April 2017

Vol. 45, No. 2

From Sanctuary to Sanctuary: Portraying the Diversity of Mass Audubon

Barry Van Dusen

Ruddy Turnstone. All images by the author.

Artist-in-Residence programs have proliferated in recent years, and offer people like me a variety of opportunities for work and travel. In the past decade, I’ve taken part in four residency programs around New England, and have found them to be productive and fun. From my point of view, the best thing about these programs is the chance to work outdoors on a regular basis.

When Amy Montague, director of Mass Audubon’s Museum of American Bird Art, approached me in 2014 with the idea of a Mass Audubon “statewide residency,” I was ready to go! I knew it would be my most ambitious residency yet, and I insisted on a two-year working period. I wanted to give each sanctuary the attention it deserved, and didn’t want to rush the visits. I agreed to write up my visits in a Mass Audubon blog, where I would also post sketches, paintings and related photographs. The project will culminate in an exhibition at the Museum of American Bird Art in Canton, MA from May 21 to September 17, 2017.

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