Metalsmith and jewelry designer Rachel Suzanne Smith models one of her creations. PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE ARTISTS

Artist in residence: Acadia National Park

Haiku poet Brad Bennett.

A haiku poet and a metalsmith who creates wearable sculptures are among the eight people who have been selected as this year’s Acadia National Park artists in residence.

Last fall, 150 people from 33 states and five countries applied for residencies in three categories: visual art, writing and at-large, which includes music composition, dance, Indigenous arts and emerging technologies. Three separate panels with 17 total jurors reviewed the applications.   

In exchange for 14 nights of park-provided housing, each invited artist typically leads one public outreach activity and eventually donates one finished work of art to Acadia that offers visitors a fresh way to experience the park. 

Composer and musical group director Justin Sherburn.

This year’s chosen artists are Imma Barrera, a landscape and nature photographer from Metuchen, N.J.; Brad Bennett, a haiku poet from Arlington, Mass.; Kevin Mack, a painter and visual effects artist from Pittsburg, Pa.; Sarah McCartt-Jackson, a poet, oral historian and folklorist from Louisville, Ky.; Justin Sherburn, a composer and musical group director from Austin, Texas; Rachel Suzanne Smith, a metalsmith and jewelry designer from Strongsville, Ohio; Sara Tabbert, a printmaker and mixed media artist from Fairbanks, Alaska; and Jill Haley, a composer, oboist and English horn player from Reading, Pa.

Poet and folklorist Sarah McCartt-Jackson.

Haley has been an artist in residence at four national parks and has written and performed music inspired by those and several other national parks. 

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, most of the artists in residence selected for this year are postponing their residencies until next year. One exception, according to Jay Elhard, manager of Acadia’s Artist-in-Residence Program, is Sherburn, who plans to be here in August. Sherburn composes music for features films and live theater, as well as recording with his group, Montopolis. The group produces multimedia events that combine Sherburn’s original music with film and live narration. 




haikus by Brad Bennett 


a drop of pond 

at the end of a beak 

setting sun 


late August 

fewer seconds between 

lightning and thunder 


Dick Broom

Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]
Dick Broom

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