Have you ever been so inspired by a sunset that you were tempted to write a poem about it or capture it in photograph or paint? Since 2013, Shenandoah National Park has welcomed artists through its Artist-in-Residence program to be inspired by the park’s natural beauty and history, and create something magical. This year’s residents were painter Elizabeth Popp, metalworker and jewelry maker Lisa Walsh, and the park’s first Musician-in-Residence, Malia Furtado.
Malia is a bluegrass fiddler born and raised in the northern end of the Shenandoah Valley, and her artistic formation is steeped in the traditional music of the Appalachian Mountains. “In traditional American music, the mountains are an integral part of the music; they weave themselves into every strain and through the lyrics of countless songs,” she says.
For three weeks in July, Malia made the park home, composing new songs and making public performances. “The music and the land go hand in hand, with the sounds of old time fiddle being synonymous with the sight of the Blue Ridge Mountains.”
Malia teaches bluegrass fiddle and violin at The Front Porch music school in Charlottesville, as well as at Blue Ridge Community College in Weyers Cave. She has performed with several bluegrass greats and currently plays with the Gina Clowes Project.
Love the connection between art and nature? Support the Artist-in-Residence Program and other programs that connect people to the park by donating to the Trust today!