Thursday, October 31, 2013

Butterfly Garden and Paint create Cultural Interchange

Thanks to nine volunteers from the Center of Cultural Interchange (CCI) Greenheart Club, who provided enthusiasm and three hours of hard labor last April, Everglades National Park's Florida Bay Interagency Science Center's new butterfly garden is well on its way.

The high school exchange students come from around the world and shared their mission of connecting people and the planet through environmentalism. “They are here with the Flex and Yes programs sponsored by our State Department,” says Mary Ellen Schweiger, Regional Manager for CCI. “Part of the program requires the students to do community service projects in the community.”

“We came to the Everglades to learn about why we have the Everglades and the reason why we are preserving them,” explains Schweiger. “We want to teach the students about helping the world and keeping the world a cleaner place. These are things they don't do in their countries.” The students were from Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, Georgia, Egypt, and Germany.

The CCI students also built on work initiated by CCI volunteers last February. The February group came to the Everglades as part of the Alternative Spring Break program in which they volunteer for a week in the park. One project they worked on was restriping the parking lot at Chekika.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

October Artist, Artwork on Display

Artist Presentation
Thursday, October 24 at 7:30 PM, please join artist Bryan Wilson as he shares his experience working in Southern Florida at Lester's 2519 NW 2nd Ave., Miami, Florida 33127. Wilson's talk will present the unique conditions inherent to the area such as the invasive exotic reptile problem, alternative means of ecological stewardship, and the intersections of culture and the land.

Special guests, The Swamp Apes, a volunteer python hunting organization comprised of military veterans, will join Wilson for the evening.

About the Artist
October rings in the new Fiscal Year and the 51st year after the Cuban Missile Crisis, which is of particular interest to AIRIE Fellow, Bryan McGovern Wilson. A multi-disciplined visual artist, Wilson holds a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. During his residency, Wilson will further his investigations of the land, and how we mythologize its history.

“It is my hope to find intersecting points between the land, flora, and fauna in a conceptual and visual framework.”

In 2009, Wilson travelled to The Trinity Nuclear Test site dressed as Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer (Pictured above). His goal was to find trinitite, glass formed by the first atomic detonation, a material that distilled that particular moment in time. Wilson looked to understand the complex ecological and cultural legacies that we continue to deal with, and plans to use his time at Everglades to explore the extant Hercules/Nike Missile infrastructure to find connections between the ecology and archeology of the park.

“It is my intent to present the connection between the cultural legacy of the Everglades and its ecology, how they are integrated with one another, as an unbroken lineage. I plan to engage with park archeologists and rangers to find locations/sites of cultural and ecological convergence in the park . . . [and] apply my daily findings to a discipline of drawing and watercolor.”

To read Bryan Wilson’s entire biography, please visit our website at

Artwork on Display
Councilman Stephen R. Shelley’s Artist in the Spotlight Program Features Artist-in-Residence-in-Everglades artwork

HOMESTEAD, FL: The Artist-in-Residence-in-Everglades (AIRIE) program will participate in the Artist in the Spotlight program which will display AIRIE artwork in both the Old Town Hall Museum (41 North Krome Ave., Homestead) and in ArtSouth (240 N Krome Ave.), during the months of September and October. AIRIE artwork was recognized at the Homestead City Council Meeting on September 25, at the William Dickinson Community Center (1601 N. Krome Ave.).