July 8, 2016

Painter and Park Ranger

by Cari Costa '16

Adelphi alumna MaryEllen Hackett ’10 has a passion for painting, but during the day, she works as a national park ranger. Off the clock, Hackett enjoys painting landscapes and conversing with other artists about their techniques.

Hackett, who recently took a permanent ranger position at Sequoia National Park in California, was selected as a Centennial Artist Ambassador for 2016, to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the National Park Service.

In a recent interview published by Adventure Journal, she spoke about her dual roles as artist and park ranger.

“To sum it up: I’m pretty much a ‘hype girl’ for art in the parks,” Hackett said. “I’m trying to promote art to the parks and I’m trying to promote it to artists. It’s an evolving role that I have a feeling, come 2017, I’ll probably still be doing in a more involved way.”

When she’s not working on her art, Hackett is busy in her role as a national park ranger, a job that she’s just as passionate about as her art but still manages to separate.

“I’m fully dedicated to that when I’m on the job–I don’t work on art during ranger hours,” Hackett said. “When I get off, I typically spend an hour a day doing research on artists and residencies and responding to emails. I then organize time to talk to people. That said, there’s never a typical day.”

Hackett holds a B.F.A. in Studio Art from Adelphi, and Kellyann Monaghan, associate professor and department chair, has fond memories of teaching her and has since stayed in touch.She was one of my best students,” Monaghan said. “She is really amazing—combining art, painting and being a park ranger.”

» Read the full Adventure Journal article.

MaryEllen Hackett by Dylan Schneider from Adventure Journal

MaryEllen Hackett ’10 was selected by the National Park Service as a Centennial Artist Ambassador for 2016. Photo by Dylan Schneider, published by “Adventure Journal.”


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