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Artist ‘in residence’ program kicks off refuge’s 75th anniversary celebration

By Staff | May 1, 2019

PHOTO PROVIDED A page from E Anderson’s travel and art journal.

Working from his studio at Blind Pass on Sanibel, wildlife artist Ed Anderson, of Boise, Idaho, will participate in an eight-week artist “in residence” educational program at the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge. The “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge is hosting the program as part of the refuge’s 75th anniversary celebration, which will run through Dec. 1, 2020.

“Our refuge was created by conservation artist Jay Norwood ‘Ding’ Darling in 1945, so it’s more than fitting that we begin celebrating our 75th anniversary with interpretive art programs,” Supervisory Refuge Ranger Toni Westland said. “Darling, who created the Federal Duck Stamp program, designed the first duck stamp and the refuge system’s Blue Goose logo. He won the Pulitzer Prize twice for his popular political cartoons throughout the 1920s and ’30s.”

Arriving on the island on May 15, Anderson will be involved in a number of projects through July 1 focused on modern-day wildlife and travel journaling art. He will mentor children and engage them in mural and journaling projects.

The refuge plans to establish pop-up studio locations along Wildlife Drive throughout Anderson’s stay, so visitors can informally meet and learn from the artist. He will also conduct formal art and journaling workshops and demonstrations.

Anderson’s work over the spring and summer will culminate in an exhibition of his journals and art starting in mid-February 2020 in the auditoriums at the Visitor & Education Center. The Refuge Nature Store will turn his art into one-of-a-kind souvenirs to benefit conservation and education efforts at the refuge.

“I am excited to be inspired by some of ‘Ding’ Darling’s most famous conservation cartoons as part of my body of work at the refuge,” Anderson said. “Darling could be considered one of the original wildlife doodling storytellers, and that’s essentially how I work.”

Anderson’s fine art has been published in publications around the United States, including Gray’s Sporting Journal, Backcountry Journal and, locally, Gulfshore Life. In the interest of conservation, he has donated his work to the DDWS, Bonefish & Tarpon Trust, Captains for Clean Water and various other non-profits. He has been visiting Sanibel since his childhood, for some 40 years.

For more information about his work, visit edandersonart.com.

To keep up to date on the 75th anniversary celebration, visit ding75.org.

PHOTO PROVIDED Tarpon painting by Ed Anderson