Visions of the Wild Festival features

Release Date: Aug 1, 2017  

Contact(s): Steve Dunsky, (707) 562-8680

Visions of the WildVALLEJO, California, July 28, 2017—Come explore the changing lands and waters of the Bay Area and beyond at the fourth annual Visions of the Wild, in Vallejo and American Canyon, September 6 through 10. Changing Landscapes is also the theme of the inaugural Chalk Art Festival Vallejo, which takes place the same weekend.

The U.S. Forest Service and its many local partners are excited to engage the community with Visions of the Wild, bringing people closer to nature through art, music, science and outdoor experiences. In addition, the Forest Service will participate in farmers' markets in Vallejo on September 9, and American Canyon on September 10, with its Nature Discovery Zone.

Festivities kick off on Wednesday, September 6, with a conversation with award-winning author Mary Ellen Hannibal, focused on citizen science. This burgeoning discipline provides opportunities for anyone to contribute to natural history research. Her recent book Citizen Scientist: Searching for Heroes and Hope in an Age of Extinction will be available for sale and signing.

The Thursday night reception features music, food, along with special guest speaker Chad Frischmann. He is the vice president and research director of Drawdown, a comprehensive project and book that offer a broad array of solutions to the problem of global warming. Vallejo poet Genea Price, Mayor Bob Sampayan and other local luminaries will also speak.

Both Wednesday and Thursday's events will be at the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum.

Six new art exhibits premiere on Friday, September 8, during the second Friday art walk in downtown Vallejo:

  • Temple Art Lofts Gallery will host a show called ON FIRE, featuring installations that examine the effects of wildfire and tree mortality on national forests in California.
  • Imaginary Landscapes is the theme of the new show at the Artiszen Cultural Arts Center. It features the work of several artists including Jeff Snell.
  • Snell also has a solo show called Our Changing Landscape in the Jen Tough Gallery.
  • Climate change is the subject of The Wait at the TrojanMonk Gallery.
  • The sixth annual Art Windows project kicks off with an artists' reception and docent-led tours of the downtown storefronts that feature works by various local artists.
  • Re-Shaping Vallejo, which opens a day earlier for the festival reception, offers a series of panels illustrating how Vallejo has changed over the years.

Friday evening's theme of ecological restoration will be showcased in a series of short films and talks at the Empress Theatre that highlight work being done by various partners to improve our ecosystems locally, regionally and across the state. Barnie Gyant, Deputy Regional Forester for the U.S. Forest Service's Pacific Southwest Region, will discuss current issues in national forest management and restoration.

The Fish Line, an interactive, science-based, performance art project, will begin at 2 p.m., on Saturday, September 9. This family friendly, one-mile walk navigates the original shoreline of the Napa River. Learn about the past, present and future of our changing riverfront, while reimagining the watershed as public art.

A Saturday afternoon concert by Re:Sound will take place in the former bank building at 332 Georgia Street. Re:Sound will present three audio works that use environmental and experimental music to examine our changing world. The program will include a lecture by renowned bioacoustics researcher David Dunn.

Saturday night's Empress Theatre program is a tribute to the late folksinger and songwriter Pete Seeger. A film about his life and work will be shown on the big screen, followed by an uplifting community sing-along. People of all ages are encouraged to attend and sing.

Other Visions of the Wild highlights include two Saturday morning field trips on Mare Island and river cruises. One, hosted by Earthquake Protection Systems, will examine the effect of earthquakes. The other explores the changes happening in San Pablo Bay with a visit to the U.S. Geological Survey Estuary Field Station.

This year, the Saturday cruise will go up the Napa River to explore the watersheds that feed the bay. The Sunday cruise will motor up the Carquinez Strait to Suisun Bay. Seats are limited and are sold on a first come-first served basis.

All of the festival events, except for the river cruises, are free and open to everyone. Space is limited at some venues and on field trips. Admission will be on a first come, first served basis. River cruise tickets are available for sale through the Empress Theatre box office, online ( or, or in person.

The U.S. Forest Service is the main sponsor of the festival with additional funding provided by other agencies, businesses and individuals in Vallejo and American Canyon. The Vallejo Community Arts Foundation is the non-profit fiscal sponsor.

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