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Refuge artist program features free pop-up studios, art journal walks

By Staff | May 22, 2019

PHOTO PROVIDED Artist Ed Anderson works from his pop-up studio on Wildlife Drive.

Working from his studio at Blind Pass on Sanibel, wildlife artist Ed Anderson, from Boise, Idaho, is conducting 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 ongoing 75th anniversary celebration.

As part of the program, Anderson sets up on Wildlife Drive to sketch and interact with visitors on select Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Upcoming dates are June 4, June 6, June 11, June 20, June 25 and June 27. Look for the “Artist in Action” banner that marks Anderson’s Pop-Up Art Studio.

The artist has also scheduled free Friday Art Journal Walks at the refuge. On June 7 and 28, he will introduce participants to his style of extemporaneous art and travel journaling with a 10 a.m. briefing in the Visitor & Education Center auditorium. The program is free, but limited to the first 20 arrivals.

Participants will receive a free journal to carry with them as they follow Anderson on an art and nature learning adventure along Indigo Trail to the Wildlife Education Boardwalk.

PHOTO PROVIDED Anderson works with student groups to create art murals.

Stay tuned for other art programs to be announced at ding75.org.

“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.”

Anderson also will mentor youth groups, including a mural project onsite at the Quality Life Center of Southwest Florida in Dunbar and a PACE Center for Girls art workshop at the refuge. The Gardner families are sponsoring the PACE Center event along with DDWS, which is also seeking sponsors for other outreach and onsite educational activities.

Anderson’s work this spring and summer will culminate in a free exhibition of his journals and art starting in mid-February in the Visitor & Education Center auditoriums, on the heels of the Clyde Butcher Photographic 75th Anniversary Exhibition on Nov. 13 through Feb. 5.

“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 hangs in the homes of collectors and has been in publications around the United States, including Gray’s Sporting Journal, Backcountry Journal and Gulfshore Life. In the interest of conservation, he has donated his work to DDWS, Bonefish & Tarpon Trust, Captains for Clean Water, and other non-profits. He has been visiting Sanibel since his childhood, for more than 40 years.

For more information about Anderson’s work, visit edandersonart.com.

To sponsor Artist ‘in Residence” programs, contact DDWS Executive Director Birgie Miller at 239-472-1100 ext. 4 or “mailto:director@dingdarlingsociety.org”>director@dingdarlingsociety.org.