performance piece.
Current artist-in-residence, dancer Ana Mendez, who will perform at the event, says her experience in the Everglades has made her deconstruct movement to a basic, fundamental level. "The AIRIE residency has been a great opportunity to reflect on our relationship to nature. It has also been a time to meditate on some of the basic principles of my work, such as 'why dance?' "
AIRIE board member Deborah M. Mitchell hopes the artists' works and creative efforts brings attention to the importance of our ever-shrinking Everglades. "Our wilderness is finite, and historically we have looked to writers and artists for a deeper understanding of such places."
Lisa Elmaleh "Slash Pines"