Saturday, December 6, 2014

A year in review…

Idaho Conservation League asked me to write some thoughts about my year as their first Artist in Residence, a program that will continue in 2015 with the talented photographer Peter Lovera.

My 2014 residency with ICL was a year of discovery and purpose. New landscapes I had the opportunity to explore included the Boulder White Clouds as seen from Railroad Ridge, the serene and friendly shores of Priest Lake, the Palouse (to be revisited soon!), Lake Pend Oreille and Schweitzer, and many places between. I gained a deepened appreciation of and intimacy with our Boise Foothills. And still I feel I have only seen the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Idaho's vast and varying landscapes. There are still the Craters of the Moon, the Clearwater Valley, Hell's Canyon, southeast Idaho, the Bruneau River and sand dunes, and on and on. The more I paint and explore, the more I value the work that ICL is doing to protect these places. I am so fortunate to live an artist's life in this amazing region.

Idaho Conservation League was a source of geographical information, logistical support, and encouragement throughout my year. They matched my efforts every time, enthusiastically supporting the gung-ho approach I took to my residence, which included over 100 works of art and three exhibitions over the course of the year. I could not have asked for a better collaborating organization.

My partnership with ICL has inspired me to continue to find ways to work with organizations in mutually beneficial projects - art has the ability to inspire an emotional connection to people and places, and as an artist it has been very satisfying to see this capability put to work for a cause in which I believe. Another benefit from an artist's perspective - collaborations have proved extremely effective in reaching a broader audience for my work. Advice to emerging artists -  figure out what you value, find an organization you respect who represents those values, and find creative ways of working together to promote each other's good work.

2015's Artist in Residence, Peter Lovera, and I had a brief conversation about his excitement for the upcoming year, and his excitement was contagious. He tossed out some ideas that never crossed my mind in the two years I've been working with ICL - ideas which use the characteristics of his medium effectively and creatively. Look out for a whole new take on what it means to be ICL's Artist in Residence in the coming year. And have fun, Peter!

Thank you to Idaho Conservation League for a fabulous experience working together. Special thanks to my dear friend Aimee Moran whose open mind considered all my ideas, feasible and not, and to Sean Scrivner who was vital in getting me to most of the far-out places I explored.

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