BAR HARBOR, Maine — The millions of people who flock to Acadia National Park every year to experience its glory will be joined this year by a handful of creative professionals selected to participate in the park's artist residency program.
The program allows artists to call the park home for a couple of weeks over the summer. During that time, they will create works of arts based on what they see and experience at Acadia. In exchange for 14 nights of housing, each artist is required to lead one public outreach activity and donate one of their artworks to the program collection, according to a release.
Among those selected this year are stand-up comedian Kelly Collette, food writer Casey Barber and art therapist Lisa Furman. All three said they were honored to be chosen.
Collette, from Ohio, has never been to Acadia National Park before. She's the first stand-up comedian to be chosen for the program.
"I feel like a lot of the mediums are very classically trained: painting, jazz, things like that," she said. "I'm really looking forward to bringing a different eye to the program, as well."
Collette plans to create a zine, essentially is a scrapbook of her time at Acadia National Park. It might include sketches, doodles, columns, jokes, and photos designed to make the reader laugh and represent what was going on in her head during her visit.
"I'm thinking it might relate to those, you know, teen visitors that come through and are like, 'I'm here with my parents, like, what can I get into?'" Collette said. "It's like, 'Oh, this was her experience maybe we should try that too.'"
Food writer Casey Barber also has been selected for the program. Originally from New Jersey, Barber and her husband try to visit Acadia every year.
She plans to create a digital recipe book with illustrated essays based on what she sees and discovers while staying on Mount Desert Island.
"It's the first thing I thought to do because, you know, everyone thinks of Maine, they think of lobster as the food of Maine or whoopie pies, which we love both very, very much. But there's so much other wonderful foods of Maine that you can experience when you're there," Barber said. "To think about the history of the area and what food producers are doing right now is really exciting and fun, so I hope to go around and go clamming and maybe visit a seaweed farm or something like that."
Collette and Barber will be joined by art therapist Lisa Furman. Furman has a summer home on the Schoodic Peninsula and plans to paint, and expand on an initiative she originally started in Connecticut that connects cancer patients, at-risk children and others with art therapy in a national park
"I would facilitate with students these nature-based art therapy experiences," Furman said. "So, when the residency at Acadia came up, I pitched this idea to them, this kind of dream that I had of bringing this template to other national parks and I just thought Acadia would be a wonderful place to do this."
Nationwide, more than 50 national park service sites host artist residency programs every year. To learn more or see artwork that has been donated in the past, click here.