For the last 14 years, the Artists in Residence in Everglades (AIRIE) has strengthened the bonds between science and art as a means of creating awareness and insuring the survival of the Everglades -- a unique and delicate ecosystem that is unique and should be of utmost concern for all Floridians. Over the years, AIRIE has faced the same problems that routinely plague nonprofits but has continued to attract cutting-edge, contemporary artists to "mingle" with the Park's scientific staff and create new works based solely on their experience in the residency.
Artist and Executive Director of AIRIE Deborah Mitchell will moderate a panel -- Science + Art: Transformative Experiences in the Everglades -- with an introduction by retired biologist Skip Snow, composed of the latest batch of artists who took up home in our beloved "swamp." This diverse and multi-disciplined group of artists include Gustavo Matamoros, Valerie LeBlanc, Daniel Dugas, McCrary Sullivan and Van Brunschot regarding their work within the fragile ecosystem. Local historian Dr. Paul George will review the historical aspects of the Everglades.
We had a chance to speak with Mitchell about the program, its vision and what the future holds for the science and arts partnership in the Everglades.