PAIS Artist Residency


Using materials from and found at Padre Island National Seashore itself – sand, clay, gypsum, a paint referencing an area plant, sea hearts, and garbage – a large sculpture with a spiral component is underway.  It will highlight and celebrate the general areas of the landscape (Gulf, Shore, Dunes, Grasslands, Mud Flats, and Laguna Madre).  You can follow along on its progress here, and more images are available on our Instagram and Facebook accounts.


Why a spiral? This symbol can be thought of as the armature and conceptual theme for the work underway: it is found throughout nature and is considered sacred and healing by many cultures. I wanted a base to work from that would reference this and, to a lesser but related extent, a rose window (also sacred to more than one culture) as a lens through which one might see the park’s protected contents with new eyes.


One of the plaster impressions taken from the landscape. These may be combined with small fresco paintings and relief tiles.


A fondness for the grackles has developed (for reasons recorded in the journaling component of the residency). They will likely show up somewhere in the sculpture.


The amount of garbage that washes ashore is staggering. With a little help from the staff, some of it is being repurposed for the sculpture.

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Initial brainstorming, which is now giving way to preparations for fresco and relief work.