Art for the Endangered Landscape
New Video- Art for the Endangered Landscape: Honoring Wolf Creek ( 2-23-16)
A wrap up of this project and call to further action
2015 ushers in the second Art for the Endangered Landscape project focusing on Wolf Creek along the Continental Divide within the San Juan Mountains of southern Colorado. Artists of all disciplines converged at the Wolf Creek Ski Area on Saturday June 20, 2015 and spent the day in the creative process.
The goals of this project are to highlight the skills of Colorado and regional artists and to translate art inspiration from nature into solutions for land management that will preserve natural scenic resources.
The next stage of the project is a travelling art show and sale featuring art works, interpetation and music inspired from Wolf Creek. The show and sale opened at the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts on Saturday September 26 and was displayed until November 1. The Sale then traveled to Durango with an opening on Thursday, November 5, 2015. After a month the show tour will finish at the Adams State University Community Partnerships Gallery in Alamosa, to open on Friday December 4, 2015. Proceeds from art sales will go to help our continuing fight to curtail massive resort development on the pass.
The Art Day of June 20 enticed wild country enthusiasts to join in and observe the artists at work and interact with them, discovering the elements of nature-inspired art.
Thank You to all the artists, musicians and wild Wolf Creek Supporters for coming out - it was a special day with great weather, great views and great people.
The concentration on the inate beauty of this high country in its current state leads to the obvious question laced in the title of Endangered Landscape- why is it endangered?
Wolf Creek Pass and its heavily used highway corridor hold a critical place in the ongoing struggle to balance natural systems with human disruption. The pass bisects some of the wildest remaining primitive country in the southern Rocky Mountains. To the north of the pass is half-million acre Weminuche Wildernss and to the south is the South San Juan Wilderness holding 160,000 acres. The boundaries of these two wilderness areas come to within 6 miles of each other at their closest proximity, but those are treacherous miles for wildlife and plant populations to negotiate.
Wolf Creek was also the area selected to release the reintroduced Canada lynx, an endangered species throughout its historic range.
The most controversial endangerment to consider is a 10,000- person resort complex proposed by developers on a piece of private land adjacent to Wolf Creek Ski Area.
From its origination as a questionable land exchange in 1986 to its current incarnation of transfering yet again more public land, this proposal has galvanized opposing factions. For more in-depth information on this aspect go to Wolf Creek Developments.
The Art for the Endangered Landscape project strives to shed a different light on development issues from the aspect of loss of visual beauty. This art celebration also honors what we have now and what we have to lose in a tangible and visceral manner.
For more in-depth information about the 2015 events please click on the links at the top of the page.
Photos by Brian Perkins
"Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike." John Muir
Art for the Endangered Landscape is a special project sponsored by the SLV Ecosystem Council and Community Partnerships of Adams State University which aims to integrate artistic expression with sensibility to our western wildlands. This first expression focused on an area that is a proposed wildcat oil well exploration site that is within a rural residential site surrounded by public land. Click for in-depth situation.
This premiere project had 2 events:
1. The "paint-out" of Saturday, September 29, 2012 adjacent to a proposed oil drilling site on San Francisco Creek south of Del Norte, Colorado. The purpose of the event was to celebrate the existing conditions of the area through the various artistic avenues; painting, drawing, photography, videography, songwriting, sculpture, printmaking, poetry, dance etc. Education professionals were encouraged to bring their students as a unique learning opportunity. The focus of this project was on human interaction with the land and the implications of the loss of wildlands and anticipated environmental impacts resulting from proposed industrial activity. See the news report by Valley Courier reporter Lauren Krizansky. Click here.
Here are some pics of the days activities with 20 artists participating and the local neighbors hosting a tasty lunch.
Evelyn Sprouse Rowe on location, Frank Scott and Deb Nichols entertaining and composing.
Greg Gosar and Steve Goldstein.
2. An exhibition and reception for the completed works/presentations.
Other Features of Art for the Endangered Landscape
Public and media education about the scope of the drilling, subsequent fracking and the associated degradation to rural lifestyle, wildlife and watershed was laid out in the project. This was augmented by welcoming general public and media on the day of the events.
This was also a fundraising event for the San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council which has been at the forefront in educating and galvanizing public scrutiny for the exploratory drilling proposal through the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process.