Prudence Island Artist in Residence Program

The PI AiR program offers artists across a variety of disciplines the opportunity to spend time and be inspired by the natural beauty of Prudence Island and Narragansett Bay and to learn about the mission and activities of the nature reserve and the history of the island. 

Prudence Island is part of the traditional and ancestral lands of Wampanoag, Narragansett, and Pokanoket people past, present and future. The Narragansett name for Prudence Island is Chibachuwese or  Chibachuwesset, which has been translated as “Little place separated by a passage” and “the place apart”.

The Residency is based at the Narragansett Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (NBNERR), South Prudence Island in Portsmouth, RI. The Reserve is a state-federal partnership between NOAA and RI Department of Environmental Management, and comprises 4400 acres on Prudence Island. NBNERR is part of a national network of 30 reserves whose mission is to practice and promote coastal and estuarine stewardship through innovative research and education, using a system of protected areas. 

NBNERR facilities include a visitor’s center / laboratory / office building, an education / classroom building and outdoor pavilion, and two dormitory structures that have 3-4 bedrooms, bathrooms, full kitchens, and laundry facilities. Most areas of the NBNERR campus are ADA compliant. There is no dedicated art space and artists-in-residence must bring all materials and supplies needed to generate their work. Access to the island is by ferry only. The Prudence Island ferry leaves from Thames St. in Bristol (schedules vary seasonally). 

Want to know more before you apply? Watch this video of a recent information session

Current Artists

Anthony Champa, Artist in Residence 2023-2024

Anthony Champa is an artist and art educator living and working in Rhode Island. Working in performance, photography, printmaking and archival ephemera.   His work deals with notions of documentary evidence and how varying narratives can be derived from it. 
More recently he has working in drawing and visual mark-making, “Found Drawings”,   making colours from wild, foraged and homegrown plants. 

“I first began using commercial inks, some of which I still use, but when I couldn’t find a true red that I really liked I decided to make my own. I started with berries then pomegranates, then cherry pie filling.  Now I have more than two dozen jars of ink made from things like gypsum, from dry wall, copper oxidized in vinegar, and purple derived from avocado pits.  Because of the use of found materials for inks, I’ve been focusing my drawings on what I see around me.  I plan to dedicate my time on Prudence Island to collecting natural materials for ink and dye making and creating art drawn from the local environment, found items and views.”

Reza Clifton, Artist in Residence 2023-2024

Reza Clifton (“Reza Rites”) is a writer, artist, educator, and cultural savant from Providence, RI. She brings all these things together by using traditional and new media tools to teach and tell stories, and to explore and celebrate the African Diaspora, women, and other marginalized and/or oft-oppressed groups and communities of color. Topics that often appear in Reza’s work include racial and social justice, feminism, radical self-care and holistic healing, love, and what Reza calls the bountiful beauty of nature. To see her poetry as well as artistic and political work, check out 3 AM is the New Black on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram: @3amblack. You can also follow her on her websites, and

Howie Sneider, Artist in Residence 2023-2024

Howie’s childhood exploration of the forests and abandoned quarries of Central New York encouraged his sense of wonderment and discovery. His work is exhibited in galleries, on the street, in sculpture parks and in the wild.

Howie loves sewing and hiking and can often be found bringing hand sewn sculptures way out into the woods. He has taught welding, fabricating, sculpture and drawing and has collaborated with hundreds of artists to create functional and decorative public-art for temporary or permanent installation.

Howie is a Board Member of the Community Built Association and the Executive Director of the Steel Yard. An Industrial arts collaborative and community organization in Providence, RI.

Contact Sheryl Kopel, founding director of the Prudence Island AiR program, at