Prudence Island Artist in Residence Program

We provide artists in all disciplines the opportunity to spend time and be inspired by the natural ecosystems of Prudence island and the Narragansett Bay

Established in 2017, the Residency is based at the Narragansett Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (NBNERR), South Prudence Island in Portsmouth, RI.  The AIR program provides opportunities for participating artists to learn about the history and ecology of Prudence Island and the mission and functions of the Reserve itself. Participating artists will have opportunities to spend time with NBNERR staff and participate in activities in each of the four sectors of Education, Training, Research and Stewardship. NBNERR will also provide opportunities for current artists-in-residence to connect with past participants / alumni of the program.  

Facilities include a visitor’s center, laboratory, office building, education classroom, and outdoor pavilion. We offer overnight accommodations in our lodge that has 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, full kitchens, and laundry facilities. Most areas of the NBNERR campus are ADA compliant. There is no dedicated art space and the artist 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).

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

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.