March Adventure Quencher: Art Workshop

In mid-March, the Grand Bay NERR held a three-day art workshop as part of the Reserve’s monthly community education “Adventure Quenchers,” where we bring guests from the public to visit the NERR for a fun, educational activity.

While many Grand Bay NERR guests are local birders, travelers passing by from the interstate, or visiting researchers, our goal with this workshop was to invite artists to connect nature and art!

For the second year, we partnered with the Walter Anderson Museum of Art (WAMA) to co-host this workshop. Walter Anderson was a famous local artist and naturalist that spent most of his time in nature, which was the inspiration for most of his artwork.

Art workshop attendees found inspiration within the Grand Bay NERR through activities such as kayaking up Bayou Heron to see salt marshes, exploring our Savanna trail boardwalk, and touring the Reserve to look for blooming plants. Workshop attendees also explored the aftermath of a recent wildfire that occurred just a week before the workshop!

Ruth Posadas is a third-year workshop attendee who was inspired at the Reserve. “[The] nature around us just provided us with a lot of ideas. And we get to explore, try new things at least once in your life.” This was Ruth’s first time ever kayaking! “Seeing nature, or unique plants, flowers, animals that we seldom see…is healing to the soul.”

After a fun-filled morning, we gathered in the classroom where Heather Rumfelt, WAMA Director of Education, taught us how to make block prints. The next day, we learned all about the ancient art of batik from ecologist and artist, Dr. Ayesha Gray, Grand Bay NERR’s Director! New this year was the availability of wood batik blocks from India, a cool find from an antique store. Several workshop attendees fused block printing and batiking with these wood blocks and created some awesome pieces.

 

Heather Rumfelt, WAMA Director of Education, shows us how block printing is done.

 

 

On Day 3 this year, the weather turned stormy and cool, made waxing and paint touch-ups difficult, but we braved through the cold, adapted with changes to the process, and finished our pieces! Check them out in the links below.

Photos of Day 1: March 10, 2017

Photos of Day 2: March 11, 2017

Photos of Day 3: March 12, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pam Sward (left) with her crab batik, and Gayle Ladnier (right) with her wisteria batik.

We had an awesome time creating, but you don’t have to take our word for it!

“I love it. I love the sharing of ideas, getting to know other people, stories, laughter. And I am building up my confidence each time,” said Ruth Posadas.

“I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the art workshop,” said Pamela Sward, first time workshop attendee. “The art lessons were great and easy to follow. The staff and instructors were great. My favorite part is the nature and the beauty of the Grand Bay NERR! I will definitely attend the next workshop.”

 

 

We invite all levels of artists to visit the Grand Bay NERR year-round to find inspiration for your artwork! If you are interested in future workshops, please email Sandra.Huynh@dmr.ms.gov to add your name to our artist email list. We generally plan two art workshops per year in the spring and fall.

 

 

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