The Artist-in-Residence Program is open to artists and artisans whose work can be influenced by the unique northern wilderness setting of Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park.
Located in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Michigan’s largest state park encompasses 25 miles of wave-washed shores, four inland lakes, entire river systems, countless waterfalls, enchanting wooded peaks, and an escarpment, which rises slowly from the edge of Lake Superior until it plummets abruptly into the Carp River valley.
The Artist-in-Residence Program offers writers, composers and all visual and performing artists an opportunity to experience the natural beauty of the park and to express it through their art form. Each year a number of artists will be selected for residencies lasting a minimum of two weeks.
Again: if I were a younger man, and photography was a hobby, I would jump at this.
Back in 2011, I visited Michigan’s only mountain range during a drive-through trip in the Upper Peninsula. It’s beautiful country. A two-week stay to do nothing but explore and make art? It would’ve been a dream for my younger self.
Heather Nash is a photographer in southeast Michigan I’ve been following on Instagram for almost as long as I’ve been on Instagram. I love her unique view of the world, and the way she captures it.
Where are you and what do you do?
I live in Ypsilanti, Michigan and I photograph people, places and weddings.
How did you get started in photography?
I went to school for photography and received my BFA in 2-D studies/Photography. I learned with film, mostly black and white, some color. The transition to digital came later but I still shoot a bit of film here and there with an old Canon AE-1 that belonged to my grandfather. I love black and white photography, specifically the work of Sally Mann.
What do you like about your photography?
I like watching the evolution of my work. I feel like I’m constantly refining my style, honing my technique and improving the way I utilize light in my images. I’m always reading and trying out new ideas. It’s good to keep learning!
I like how you capture your world, and the people around you. Where do you get inspiration for your style/ideas?
I do draw inspiration from other photographers and visual artists, and I’m often inspired by nature. I also love to people watch and observe daily life as it’s happening. I’m very curious and kid-like at times!
You do some paid gigs as well. How do you balance professional vs. personal photography?
I always try to leave room for personal projects, like portrait work, where I can try new things and challenge myself creatively.
Any upcoming projects or shoots you’re working on?
I just returned from a trip to Bali, an island in Indonesia. I took a small Fuji travel camera and documented my whole trip with the goal of putting together a small show this spring. It was an amazing experience to say the least!
Almost six years to the day, I’m saying goodbye to my first home.
We’re getting a weird spell this winter, in late January and early February, where the weather is warmer than seasonally appropriate. Foggy, rainy, or in the 60s. Not your typical Michigan climate.
The upside is that we’ve enjoyed a few play days outside. This past weekend, I even had a chance to take down our backyard swing set – much better than trying to unscrew frozen bolts in the bitter cold. Hopefully the warmer weather holds once it’s time to move.
I’m doing my best to capture this place before we head out. Not that it’s been a problem before, but there’s an extra sense of urgency lately.