Artists have been inspired by Appledore Island’s remote and beautiful landscape since the nineteenth century. Childe Hassam, a frequent visitor to Appledore Island, said that "art is the impression that nature makes upon the eye." Today, at Shoals Marine Laboratory (SML), students and scientists come to study this natural landscape once again. This shared passion for keen observation and interpretation of nature creates a logical collaboration between artists and scientists. To facilitate this partnership, SML has created the Shoals Artist-in-Residence (Shoals AIR) program.
What is the Shoals Artist in Residence (AIR) Program?
The Shoals AIR Program offers artists the opportunity to pursue their work immersed in Appledore's beautiful landscapes, free of everyday distractions. The 5-6 selected artists reside on the island, one at a time, for 2-3 concurrent weeks between May and August. Artists blend personal creative time with art programming designed for students enrolled in SML courses. Artist in Residence work with course faculty to develop the details of art programming before their arrival to the island, and during their visit, artists will interact with up to four courses per week. Interactions are typically one hour per course and involve some form of integration between the artist's style/medium of choice, and the course content.
What is the Goal of the Shoals AIR Program?
The goal of the Shoals AIR program is to cultivate and develop students' observational skills in order to foster deep inquisitiveness and creativity in the process of scientific inquiry. Through time and proven through research, collaborations between art and science sparks inspiration for both parties. The student interaction can be as simple as a drawing lesson, but artists are encouraged to pursue an abstract approach that pushes students out of their comfort zones. Artists are immersed in the scientific community and research activities, which will deepen their understanding of the natural world, spark original ideas, forge collaborations, and encourage exploration of methods to engage non-artists in the creative process.
- Housing is included in the program (artist assigned their own room and a shared bath).
- All meals are included in the program (food allergies and special needs can be accommodated).
- Workspace will be determined with each artist to best fit the program, artist, and other needs.
- Roundtrip vessel transportation from Portsmouth, NH to Appledore Island is included in the program.
- Transportation to the dock in Portsmouth (and parking) is not included (travel info here).
- Artists are welcome to attend classes and interact with researchers. Introductions will be made by SML staff.
- Dates determined with artists selected (SML hosts one AIR at a time, so schedule flexibility is greatly appreciated).
- Two-week residencies are preferred and typically run from a Sunday to a Sunday.
- Visual and written arts are encouraged.
2023 Applications are now being accepted! Application deadline is 11:59 p.m. April 1, 2023. Please review and have prepared all information on this page:
- Your current resume
- Contact information for 2 references
- A 1-page statement describing what you hope to accomplish artistically during the Shoals AIR program. Applicants who take advantage of the unique aspects of SML's community of scientists, lab resources, and setting are preferred.
- Description of your teaching experience
- For visual artists – send 4 digital images of 4 different examples of your work in JPG, PDF, or PowerPoint form.
- For all other mediums – an appropriate sample of your recent work (e.g., a brief manuscript excerpt, short story, article, poetry, etc. - maximum of six pages).
Please note that previous SML AIRs are welcome to re-apply after a two year hiatus. We will prioritize new artists but will reserve at least one spot each year for a returning artist.
This program is made possible by the generous support of Morgan and Tara Rutman.
Carol Schwartz (2017, 2018, 2021)
Carol Schwartz is inspired by nature, as an observer, and as an artist, as is evident in her 60 picture books, largely nonfiction, about nature and specifically with an ocean theme. She has an MFA from the University of Hartford in Connecticut and a BFA earned at the Kansas City Art Institute and Rhode Island School of Design. Her work has been in many national exhibitions such as Focus on Nature XIV and XV and she teaches at Rhode Island School of Design, Eastern Connecticut State University, University of Hartford, and New England College.
Robert DuGrenier (2019, 2021)
Robert DuGrenier is a well-known sculptor, artist, and designer working primarily in glass, metal, and marble. Much of his work is informed by nature and its effects overtime on a variety of elements. Over the years, based on his strengths of creativity and knowledge of materials, Robert has worked in collaboration with architects and designers to create custom glass sculptural installations and chandeliers. These are installed in hotels, stores, museums, and private residences around the world. To watch a WCVB news story of Robert's work with SML students, please click here.
Alastair Dacey (2016, 2017)
Alastair Dacey’s formal training began at the Rhode Island School of Design. He then attended The Ingbretson Studios in New Hampshire, studying closely with Boston Schoolmaster Paul Ingbrestson for over four years. To focus more closely on the human face and form, Mr. Dacey then went to Florence, Italy to study at the Cecil Studios. Mr. Dacey’s work as a professional has led him to open studios in Vermont, New York, Boston, and San Antonio and most recently, his move to Portsmouth, NH.
To read previous AIR Bill Paarlberg's (2018, 2019) article about the Shoals AIR program, When Artists and Scientists Learn from Each Other, please click here.
Other previous Artists-in-Residence:
- Scott Bluedorn (2019)
- Julie Crane (2019)
- Robert DuGrenier (2019)
- Barrett McDevitt (2019)
- Sean Ware (2019)
- Molly Aubry (2018)
- Naila Moreira (2018)
- Bill Paarlberg (2018, 2019)
- Patricia Savage (2018)
- Carol Schwartz (2017, 2018)
- Ben Shattuck (2018)
- Krisanne Baker (2017, 2021)
- Errol Barron (2017)
- Laurie Flaherty (2016)
- Tom Glover (2016)
- Wendy Turner (2016)
- Jana Matusz (2015)