provided to The Santiva Chronicle
With the recent reopening of the “Ding” Darling Visitor & Education Center, free art exhibitions have returned to the auditorium, 1 Wildlife Drive. Currently, 2021 artist in residence Rachel Pierce exhibits her work inspired by the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge.
In the spirit of refuge namesake — Jay Norwood “Ding” Darling, artist and Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoonist – the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge hosts the Artist in Residence program, culminating in an exhibition of the artist’s work. The 2021 program featured Pierce, who was unable to mount an exhibition last year because coronavirus had caused the closing of the Visitor & Education Center.
Her current showing of paintings runs through Feb. 28 daily during normal center hours, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The artist will be making personal appearances throughout the exhibition; watch “Ding” on the Wing for announcements. Her works are for sale through the Refuge Nature Store inside the center.
The second guest artist in residence at the refuge, Pierce retired recently as a longtime anchor for a local television station to fully devote her time to her art, which features whimsical, impressionistic portraits of wildlife. She currently resides on Sanibel Island.
Artists in residence at “Ding” Darling conduct free art activities for visitors and collaborate on outreach programs for underserved children in the greater community. DDWS soon will be releasing information about its 2022 guest artist in residence.
As a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, DDWS works to support J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge’s mission of conservation, wildlife and habitat protection, research, and public education through charitable donations and Refuge Nature Shop profits. To support DDWS and the refuge with a tax-deductible gift, visit the DDWS website or contact Birgie Miller at 239-472-1100 ext. 4 or email@example.com.