A drive down Bellevue Avenue in Newport conjures up Great Gatsby vibes – stately mansions, mature trees clad in verdant foliage, an abundance of natural and human wealth that culminates in the majestic Cliff Walk, a nature trail with breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean.
One highlight of this idyllic summer destination and storied street is the Newport Art Museum. Located on three acres, the museum’s galleries are housed in two historic buildings. The galleries showcase over 600 contemporary regional, national and international artists annually. Art classes for all ages and experience levels are held in the Museum’s School studios.
This June, Providence-based artist and educator Heather McMordie will be in residence at the museum, living in its studio apartment and working in a dedicated studio space at the Museum School. She is a part of the museum’s juried AiR/Newport artist-in-residence program, a month-long juried residency for emerging to established visual artists and designers that connects artists with Newport community members through demonstrations and hands-on art activities.
A printmaker by training, McMordie’s work explores the complexities of soil science and environmental restoration. Her field kit contains more than bug spray — she applies a spectrum of media to her research, ranging from printmaking and fiber arts to artist books and interactive installations. McMordie moved to Rhode Island in 2018 to attend an MFA printmaking program at the Rhode Island School of Design, graduating in 2020. Since that move she has embedded herself in environmental locations ranging from local farms to Lincoln Woods, to salt marshes in order to learn about their soils, their flora and the marks of climate change.