Artist in Residence

Nature inspires. Creatives across all artistic disciplines need access to special, natural places in order to stay connected to and draw inspiration from the beauty and solace of nature. The Artist in Residence (AIR) program makes that connection possible.

The AIR program is open to visual, literary and performing artists whose work is inspired by the environment and includes the gift of time and space to create. Artists invited to the program are given extraordinary access to our bays, beaches and barrier islands.
Our hope is that the artists’ work will enhance appreciation for our natural environment and spark conversation about nature-inspired art and land conservation.

Read our program overview here. Applications are accepted by invitation only. For inquiries, email Suzanne Gregory at


Valerie  LeBlanc & Daniel H. Dugas

Valerie LeBlanc & Daniel H. Dugas

Caretta Caretta

If the spirit of a place stems from the location, it also takes meanings from the relation between its geography and the people who gravitate toward it. Through the tools of writing, visuals and sound recording, we explore the interaction between place and mind; what exists geographically (water, plants, animals) and what exists intangibly (memories, rituals, oral histories).

LeBlanc and Dugas have worked collaboratively on media projects, performances, and writing since 1990. They each continue to carry out individual creative projects as well. While the range of their individual works varies according to social, economic and philosophical concerns, their collaborations, often carry an ecological focus. The two have exhibited and presented widely throughout North America, Europe, and Australia. Their Flow: Big Waters website of video poems and soundwalks is based on their residency in the Everglades National Park in 2014. This year, they launched EVERGLADES, the book version of the project. As writers and videographers, they are in the midst of gathering raw data - images, videos, reflections, and observations, for their project, entitle Caretta Caretta, which is the Latin term for loggerhead turtle.

James & Jules Branaman

James & Jules Branaman

Near & Far Project

By first looking at the smallest details, then stepping back to examine the bigger picture, this 'near and far' approach helps us gain a better understanding of our relationship with water and land and how we interact with it.

James and Jules Branaman are photographers and journalists with a passion for nature, the wilderness and creative explorations of all types. As visual storytellers, they continue to break new ground in how we explore a place visually. Their residency at Bay Preserve focused on the perspective of “Near and Far”, studying the unique environment immediately surrounding Bay Preserve as well as the Myakka Island Conservation Corridor at both a macro and a micro level. Visit our gallery of their project.

Daniel R. Perales

Daniel R. Perales


My project focused on creating an ethereal spiritual relation of nature and people.

The photographs and multimedia exhibit entitled “Nature in deMand” showcased nature inspired multimedia works at Bay Preserve at Osprey. Images of natural Florida settings superimposed with figures address man’s connection to the natural world. The artist chose to illuminate the foundation’s mission of protecting the environmental character and natural integrity of Florida’s Gulf Coast. In collaboration with Fusion Dance Company and Sarasota Crew, over 30 different people were photographed to create an engaging, dynamic, and meaningful exhibit.

Jerry Sparkman

Jerry Sparkman


Architect Jerry Sparkman, AIA, NCARB, used his residency to create an exhibit for Italy’s Venice Biennale 2012. It is considered the most prestigious Architectural Exhibition in the world. The Biennale theme was "Common Grounds" and for Sparkman that meant the natural environment that informs his designs. Specifically, Siesta Key sand featured prominently in his concept. Sparkman teamed up with Ringling College of Art and Design to present the exhibit. Five Ringling College of Art and Design students collaborated with Sparkman to help showcase the beauty of our “common ground”, which exhibited in the 15th Century Palazzo Bembo on Venice’s Grand Canal in 2012.

Clyde Butcher

Clyde Butcher

Unspoiled Places on the Gulf Coast

Renowned fine art photographer, Clyde Butcher, is known for his stunning black and white images of the natural landscape. As Conservation Foundation's first Artist in Residence, Clyde spent time out on the land, documenting the natural vistas and distinctive images of the properties saved, forever. His iconic "Casey Key Rainbow" was captured during his residency.

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