Artist in Residence Highlights 2013

NELLIE JUAN-COLLEGE FIORD WILDERNESS STUDY AREA
CHUGACH NATIONAL FOREST

IRENE OWSLEY  |  Photographer, Potomac, MD 
 

Bio picture

“Landscape is everything to me, and I especially respond to wild, austere places that come alive with sound and form and light. Deep in Harriman Fiord, I felt as close to earth’s natural rhythms as ever, stirred by the power of living things and earth forms. In my collaboration with writer Nancy Lord, I experienced the landscape through yet another filter as Nancy read aloud over our evening stew pot from the journal entries of John Muir, penned when he visited these very locations in 1899. Our focus became the “then and now” as we paddled the fiord following the route of this 19th century writer, naturalist and conservationist. Working in concert with another artist sparked a whole new layer of creativity and possibility.”


Artist's donation:
 "Cascade & Coxe Glaciers from Black Sand Beach", a 54” x 19” print mounted on dibond to accompany Nancy Lord’s essay.

Community extension: Collaborative essay with AIR Nancy Lord for Alaska magazine and Orion. Also produced a video essay with Nancy Lord for viewing on Vimeo called “Glacier.”

Stewardship projects:

  • Cleaned up an abandoned bear bait station
  • Monitored visitor use/various campsite
  • Completed solitude/encounters forms
  • Pulled invasive dandelions at View Point
  • Assessed lichens in Harriman area for lichen bio-monitoring
  • Naturalized camping areas
  • Visitor contacts—kayakers, ADF&G researchers working on an oystercatcher study

For more on Irene Owsley visit http://www.ireneowsley.com/

Exploring Prince William Sound (Chugach National Forest Website)

Nellie Juan–College Fiord Wilderness Study Area (PDF)


NELLIE JUAN-COLLEGE FIORD WILDERNESS STUDY AREA
CHUGACH NATIONAL FOREST

NANCY LORD  |  Writer, Homer, AK 
 

Artist Lord

As a writer, I’ve been heavily influenced by Alaska’s natural environment and the people—indigenous and otherwise—who’ve preceded me in valuing it. In the collaborative residency photographer Irene Owsley and I undertook in Prince William Sound’s Nellie Juan – College Fiord Wilderness Study Area, we had the opportunity to spend a week kayaking in the stunning glacier-rich Harriman Fiord a hundred and fourteen years after naturalist John Muir explored the same area. This was both a remarkable wilderness experience and an opportunity to track a century of change in images and words. My essay 'Glacial Gospel' is one result.

 

Artist's donation:
"Glacial Gospel" An 11” x 19” text board mounted on dibond to accompany Irene’s panorama.  

Community extension: Collaborative essay with AIR Irene Owsley for Alaska magazine and Orion.  Also produced a video essay with Irene Owsley for viewing on Vimeo called “Glacier.”

Stewardship projects:

  • Cleaned up an abandoned bear bait station
  • Monitored visitor use/various campsites
  • Completed solitude/encounters forms
  • Pulled invasive dandelions at View Point
  • Assessed lichens in Harriman area for air quality monitoring
  • Naturalized camping areas
  • Visitor contacts—kayakers, ADF&G researchers working on an oystercatcher study

For more on Nancy Lord visit www.writernancylord.com

Exploring Prince William Sound (Chugach National Forest Website)

Nellie Juan–College Fiord Wilderness Study Area (PDF)


NELLIE JUAN-COLLEGE FIORD WILDERNESS STUDY AREA
CHUGACH NATIONAL FOREST

JASON ELVROM  |  Illustrator/Graphic Designer, Los Angeles, CA 
 

Jason Elvrom

"In June of 2013, I had the incrdible fortune to accompany ten Alaskan teachers and the inspiring rangers that serve the area into beautiful Prince William Sound. History lingers heavy here in the earthquake trees that line the shore and in the haunting memories of the Valdez oil spill. The area is a natural memorial of how quickly and easily we could lose national treasures to disaster. I spent hours crouched in the tide pools staring into the microcosm reflecting on this, amazed at how resilient yet fragile life really is. It has given me a new sense of responsibility in using my skills as a graphic designer and illustrator to help share these public lands with others."

 

Artist's donation: Developed sixty placards for the 2014 Forest Service sponsored traveling art exhibit entitled Voice of the Wilderness, featuring artwork from VOTW artist residencies.  Placards ranged from artist biographies to publicity and educational materials, as well as maps.

Community extension: Jason worked closely with twenty different wilderness managers to develop placards for each highlighted wilderness.  He also worked with the seven venues exhibiting the show to develop publicity material for each event.

Stewardship projects:

  • Picked up garbage and marine debris
  • Assisted with public contacts
  • Assisted with encounters forms to track use of the area

For more on Jason Elvrom visit http://www.elvrom.com/

Exploring Prince William Sound (Chugach National Forest Website)

Nellie Juan–College Fiord Wilderness Study Area (PDF)


NELLIE JUAN-COLLEGE FIORD WILDERNESS STUDY AREA
CHUGACH NATIONAL FOREST

AMY GULICK  |  Photographer, North Bend, WA.


Artist Gulick

To live is to pay attention. My artist residency in Nellie Juan -College Fiord Wilderness Study Area allowed me to focus my mind, live in the present, and feel alive. Whether I'm photographing a bear fishing for salmon, a breaching whale, or a magnificent landscape, I know that I am seeing incredible and yet perfectly natural moments that occur every day, but that most people don't experience. I feel a sense of both awe and responsibility to help others see these wondrous lands entrusted to all Americans. Wilderness teaches us what it means to be human. What it means to be a part of our home we call Earth. What it means to be.

 

Artist's donation: "On Being" 28" x 42" photograph printed on aluminum. 

Community extension: Amy developed posters specific to the NJ-CF WSA to highlight the area. She had 800 printed and donated to the Forest Service.  She also is developing a new interpretive sign for the WSA to be displayed in Whittier.

Stewardship projects:

  • Worked with rangers, ecologist and lichenologist on lichen bio-monitoring
  • Collected lichens to test for pollutants
  • Cleaned lichen samples
  • Picked up garbage
  • Monitored camp site impacts

For more on Amy Gulick visit http://www.amygulick.com/

Exploring Prince William Sound (Chugach National Forest Website)

Nellie Juan–College Fiord Wilderness Study Area (PDF)


TRACY ARM-FORD'S TERROR WILDERNESS
TONGASS NATIONAL FOREST

SUZANNE STUTZMAN  |  Illustrator, Golden, CO. 


Artist Stutzman

I found the “terror” of Tracy Arm – Ford's Terror Wilderness in the form of huge icebergs calving off of the Dawes Glacier face and crashing into the rocks where we had recently pulled our kayaks up out of the water. I contemplated how we would re-enter the active glacial tidewater the next day. Alaska wilderness presents unparalleled opportunities for challenge and pushing yourself to meet unscripted nature on its own terms. This 9-day artist residency inspired me to fill more than 60 pages of my nature journal with images of the details of this wild land, and later create the watercolor and pen and ink illustration “Interstadial Wood” that reflects the untrammeled character and scientific value of wilderness.

 

Artist's donation: "Interstadial Wood" a framed watercolor illustration. Suzy also donated a composite poster with images from her sketchbook journal and a 37-page original sketchbook inspired by her residency; much of which was created in the field. 

Community extension: Suzy created a “Nature Journal Artist’s Workbook,”  designed to be a simple K-12 classroom resource for teachers and students.  Posted on wilderness.net under "Management Tools," "Toolboxes," “Interpretation and Education Tool Box,”  "Program Materials,” "Jr. Ranger/Kid/Youth Activities,"  "Nature Journal Artist's Workbook."

Stewardship projects:

  • Monitored four campsites
  • Monitored cultural resource conditions in Sumdum
  • Sighted and documented moose, unusual in the area
  • Sighted newt and recorded GPS location
  • Boarded two cruise vessels (one 24 passengers and one 40 passengers) and gave educational presentations to guests and staff on Tongass National Forest, Wilderness, artist-in-residence program, and plants and wildlife.
  • Contacted several other tour boats in the area by radio to check on compliance with seal rules (maintaining distance) and show general presence
  • Photo documentation of Dawes Glacier
  • Monitored haze from cruise ships
  • Picked up and hauled out trash

Tracy Arm - Fords Terror Wilderness (PDF)

Tongass National Forest website


GLACIER BAY WILDERNESS
GLACIER BAY NATIONAL PARK

DAVID BAHR  |  Photographer, Nederland, CO.   

 

Artist Bahr

I’m lucky to live near the Indian Peaks Wilderness in Colorado, but the allure of the Alaskan wilderness is overwhelming, and I’ve made regular treks north since the early 90’s. Each summer I need to feel the smooth and calm water as I nose a sea kayak out of a foggy but stunning Alaskan bay. I want to smell that sweet perfume, reminiscent of a chocolate food craving, which is really from the blooming cotton woods that send armadas of white seeds onto the water. I’ll watch an elegant harbor porpoise pop up across my bow while an eagle soars overhead, and a 13,000 foot peak in a “blue-and-white-print glacier-skirt” briefly emerges from the mist. What more could I need for my art or for my soul?

 

Artist's donation: "Lupines and Unbelievably Blue Water" 16” x 20” framed photograph.

Community extension: David exhibited his A.I.R. photography in Boulder, CO (2013) and at the 2014 Wilderness Forever exhibit at the Smithsonian.

Stewardship projects:

  • Monitored campsite usage
  • Visited scores of sites to evaluate impacts and to remove invasive weeds
  • Naturalized sites impacted by humans--removed fire rings and all signs of human visitation
  • Picked up trash


For more on David Bahr visit http://www.bahrimages.com/news/KayakingWithGrizzlies.html


TEBENKOF BAY WILDERNESS
TONGASS NATIONAL FOREST

VALERIE RAPP  |  Writer, Mckenzie, OR 

 

Artist Rapp

In June 2013, I went on an eight-day kayak expedition in Tebenkof Bay Wilderness, part of a larger wilderness complex sprawling across the waistline of southeast Alaska. I discovered a wilderness with zero miles of hiking trails but with abundant sea otters, bald eagles, and humpback whales. In my writing, I am now exploring how wilderness shapes our character and values, how climate change is affecting wilderness, and what we want our legacies to be fifty years from now, for wilderness values.

 

Artist's donation: "Voices of Tebenkof Bay: What Will Our Legacies Be?" A framed 19” x 23” photo and essay excerpt, taken from her longer essay entitled “Voices of Tebenkof Bay;  What Will Our Legacies Be?”, to be used by the Forest Service for educational and promotional purposes.

Community extension: Slideshow presentation to the Eugene Obsidians, a nonprofit group that organizes hikes and wilderness trips, and has educational and service activities related to the outdoors and wilderness. 

Stewardship projects:

  • Visited 5 campsites and monitored use, cleaned up sites as needed.
  • Pulled invasive plants at two sites. Invasives included mint, clover, and other plants.
  • Picked up litter along wilderness beaches, mostly plastics brought in by currents.
  • Solitude monitoring.
  • Visitor contact.

Tebenkof Bay Wilderness and Kuiu Wilderness (PDF)

Tongass National Forest website


SOUTH BARANOF WILDERNESS
TONGASS NATIONAL FOREST

HEIDI MICHELE  |  Multimedia artist, Moab, UT. 
 

Artist Michelle

I grew up in Nome, Alaska, and was thrilled to come back to the homeland to participate in the artist in residence program. I love the incredible vastness and the true remote wilderness that Alaska offers. Southeast Alaska is very different than the Arctic that I had known as a child, but equally dramatic, as I was exposed to rain, lush forests and the teeming coastal wildlife. I currently live in Utah, where my work tends to reflect the arid and landlocked desert that surrounds me. This residency has provided a welcome change of pace for my artwork, as I have come away from this experience with an arsenal of new and exciting imagery and inspiration to work with.

 

Artist's donation: "Otters" A 20” x 30” mixed media piece.

Community extension: Heidi gave a slideshow presentation in Moab, Utah about her VOTW residency.

Stewardship projects:

  • Campsite monitoring with naturalization and clean-up (30+ remote sites)
  • Beach cleanups including tsunami debris
  • Encounter monitoring for wilderness character/solitude.
     

For more information on Heidi Michele visit http://www.heidimicheledesign.com/

South Baranof Wilderness (PDF)

Tongass National Forest website


SOUTH BARANOF WILDERNESS
TONGASS NATIONAL FOREST

HOLLY GITTLEIN  |  Sculptor, Wasilla, AK 
 

Artist Gittlein

I’m a multi-media artist humbly dedicated to our inherent connection to Mother Earth. I focus on human-nature relationships, healing, transformation and enlightenment in my art. “Raven Light” captures the soul of Sitka. Raven, known as Yehl, is the symbol of creation: maker of forests, mountains, rivers and seas. The healing light of the Raven’s heart penetrates deep into the ancestral grief and loss of the land. A healing light to cleanse the past and unite the people, sea, land and the heavens to reclaim the balance of nature and the natural flow of life and love.

 

Artist's donation: "Raven Light" A multi-media sculpture that is comprised of natural found objects.

Community Extension: Holly gave a slideshow presentation in Wasilla, and worked with homeless youth through the non-profit "My House" to incorporate the concepts of Refuge, Nature as Home, and Stewardship into artistic endeavors and community arts exhibits.

Stewardship projects:

  • Campsite monitoring with naturalization and clean-up (30+ remote sites)
  • Beach cleanups including tsunami debris
  • Encounter monitoring for wilderness character/solitude.
     

For more on Holly Gittlein visit http://www.hollygittlein.com.

South Baranof Wilderness (PDF)

Tongass National Forest website


MISTY FIORDS NATIONAL MONUMENT WILDERNESS
TONGASS NATIONAL FOREST

SEPAND SHAHAB  |  Composer, Los Angeles, CA 

 

Photo of Sepand Shahab."I am a composer and harpsichordist living in Los Angeles, CA.  I work with field recordings because I am interested first and foremost with listening as an artistic practice, and  nature provides a never ending stream of sounds, forms, and sonic landscapes that I use as the basis of my work.  Being able to visit Misty Fiords National Monument was an important experience for me because it is a sonic ecosystem that is being infringed upon by disruptive sightseeing activities.  I tried to highlight this disruption in my donation piece, which consists of recordings I made on site and tones that were added later."

 

Artist's donation: A piece incorportating field recordings he made while visiting Misty Fjords National Monument.

Community extension:  Sepand developed music compositions centered around the field recordings from Misty Fjords.  His first concert will be held in Los Angeles in 2014.

Stewardship projects:

  • Monitoring campsites and visitor use
  • Worked with an ecologist on invasive species surveys and treatments at several locations in Rudyerd Bay and the vicinity.

Misty Fiords National Monument Wilderness (PDF)

Tongass National Forest website


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