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HVNP: New Artist-in-Residence Arrives in December

November 17, 2015, 8:45 AM HST
* Updated September 8, 6:03 PM
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Digital artist Dr. Jean-René Leblanc will present a bold new perspective on Hawai’i beauty as he spends the month of December at Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park as its artist-in-residence.

Together with the National Parks Arts Foundation, HVNP will bring in Dr. Leblanc from Dec. 4, 2015 through Jan. 4, 2016.

Dr. Leblanc is a professor of fine arts at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada. He incorporates infrared spectrum photography into his digital tableaux to “make the invisible visible.”

Hawai’i holds a sense of inspiration to Leblanc, who was married on the Big Island and has conducted several Hawai’i-based art projects over the years.

“Hawai‘i is a powerful cultural and geographical place that is quite striking both visually and emotionally,” said Leblanc. “As an artist, I love to connect with the people and places where I am working creatively and Hawai‘i has moved me by its visual and cultural beauty.

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“Both the local residents and tourists who flock to experience the popular connotation of Hawai‘i as ‘Paradise’ may often miss some of the beautiful nuance.”

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Upon the ending of his month-long residency, Leblanc will present a piece of his art to HVNP.

“We are looking forward to the arrival of Dr. Jean-René Leblanc as our second artist in residence,” said Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando. “Artists are an important part of the National Park Service and have had a long-standing impact on the establishment and preservation of our parks.

“Continuing this historic tradition by providing artists the opportunity to draw on inspiration from the park’s volcanic landscapes and cultural resources has long been a goal for Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Translating that inspiration into art brings new insights, beauty and a more thorough understanding of the park.”

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Leblanc is originally from Montréal and is the co-founder of the Sensorium Lab, a research group that focuses on technology that enhances and transforms kinesthetic perceptions.

While on the Big Island, Leblanc will present an After Dark in the Park program, “Presentification: Making the Invisible Visible.” During the program, he will share a series of images that explore the photographic art as an investigative process, and will share insight on the interrelation between his creative impulse and the creation of photographic artifacts.

Two public workshops are also slated for Dec. 11 and Dec. 18, both at 11 a.m. The workshops are limited to 10 people and those interested in attending should call Laura Schuster at 985-6130 or e-mail [email protected] for more information and to reserve a spot.

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