Art of the Wild at Mowen Solinsky Gallery:
Celebrate a deep awareness of our native environment through art made from local, wild materials. Each of us has an opportunity to use what is right around us to create beauty—it is as simple as finding driftwood, collecting river rocks, or arranging native berries and flowers to decorate the home. This show, Art of the Wild, exhibits the work of 10 leading local artists inspired by the natural beauty that surrounds the Yuba Watershed and profits benefit river conservation through the South Yuba River Citizen’s League.
Jane Baldwin at Festival Headquarters:
Jane Baldwin’s photo-documentary and companion film, “Kara Women Speak”, tells the story of indigenous people through photographs and recorded interviews with women living in Ethiopia’s Omo River Valley. Their poignant stories describe a complex assimilation of the ancient and the modern, woven into concerns for their future. Their words reflect the uncertain fate of all indigenous people in the developing world. The Omo River Valley is home to roughly twelve diverse indigenous cultures. Most practice flood-recession agriculture, and all depend on the river’s natural flood cycle to replenish their land for farming and grazing of livestock. Ethiopian government contracts have been awarded to developers to build hydroelectric dams on the Omo River. Gibe III, the largest dam of its kind in sub-Saharan Africa, will drastically alter the river’s flow and decrease essential seasonal flooding to this fragile ecosystem.
Matt Black at Elixart:
Southern Mexico’s Mixteca region is one of the most heavily eroded landscapes on earth: up to five meters of topsoil have been lost. In the town of Santiago Mitlatongo, soil loss triggered a geological phenomenon called “slumping.” Like a slow-motion landslide, the town is sliding downhill at the rate of one meter per day, destroying homes and livelihoods as houses and farmland slip into the valley below. For the past ten years, Matt Black has been chronicling the environmental and social erosion of the Mixteca, an isolated region in southern Mexico that was once home to one of the most advanced cultures in the pre-Columbian Americas. Today, villages across the Mixteca are on the verge of collapse—some have lost up to five meters of topsoil to erosion and 80 percent of their population to migration.
Richard Lang and Judith Selby Lang at Festival Headquarters:
Since 1999 Richard Lang and Judith Selby Lang have been visiting 1000 yards of Kehoe Beach in the Point Reyes National Sea Shore. They have rambled this one remote beach hundreds of times to gather plastic debris washing out of the Pacific Ocean. By carefully collecting and “curating” the bits of plastic, we fashion it into works of art— art that matter-of-factly shows, with minimal artifice, the material as it is. The viewer is often surprised that this colorful stuff is the thermoplastic junk of our throwaway culture. As we have deepened our practice we’ve found, like archeologists, that each bit of what we find opens into a pinpoint look at the whole of human culture. Each bit has a story to tell. Judith & Richard will be exhibiting prints from their “What’s for dinner?” project.
James Q. Martin at The Haven:
‘Patagonia Wild’ is a photo exhibit that represents three trips and over 6 months of time spent in Chile documenting. The imagery represents a rare place on this planet that is still WILD. The lands pictured here humble and make each person who travels through them realize that we are still animals who belong to the land. Chile has become a home away from home for Flagstaff based photographer and filmmaker; James ‘Q’ Martin. Q was born in the Arizona desert and raised in the remote reaches of Alaska. Always the intrepid traveler seeking the next adventure, he spends more days on the road than at home. Having a desire to give back to the environment, he co-founded the Rios Libres Project (RL), which seeks to help keep Patagonia Chile pristine.
Natural Histories Project at Festival Headquarters:
Natural history is a practice and a body of knowledge. It can be both a personal path and a professional undertaking. It has been given many definitions and can be claimed by no single discipline or knowledge holder. And yet, there are consistent elements in definitions collected from a wide range of practitioners, from poets to ecologists, geologists to expeditionary artists, resource managers to science teachers: Attention to and representation of nature, a focus on patterns observed at the organismal to landscape level, the value of accuracy. The Natural Histories Project explores experiences and values that combine to create a wide range of natural histories, and through this exploration, we hope to initiate an international conversation on the value and future of Natural History. Broadsides of the Natural Histories Project by the documentary team of Benjamin Drummond & Sara Joy Steele will be on display. Join the Natural History Network, Sierra Streams Institute and naturalist Jack Laws for a natural history hike and conversation on Sunday at 12pm.
Dan Shepherd at Festival Headquarters:
In this new series Dan Shepherd explores the human connection to nature by asking people to “Draw Me a Tree.” Not just any tree, but one that has had some impact in their lives. In collaboration, he visits these special trees with people and documents them through a unique photographic experience. One of the few artistic endeavors that we all have in common is drawing a tree and this ongoing project explores our artistic connection to nature by asking people to “Draw Me a Tree.”
Radek Skrivanek at the Miners Foundry:
The tragedy of the Aral Sea is one of the worst environmental disasters committed by humankind. The entire lake, comparable in size to any of the North American Great Lakes, was sucked dry along with its entire water supply by the thirst of cotton fields. The scheme to grow cotton on a commercial scale in Central Asia was first devised in the second half of 19th century by Russian engineers during the reign of Tzar Alexander II. This scheme was later expanded on a grand scale by the communist government, and it continues to be exploited today in the post-Soviet era. As a result of this practice, vast areas of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan have become deserts. The ground is peppered with seashells and occasionally crowned with a rusting hull of a ship. The world’s fourth largest lake is gone. Radek Skrivanek’s haunting photos are a testament to the true cost of boundless industry. Also, check out the film Aral: The Lost Sea for more of the background story.
Ridge Tapestry History Project at The Center for the Arts:
Since its inception in 2006 the Ridge Tapestry History Project has been a work of many hands created to express the history and culture of the San Juan Ridge and its meaning as a “place”. Inspiration for this project is an illustrious medieval work of art, The Bayeux Tapestry, which depicts the history of the invasion of England by the Normans in 1066. The first tapestry, Fall Celebration on the Ridge documents the celebration that takes place at the annual Halloween gathering begun on the San Juan ridge 40 years ago. The second tapestry, The North Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center, showcases the historic Schoolhouse, The Storytelling Festival, a dance and other popular events. The third tapestry, The Land Then and Now portrays the land before the Gold Rush, the cataclysm of the Gold Rush and the diggings today. The fourth tapestry, The Cattle Drive, features the scene in front of the Coughlan Ranch headquarters at North Columbia. A fifth tapestry, The 20-Year Fight Against Gold Mines is in the works.