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Norman Bird Sanctuary is inviting the community to their Fall Artist Series, four free events in September to celebrate the ten talented artists of the first ever “Mabel Residency.” 

The Mabel Residency seeks to provide the time and space for artists of exceptional talent to make work inspired by the rich history and stunning landscape of the iconic area in Middletown known as Paradise Valley during their two week rotational stay, according to a press release today from the Middletown non-profit.

This program also pays homage to Mabel Norman Cerio, an avid artist who was constantly inspired by the land she eventually established as Norman Bird Sanctuary. 

The public will have the opportunity to meet these artists from around the world at four events during September – two “Artist Talks,” hosted by Newport Art Museum on September 5 and 19 to learn about their current work, process, perspectives, and inspirations (these events will be followed by cash bar and reception), and two “Open Studios” at NBS on September 15 and 29, where guests will have access to an exclusive look at the artist’s work behind-the-scenes inside their resident studios. 

“We’re thrilled to welcome the artists from Norman Bird Sanctuary’s inaugural artist in residency program to share their diverse artistic visions,” said Newport Art Museum Executive Director Norah Diedrich in the press release. “The Museum’s permanent collection and changing exhibit galleries offer a valuable and inspiring resource for working artists, and our thriving arts community will surely be enriched by their public presentations.” 

The “Open Studios” span various spaces between the main NBS property and the Coastal Education Center at Third Beach. These events are informal and open house style, guests can flow from one space to the next as they please during the afternoon. 

Guests are also encouraged to take advantage of the property while onsite by enjoying a nature walk to Hanging Rock or viewing the breathtaking “Lost Bird Project” sculptures, an installation created by Todd McGrain, one of the participating artists from the artist residency pilot program last summer. 

The final of the two “Open Studios” will culminate with a casual Soiree at Norman Bird Sanctuary featuring live music by Los Duderinos, signature cocktails, and wood-fired pizza to celebrate the legacy of artmaking in Paradise Valley. 

Each event will be a unique opportunity to experience art, nature, and the community. Guests are encouraged to come to one or all of these four free events during the Fall Artist Series. 

All events are free and open to the public. Pre-registration is required at normanbirdsanctuary.org/art

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Ryan Belmore is the Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here - https://whatsupnewp.com/2021/09/letter-from-the-publisher-some-personal-news/

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at ryan@whatsupnewp.com and 401-662-1653.