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MFA ’16 Nick Collier Selected as First Veteran Artist-in-Residence at Big Bend National Park

Published December 6, 2016

Department of Art alumnus Nick Collier (MFA ’16) has been selected as the first NPAF Veteran Artist in Residence at Big Bend National Park in Texas.

EinPresswire praised the program:

there are thousands of veterans who are also artists and the National Parks Arts Foundation is piloting this program to connect them to the incredible limitless sources of inspiration available at parks such as Big Bend.

The Park Service is very excited to host these two artist residents this November. The November residency this year is shared by Collier, and Songwriter and Ecopsychologist Russell James Pyle. As the Park’s Superintendent, Cindy Ott-Jones, explains ‘As the National Park Service celebrates our Centennial year in 2016, we look forward in our approach to serving park visitors, while remembering our heritage of service.’ Programs like Big Bend’s residency add value dynamically to the Park experience for visitors now and in the future and represent the highest aspirations of the Park Service’s goals for the next century.”

Big Bend National Park, founded in 1944, is a United States National Park located in the U.S. State of Texas on the United States-Mexico border at the most dramatic meanders of the Rio Bravo/Rio Grande. The park covers 800,000 acres and comprises river canyons, Chihuahuan desert vistas, old mine buildings and other structures, and stunning rock formations and varied, multicolored geology.

This one-month residency, in November 2016, provided Nick an opportunity to explore the landscape of the park and to create work. At the end of the month, he hosted an exhibition at the Panther Junction Community Room, with an accompanying presentation and lecture.

Nick summarized the internship: “The Havard Agave, or Century Plant, can grow for up to 50 years. It’s life cycle culminates with all its energy being put into a giant reproductive stalk which blooms and then dies, decomposing and returning to the soil. Here death gives birth to life and the cycle continues as it has for centuries. As I get ready to leave Big Bend and this month long residency I am thankful for the time that has been given to me to explore and learn from the landscape and people that make up this corner of the country.”