The Hudson River School painters of the mid-1800s were instrumental in the birth of national parks. Until this time, American artists had focused primarily on portraits of people and depictions of historical events. The Hudson River School turned its attention instead to American landscapes, providing the public with its first interpretation of parts of the country most had never seen. Talk of preserving these great places ensued and the national park system was born.
Today, art continues to inspire us to protect these great places, even in post-pandemic 2021. SNP Trust provided the seed funding to launch Shenandoah National Park’s Artist in Residence program in 2013 and we are proud to continue to fund it annually. Artists live and work in the park for three-week sessions and engage park visitors in public programs.
2018 Artist-In-Residence, Malia Furtado.
2019 Artist-In-Residence, Matt Venuti.
In 2020, over 375 applications for the 2020 Artist-in-Residence program were received. 5 Artists were selected:
Because of Jennifer’s experience living in a variety of environments, including several major northeast cities and thru hiking the entire Appalachian Trail in 2003, she finds that the focus of her printmaking and photography is about observing landscape, land use and the conflict within those places. What is noticed when moving through a landscape or place is important for her and she make images based on that experience.
Harlan is considered one of the world’s premier contemporary enamelists. Over the span of his forty-year career, he has appeared in dozens of exhibitions and has his work in the collections of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London; the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra, the Shippo Art Museum in Ama-City, Japan; the Renwick Gallery at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. As an enamelist who melds time-honored techniques, Harlan has transformed expectations of the medium.
Susan’s contemporary landscape paintings are created from observations about the environment
and her personal experiences related to the changing local landscape. Her observations of nature, and related
research are an integral part of her artistic practice and serve as the foundation for the artwork that she makes.
Paul began burning and scorching wood and paper to create his images in the early 1990’s. Since then, his fire drawings have been shown in group and solo exhibitions in art centers, museums and galleries nationally. His current work evolved as a result of his conscious effort to embrace art historical traditions while rejecting the traditional processes.
Cody’s work concentrates on abandoned farms, crumbling homes, neglected churches, aging cemeteries, forgotten cars and other objects, set within the vastness of the southwestern landscape, which he expresses as a narrative of “the western abandon.” He works almost entirely with infrared film, using a range of different cameras, including a 4 x 5, a hand-made pinhole, and a 6 x 17 panoramic. Shooting pictures in the early-morning or late-afternoon with a black-and-white infrared film is what he enjoys best because of the dreamy effect and the length of the exposure times required to get a great shot.
This program was impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic in two ways. First, Harlan Butt was originally scheduled to be the artist-in-residence during the month of May, but the park and all lodging was closed.
Fortunately, we were able to reschedule Harlan for September. The second impact was that the public programs were adjusted to reflect the situation. This turned out to provide an interesting opportunity to film the artists and host watch party events with the artists which reached an audience in the thousands and provide greater publicity for the artist and the artist-in-residence program. Susan Danko hosted a private in-person event for the
donors and board members of the Shenandoah National Park Trust which was held outdoors and limited to 12 people to meet the requirements of the park’s Covid-19 safety plan.
May Artist- Julie Elkins received a BFA in Craft and Material Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2002. She first gained recognition for her porcelain sculptures exhibited at SOFA Chicago in 2003. From there, her work made its way into permanent collections of The Mint Museum of Craft and Design, The Fuller Craft Museum, and the Kamn Teapot Foundation. Working with porcelain, Julie builds miniature worlds filled with layers of details. The imagery she gravitates towards includes places, people or events in her surroundings that have a particular, haunting, beauty or intangible mystery. She studies the intricate entanglements of history and the physical residue of the inescapable reality of the passing of time. https://www.julieelkins.com/
July Artist- Lisa Lebofsky is a nomadic plein air painter, collaborating with nature and people. Lisa finds inspiration by traveling extensively, often to remote parts of the world, in order to immerse herself in different environments and cultures. To a great extent, these personal interactions inform what areas and what subject matter is ultimately painted. Currently, Lisa is in the midst of a multi-year mission to travel around North America painting en plein air, to better know the changes happening in our environment and the people it is affecting. https://www.lisalebofsky.com/
August Artist- In her sweeping abstract paintings, Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann merges traditional Chinese and Japanese ink painting techniques with an approach rooted in Western abstractionism. Katherine received her BA from Brown University and MFA from Maryland Institute College for the Art. She has attended many other residencies including at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. https://www.katherinemann.net/
September Artist – Matt Venuti is an internationally acclaimed singer-songwriter who accompanies himself playing rare and captivating melodic-percussive acoustic instruments developed in Switzerland, as well as the highly expressive and dynamic Electronic Valve Instrument (EVI) wind-synthesizer that he layers with a looper. Matt’s a longtime bandleader of The Venusians with deep musical roots in San Francisco. He’s also a poet and storyteller with a history of performing at major festivals, events and diverse venues throughout the Americas and abroad, including the Main TED conference and 4 different TEDx conferences. https://www.mattvenuti.com/
October Artist – Jerry Ginsberg strives to capture the very best of Nature’s beauty through photography and has photographed all 61 of the National Parks with his medium format camera. His photographs have been published in hundreds of magazines, books and travel catalogs including Backpacker, Sierra, National Parks, the Smithsonian and Outdoor Photographer. https://www.jerryginsberg.com/index