Artists-in-Residence for Yellowstone Forever live and work in Yellowstone and engage with park visitors and gateway communities. They will enjoy the opportunity to creatively explore the natural and cultural resources of one of America’s most awe-inspiring landscapes—and inspire the next generation of artists in and around Yellowstone National Park.
Phyllis and Victor Merriam
Phyllis and Victor Merriam are New York-based postdigital printmakers. Their blog, thepostdigitalprintmaker.tumblr.com, features printmakers who merge digital and traditional methods. They have participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions and created site-specific murals in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Their current body of work is exploring the many ways that printing plates can be fabricated on a 3D printer.
Suzie Garner, M.A., M.F.A., leads the art department at Colorado Mesa University, where she teaches drawing and graphic design. She has led field sketching workshops in several western national parks. Her work has been exhibited nationally and published in 1,000 Artist Journal Pages: Personal Pages and Inspirations.
Monte Yellowbird (“Black Pinto Horse”) is devoted to a positive expression of the harmonic balance between humanity and nature. Through his art and teaching, he offers a multitude of gifts. Rife with symbolism, Black Pinto Horse’s visual expressions honor his spiritual roots, Native American heritage, and modern and contemporary art traditions through a bold use of color and design combined with a pictorial narrative that activates the viewer’s imagination. He is motivated by a passionate desire to build connections between the past and the present with a hopeful eye toward a brighter future built around empathy and understanding between the diverse communities of which the nation is comprised.
As a Western artist from rural Idaho, Mary Butler loves to express her love for color, movement, and family. An accomplished artist in both watercolor and oils, Mary describes her personal style as “funky western.” She worked as a registered nurse for 40 years before pursuing her dream of painting. Her work is displayed in three galleries throughout Idaho, as well as local art fairs in the greater Yellowstone area and yearly at the Zions Art Show in Salt Lake City.
Tom Murphy and Bruce Foulke
Art and science both originate from the same human desire to understand the world within and around us. In the pages of their book, The Art of Yellowstone Science, Mammoth Hot Springs as a Window on the Universe photographic art at Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park is melded with cutting-edge natural sciences to search for common laws of nature through the power of observation and a willingness to embrace the unexpected. Biological evolution is the essential expression for this combination and Mammoth becomes a window on the universe, through which fundamental understandings of nature can be directly applied around the world and throughout the cosmos.
Grace Barber is a scientist by training, educator by profession, and artist by nature. She has always found her attention drawn to the ground and creatures that live within a few centimeters of its surface. She earned a master’s degree in environmental conservation studying ants in New York’s inland pine barrens and now leads educational programs at a pine barrens in Albany, NY. Much of Grace’s artwork incorporates magnified ants, and she works in a range of media, including pencil, watercolor, pen, and oil paint. Grace is thrilled to be participating in the Yellowstone Forever program.
Erika Perloff is a native of the San Francisco Bay Area and lives in Santa Cruz, California. Her formal training as a biologist, and years spent working in the field as a naturalist, researcher, park ranger and outdoor educator allow her to infuse her paintings with a keen understanding of natural history. Erika works primarily in the plein air tradition, often backpacking to remote spots with her painting supplies. Her paintings are created with vibrant pastel strokes on sanded paper, and built up with many layers to create a rich, velvety surface. Her award-winning work has been exhibited in galleries, museums and juried shows throughout California and hangs in collections across the United States.
Born in Montgomery, Carolyn Courson now calls the Alabama Gulf Coast home. Retirement from a career as a governmental accountant has given her the time to travel and pursue her passion for art. Originally a traditional quilter, her interests have evolved to fiber art. Think wall hangings—not bed-sized quilts—with lots of surface design techniques. In addition, for the last three years she has taken a series of botanical drawing and painting classes, intensifying her love of nature—specifically native plants. As a result, her fiber creations are now showing a strong botanical influence. As a member of two fiber groups and a Botanical Artists Circle affiliated with the American Society of Botanical Artists, Carolyn studies, creates, and exhibits art in fiber, colored pencil, and watercolor.
Photo Credits: Yellowstone print: Phyllis and Victor Merriam. Natural journal: Suzie Garner. “Elk Medicine:” Monte Yellowbird. “Lower Yellowstone Falls:” Mary Butler. Ant image: Grace Barber. “Merced River Light:” Erika Perloff. Sunflower artwork: Carolyn Courson.