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2018 Loggerhead Key Artists in Residence Announced at Dry Tortugas National Park: Denesa Chan and Gavin Mulvay

Change and impermanence are central themes in our work, and spending a month at the Loggerhead Key would enable us to expand that theme in an entirely new region that we have yet to connect with.””
— Denesa Chan, Artist and Activist, NPAF Resident
KEY WEST, FLORIDA, UNITED STATES, September 14, 2018 /EINPresswire.com/ -- Dry Tortugas National Park and the National Parks Arts Foundation (NPAF) are pleased to announce this year’s resident artists in their ongoing partnership to establish a joint Artist in Residence (AIR) Program.

According to Pedro Ramos, Everglades and Dry Tortugas National Park Superintendent, “The Artist in Residence Program will offer artists and visitors alike views of Dry Tortugas National Park in new and innovative ways. We are pleased to announce the fourth artist couple to be selected for this prestigious program, American Photographer and Filmmaker Denesa Chan and New Zealand born wind flight engineer, environmental activist and extreme conditions trekker specialist Gavin Mulvay. They will spend the month of September immersed in their artistic and environmental endeavors, on a pristine, isolated island at Dry Tortugas National Park.” 

According to NPAF Founder Tanya Ortega, artists always need a fertile place to get away from the everyday. “We are dedicated to implementing our partnership with Dry Tortugas National Park by selecting world class artists to enjoy the once in a lifetime experience of a month-long residency on a pristine Florida key with its own, historic lighthouse. Ms. Chan and her partner, Gavin Mulvay, will spend the month of September at the park. Afterward, the artists will provide public programs in September and early October, including a lecture and reflection on their work and practice in the specific natural landscape found in this Key.

With a background in Environmental Science, Ms. Chan specializes in creating abstract images based on ambient lighting and un-staged natural elements. She's spent the past four years developing a photographic body of work for a book, which entails camping in sub-zero temperatures near the Arctic Circle, scaling a 14,000 foot mountain in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, sloshing through equatorial rain forests, exploring glacial caves, photographing the world’s rarest penguins, swimming with Manta Rays at night, and dangling out of doorless helicopters 15 feet from active lava. Ms. Chan, originally from Azusa, CA has worked and an actress in television and commercials for decades. She is also an activist and a world traveler, and has lived and worked in Ghana, and other African nations. She even faced down M-16’s as an International Neutral Observer in Mexico.

Gavin Mulvay is multiple world-record holder, experienced survival specialist and aircraft engineer from New Zealand's South Island who delights in exploring new wilderness areas and providing expert locations, logistical and technical support for the couple’s fieldwork. Gavin provides safety, logistical and equipment support as well as additional video footage and behind the scenes documentation.

About their upcoming stay in the keys, Chan says ‘The Keys represent isolation, change and impermanence on a human timescale, disappearing and reappearing with the forces of nature, and those forces of nature are being impacted by our human activities. Change and impermanence are central themes in our work, and spending a month at the Loggerhead Key would enable us to expand that theme in an entirely new region that we have yet to connect with.”

As for what they hope to bring back from Loggerhead Key to show to the public in their events, Chan says the idea of caring for these ecosystems can get pretty abstract for most people and she sees her role and bridging this gap in perception. She adds: “We will showcase the park at times of day that are otherwise unavailable to visitors, during weather episodes that they wouldn’t otherwise experience, and we'd to reveal the coral reef and underwater sea life in a way that most people will never get to see in their lifetime. We can only save what we love, and facts and figures, while hugely important, don’t inspire a feeling of connection with our Earth.”

According to NPAF Founder Tanya Ortega, “The National Parks Foundation is always looking for active participation and input from lovers and sponsors of the arts. This work is an important contributing part of Florida’s unique culture and natural landscapes. It doesn’t happen without people! So if you want to volunteer, donate, or share your perspective, please contact us.” 

Dry Tortugas National Park is located almost 70 miles (113 km) west of Key West. The 100-square mile park is mostly open water with seven small islands. Accessible only by boat or seaplane, the park is known the world over as the home of magnificent Fort Jefferson, picturesque blue waters, superlative coral reefs and marine life, and the vast assortment of bird life that frequent the area. Visitors enjoy camping, snorkeling, bird watching, fishing or just enjoying a view from the top of massive Fort Jefferson. Fort Jefferson is the largest all-masonry fort in the United States, built between 1846 and 1875 to protect the nation's gateway to the Gulf of Mexico.

WHAT: Filmmakers Denesa Chan and Gavin Mulvay announced as 2018’s resident artists in the Artist in Residence (AIR) Program for Dry Tortugas National Park.

WHEN: The first month-long AIR residency will begin September 4, 2018. The Artists will be hosting public events in Key West toward the end of September and in early October.

Events featuring the artists and their works are scheduled as follows:


Presentation for visitors and staff
at Fort Jefferson, Dry Tortugas NP
September 21st, 2018 at 5:30 pm.

Presentation at the Dry Tortugas NP EcoDiversity VIsitors Center 35 East Quay Road, Key West, FL 33040. in Key West.
On October 2nd, 2018, from 6-7 pm.


WHERE: Dry Tortugas National Park is located approximately 70 miles west of Key West, accessible by private or charter boats, ferry, or seaplane, which offer daily departures from Key West.

This and other park releases are available
at http://www.nps.gov/drto/learn/news/newsreleases.htm

More information about the Dry Tortugas National Park can be found on the park website at http://www.nps.gov/drto/learn/news/newsreleases.htm

For more information on the Dry Tortugas Artist-in Residence Program: www.nationalparksartsfoundation.org, email media@nationalparksartsfoundation.org.

National Parks Arts Foundation is a non-profit 501c3 charitable foundation.
The AIR Program is made possible through the philanthropic support of donors of all sorts ranging from corporate sponsors, small business, and art patrons and friends groups of the Parks.

John Cargill
National Parks Arts Foundation
505 715-6492
email us here


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