Four visual artists from around the country were selected from over 100 applicants to be resident artists in Zion National Park in 2013. Please look for these artists during their residency dates.
- February 4 – March 3: Evelyn McCorristin Peters, oil painter from Myakka City, Florida
- April 1 – April 28: Michael Wong, graphite artist from Minneapolis, Minnesota
- September 2 – September 29: Kimberly Harris, watercolor painter from Phoenix, Arizona
- October 14 – November 10: Rebecca Fogg, mixed media artist from Emeryville, California
Each artist spends 30 days living in the Grotto House in Zion National Park. Through exploration, drawing, painting, and photographic studies, they immerse themselves in the unique landscape of Zion and find inspiration for their work. In addition to practicing and demonstrating their art, each artist conducts presentations on their artwork, their residency experience, and the connection between art and landscape preservation.
AMERICA’S PARKS Through the Beauty of Art is an exhibition competition open to all artists, the purpose of which is to recognize and promote excellence in original artworks depicting any park (national, state, provincial, county, city, or private) in North America (Canada, Mexico and The United States). Selections for AMERICA’S PARKS I were made by a professional jury consisting of: M. Stephen Doherty, Editor, PleinAir™ Magazine; Susan T. Fisher, Past President, American Society of Botanical Artists and former Director, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum Art Institute; and Todd Wilkinson, Managing Editor, Wildlife Art Journal. The 2013 inaugural exhibition of AMERICA’S PARKS Through the Beauty of Art is scheduled as the first of three, with others to follow in 2014 and 2015. The 2013 inaugural exhibition will premiere in Bolivar, Missouri from March 17 – April 14, 2013 at The Ella Carothers Dunnegan Gallery of Art. The photographs that follow represent the top 100 artworks selected by the jury.
One of the great joys of helping to judge an art competition is being able to see how highly creative people interpret a common theme. That was certainly the case with this exhibition as the artists who submitted images offered their unique interpretation of the subject, “America’s Parks Through the Beauty of Art.” Some of them offered intimate landscapes and botanical illustrations of nature’s smallest and most contemplative subjects, while others submitted expansive views of national parks and sprawling urban respites. That variety made the judging process more difficult, but also more rewarding.
I was also pleased to see that the competition attracted entries from artists who were less experienced in handling paint as well as those who are acknowledged masters of their craft. That means the subject of the competition had a broad appeal and inspired artists of all levels of ability and experience. Ultimately, an exhibition with this theme should inspire artists and observers to consider the beauty and importance of parks, and I think the entries I reviewed certainly provide that has already happened.
M. Stephen Doherty, Editor, PleinAir™ Magazine
Scene + Heard – Sarasota Observer
Date: December 21, 2011
by: Heidi Kurpiela | A&E Editor
Here’s a big shout-out to local artists Evelyn McCorristin-Peters and Meg Pierce, who were each awarded residencies at Weir Farm, in Wilton, Conn.
Located in the only state park devoted to art, Weir Farm grants just 12 residencies a year — one for every month. Coincidentally, McCorristin-Peters and Pierce were granted back-to-back residencies.
McCorristin-Peters will occupy the residency in January; Pierce will fly up in February. And get this: The two women didn’t even know one another before this. Hello, small world.
McCorristin-Peters is a Myakka artist known for her landscapes, still life and animal portraits rendered in lush oil paints. Her commissioned dog portraits are hugely popular and almost Van Gogh-ian in nature.
Pierce is a former art teacher who has worked out of her Towles Court studio for nearly seven years. A mixed-media artist, she received the John Ringling Towers Fund Award for an individual artist in 2009. A meticulous artist with an eye for detail and near-kaleidoscopic layering, Pierce’s work often includes photography, found objects and vintage fibers.
You’re the only Floridians I know who are planning to fly north in the dead of winter to hole yourselves up on a remote Connecticut farm.
“In the Florida art world Evelyn McCorristin Peters is the one to watch.
Her sensitivity to her surroundings is translated to the canvas
with a keen intellect and original aesthetic. The joy of light and life sparkle and coexist with both substance and mischief. As a result her work is not only beautiful but engages the viewer in anew with every encounter.
A painting by Evelyn McCorristin Peters is a sound investment in a lifetime of visual pleasure.”
Irene Gorman, Creative Director, Gorman Multimedia
“I would like to use this opportunity to personally recommend Evelyn. I got to know her online through twitter many years ago, and have followed her work through the years. I love her use of color and personal kindness, always willing to support and help others. This was also displayed in 2010, when I organized an exhibit in Norway for charity,where she participated to raise funds for children’s library books. 260 artists participated, but Evelyn’s work stood out. Since then we have kept in touch online and I wish her all the best.”
David Sandum, Artist/writer, Artist
“Evelyn McCorristin Peters has repeatedly demonstrated her professional business skills and artistic talents with passion and integrity. I would recommend Evelyn for her artistic services whether for a commissioned painting, gifts, or other business needs. Evelyn offers prompt communication and attention to details with her paintings and products. Her art work is of great quality, style and beauty. She has always responded promptly in communication with me. She works to please the needs of her clients. You’ll definitely be rewarded by the beauty and the unique style of her paintings.”
Allison Reece, CEO, Professional Artist, Sales Manager, and Blogger, Allison Reece Fine Art
“Evelyn created the most beautiful tribute painting of my parent’s departed Westie, Kirby – from a photograph, with her own great command of color and creativity. She really caught the spirit of the little guy and my family deeply appreciates having the memento. So easy to work, even from afar – we met on Twitter (!!!), I in Colorado, Evelyn in Florida and my family in New Jersey. A+++ experience!”
Myakka River State Park has been a beloved hiking, fishing, camping and wildlife observation destination for decades.
It’s also a favorite place for artists.
To show their appreciation, many of the region’s finest creators of visual beauty will be in attendance selling their works via silent auction at the second annual “Wild: Artists & Animals of Myakka” benefit.
The $35 event takes place Sunday at the park’s South Pavilion and features “eclectic Southern food and drink” and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. the artwork will be on display for free at same location.
Host, The Friends of Myakka River, regularly partners with the Florida Park Service to assist, protect, restore and preserve the 57 square miles of wetlands, prairies and woodlands that spans Manatee and Sarasota Counties.
“I live 5 miles from the park and I’m there almost everyday,” said “Wild” exhibit curator Evelyn McCorristin-Peters. “We must preserve this for future generations.
“There are so many species disappearing and I’ve seen incredible things there. It’s really important to keep The Friends of Myakka River going — it’s one of the best in the state at helping parks.”
Fifty percent of all artwork sales this weekend go to The Friends of Myakka River.
Contributing artists include master black-and-white photographer Clyde Butcher, who maintains galleries in Ochopee and Venice.
Attendees will also be able to purchase a painting by Florence Putterman, a National Endowment Grant recipient.
And pastel specialist Craig Rubadoux should have no problem helping the park and its “Wild Scenic Myakka River” with his work.
In all, about 20 artists are showing paintings, original prints, drawing, photographs and sculptures that depict the fauna of the Myakka wilderness. Participants were asked to submit works that departed from the standard wildlife art.
In addition to serving as curator, McCorristin-Peters will also have an oil on canvas for sale titled “A Barred Owl Skull” (opening bid of $200).
“I actually found the skull in the park on one of my walks,” she said.
At last’s year’s inaugural “Wild” benefit, 75 percent of the works were purchased, raising more than $5,000 for the park.
McCorristin-Peters sold her paintings a “Dancing Manatee” ($300) and “Snapping Turtle Two” ($175).
“It’s nice to know you’re being recognized and raising money for the park,” she said.
Established in 1934, Myakka River State Park offers a form of tropical escapism rarely found these days in the highly developed Sunshine State.
Parks hours are 8 a.m. to sunset daily. Entrance fees are $6 per vehicle for two to eight persons. Attractions include everything from air boat rides to narrated tram tours.
Numerous animals can be spotted from the tree-top canopy walk and 7 miles of paved bike trails as well as the 39 miles of hiking trails.
Observe ancient alligators on the river trail or while in the canoe/kayak.
Get lucky and maybe you’ll spot a Florida panther.
“I moved back down here eight years ago from Delaware and was so happy to find the park,” McCorristin-Peters said. “As an artist, it has been a real inspiration.”
Wade Tatangelo, features writer/columnist, can be reached at 745-7057. Visit his blog at bradenton.com/blogs.