Support the Mabel Residency

or via check:
Norman Bird Sanctuary
583 Third Beach Road
Middletown, RI 02842
Please note: Mabel Residency

Your gift will be matched dollar-for-dollar, up to $25,000, thanks to the generosity of Pamela Boll.

Your support makes the Mabel Residency possible in 2020 and for years to come. Thank you.

You’ll be providing the unique opportunity for exceptional artists to build upon the incredible art history of Paradise Valley and Norman Bird Sanctuary.

The Mabel Residency
at Norman Bird Sanctuary


In September 2019, we will be hosting our inaugural artist residency at Norman Bird Sanctuary in Middletown, RI. The residency will provide time and space for artists of exceptional talent to make work inspired by the rich history and breathtaking landscape of the area called Paradise Valley. The residency provides exclusive use of a studio on the sanctuary property, private accommodations in the Paradise Farmhouse, and three meals a day for up to four weeks. There are no residency fees. Artists will need to cover their own transportation to/from the residency and bring any supplies necessary for their work.

2019 Mabel Residency Artists

Nicola Dickson (9/17-10/1)

Elizabeth Duffy (9/3-9/17)

Anthony Goicolea (9/3-9/17)

Lois Harada (9/3-9/17)

Pauline Kim Harris (9/17-10/1)

James Isherwood (9/3-9/17)

Elisa Lendvay (9/17-10/1)

Meredith Morten (9/3-9/17)

Marta Renzi (9/10-10/1)

Amy Talluto (9/17-10/1)

Artists interested in the 2020 Mabel Residency are invited to check back at then end of the year when we will open the call for proposals.

If you have questions about the Mabel Residency, please contact Lindsay Richardson, Director of Artist Programming at

Mabel Norman cerio Painting in the garden

Mabel Norman cerio Painting in the garden

artist in Ed shed studio.jpg


We accept applications from artists working in the following disciplines: architecture, dance,  film/video arts, interdisciplinary arts, music composition, and visual arts. This is not a residency for emerging artists. We welcome mid-career as well as established artists to apply. Applicants who are enrolled in undergraduate or graduate degree programs as of the date of application are ineligible for a residency and therefore cannot apply.

The Mabel Residency at Norman Bird Sanctuary is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination and equal opportunity for all persons regardless of race, sex, color, religion, creed, national origin or ancestry, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, physical ability or disability.

Thank you for your interest in the Mabel Residency at Norman Bird Sanctuary!

The Art History of ‘Paradise’

‘Paradise’ is a picturesque section of Middletown, Rhode Island on the southeastern tip of Aquidneck Island.

In the Seventeenth Century, Aquidneck Island was known as the “Eden of America.” The area known as Paradise is bordered by Second Beach, Paradise Avenue (originally Swamp Road, then Paradise Road), Green End Avenue, and Third Beach Road.

Paradise is one of the most celebrated settings in the rich artistic heritage of Rhode Island, and one of the most important in the history of American art. The distinctive natural beauties of Paradise inspired generations of the most influential artists in America, among them: David Maitland Armstrong; George Bellows; Albert Bierstadt; Jasper Francis Cropsey; Winslow Homer; William Morris Hunt; John Frederick Kensett; John La Farge; and many more.

Learn more and view selected works of the incredible art history of Norman Bird Sanctuary at the PDF below.

John La Farge - The Last Valley - Paradise Rocks - National Gallery of Art, DC

John La Farge - The Last Valley - Paradise Rocks - National Gallery of Art, DC

The Lost Bird Project
by Todd McGrain

The Lost Bird Project is part natural history, part artist’s diary, documenting the extraordinary effort to place a series of public memorials to birds driven to extinction in modern times.

The Great Auk, Labrador Duck, Passenger Pigeon, Carolina Parakeet, and Heath Hen were birds that once filled unique niches in the North American landscape from the shores of New York to the Midwestern plains. Across the great American prairie, the skies were nearly black with Passenger Pigeons whose disappearance, like the buffalo’s, was thought to be inconceivable.

Four of the five extinct species would have been seen at Norman Bird Sanctuary.

NBS is proud to be the new home of the five bronze sculptures for the next 2 years to serve as public memorials and bring awareness to the Lost Bird Project and Norman Bird Sanctuary’s mission of wildlife conservation.

Learn more about Todd’s amazing project at