Norman Bird Sanctuary launches Inaugural Artist Residency

Norman Bird Sanctuary Launches Inaugural Artist Residency with Free Community Events in September

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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. 

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“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