(Above) A page from Ed Anderson’s travel and art journal. (Below) Tarpon painting by Ed Anderson. Photos provided
(Above) A page from Ed Anderson’s travel and art journal. (Below) Tarpon painting by Ed Anderson. Photos provided

Working from his studio at Blind Pass on Sanibel Island, wildlife artist Ed Anderson, from Boise, Idaho, will be participating in an eight-week artist “in residence” educational program at the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge. “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge is hosting the program as part of the refuge’s 75th anniversary celebration running 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,” said supervisory refuge ranger Toni Westland. “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 arrives to the island on May 15, and through July 1 will be involved in a number of projects focused on modern-day wildlife and travel journaling art. He will be mentoring children and engaging them in mural and journaling projects during that time.

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

Anderson’s work this spring and summer will culminate in an exhibition of his journals and art starting in mid-February 2020 in the “Ding” Darling Visitor & Education Center auditoriums. The Refuge Nature Store will also be turning his art into one-of-a-kind souvenirs to benefit conservation and education efforts at “Ding” Darling.

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,” said Anderson. “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 DDWS, Bonefish & Tarpon Trust, Captains for Clean Water, and various other non-profits. He has been visiting Sanibel Island since his childhood, for some 40 years.

For more information about Anderson’s work, visit edandersonart.com. To keep up to date on the refuge’s 75th anniversary celebration, visit ding75.org.