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Sitka Center for Art and Ecology e-Newsletter

October 2008 - Vol 3, Issue 11


  • Notes from the Director
  • Hunting Mushrooms is a Triple-Treat
  • Special Art Invitational Workshop Offered In Portland
  • Job Opportunities at Partner Organizations
  • Meet the Fall 2008 Artists-In-Residency
  • New Website Section
  • Online Photo Sharing

Notes from the Director

equinox dinner 08

I have struggled this month to precisely convey how excited and nervous I am for Sitka's future. We stand on the edge of a new tomorrow with economic uncertainty driving an engine of fear that churns out doom on a never ending news cycle.

And yet I am unbearably optimistic. I see a future in which we finally face up to our difficulties and begin to craft creative solutions to the tough problems we face as a nation. I have always thought that Sitka can play a role. We help people find their core creative selves and creativity is exactly what we need. Creativity in developing new forms of energy. Creativity in addressing our health care challenges. Creativity in educating our children. Creativity in preserving our environment.

Now more than ever, the world needs creative thinkers to see what others do not. We need artists to lend their voices to finding creative solutions to the challenges we face. We need ecologists to help us develop new models for our society. We have much to contribute. Now is the time to step forward and make it happen. Let's create the world we want.

The return of the elk seem to signal that fall is really here. Two tremendous workshops will complete our workshop season: Mushroom Hunting at the end of October, and a special Art and Writing workshop with Kim Stafford and Rebecca Wild in Portland that uses the Art Invitational as its backdrop. Both still have room, so call us to reserve a spot.

Our fall residents arrived last week and already they are bringing a new energy to the campus as they settle into their studios and began their creative work. We are excited to have them join us for the next several months. You'll find snippets about each artist later in this newsletter with full profiles on our website.

The Harvest Dinner in September was a tremendous success. The food was delicious, the campus looked amazing, and the attentive delivery of the dinner by our staff and volunteers was impeccable. Special thanks to Greg Rice and Fishing Vessel Sea Smoke for the fresh Alaskan salmon, Torii Mor Winery for the fabulous wine, and Barking Dog Farm for the fresh, healthy organic vegetables. Plans are underway for a reprise of the event on September 19, 2009.

Our attention now turns to three things as we close out the last 3 months of the year.

1) The Sitka Art Invitational is a month away. On November 14, roughly 500 works of original art from 100 Northwest Artists will fill Miller Hall at the World Forestry Center in Portland. The theme for this year's show is "Conversations with Nature" and the art speaks to that magical intersection of Art and Ecology that represents Sitka's core values.

2) Workshop tuition only covers 25% of Sitka's $560,000 operational costs. We are looking for help in raising $140,000 to put Sitka in good financial shape going into 2009. We can do it, but we need your help. All it takes is 140 people who each raise $1000 from friends and family. (Or 1400 people to contribute $100.) This newsletter goes to 2100 people so this is very doable! Call us! You can make a difference! Donate online in the name of a friend!

3) Planning for the 2009 workshop season has begun in earnest. As we gather the workshop proposals, arrange the calendar, and begin designing the catalog, we are focusing on making your Sitka experience a brilliant one.

Go out into the world to share your creative energy. We'll see you soon.


Mushroom Hunting Workshop
10/25/08 - 10/26/08
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Meander along Cascade Head trails decorated in fall colors while searching for treasured mushrooms then relax and write about your experience. When you get home, savor your harvest as you devour them in your favorite mushroom dish.

Join Nancy Weber and Carol Ann Bassett as they expertly guide you through the day.

Nancy Weber has hunted mushrooms since childhood. As an affiliate professor at Oregon State University, her research centers on morels and related fungi. Her hobby is studying fungal diversity in Corvallis. Nancy has worked with many mushroom clubs, and she also is a senior or co-author of several books and papers on mushrooms.

Carol Ann Bassett has written for The Nation, Mother Jones, The Los Angeles Times, Condé Nast Traveler and numerous other national publications. Bassett teaches environmental writing and literary nonfiction at the University of Oregon, and directs an on-going summer program, "Environmental Writing in the Galápagos."

Special Art Invitational Workshop Offered In Portland

rebecca_wild_sai_08Participate in an incredible Sitka Art Invitational workshop with long-time Sitka instructors, Rebecca Wild and Kim Stafford. "Conversations with Nature: Writing & Art" is taking place in Portland, Oregon at the World Forestry Center in the David Douglas Room on November 13th.

Rebecca and Kim will lead students in a series of exploratory exercises practicing curiosity about the natural realm in two voices: language and art.

Rebecca Wild is an artist and calligrapher in Portland, Oregon. Her work combines a love of letterforms with the luminous characteristics of drawing materials and paint. She has a B.A. in studio art and has taught locally at Pacific NW College of Art, Oregon College of Art and Craft, Portland Community College and Sitka Center for Art and Ecology. http://rwildletterart.blogspot.com

Kim Stafford is the founding director of the Northwest Writing Institute, and author of a dozen books of poetry and prose. In addition to Sitka, he has taught writing workshops at the annual Fishtrap Writers Gathering, and colleges and literary centers in Oregon and abroad. Kim recently won the Regional Arts & Culture Council's Individual Artist Fellowship Award in Literature

Job Opportunities at Partner Organizations

The Westwind Stewardship Group is seeking an experienced, self-directed and motivated Executive Director with a passion for protecting a pristine environment as well as the ability to inspire, learn from and teach others about the magic and the bio-diversity that abounds in the Salmon River Estuary. www.westwind.org

The Carbon Co-op is looking to hire a project director as soon as possible. Ideally this person lives on the central coast or at least has familiarity with the area. The job mostly entails working with forest landowners on conservation easements and other carbon sequestration strategies. We need someone who can communicate with owners in a personal and business like way, someone who is highly self directed and organized. synergy@oregoncoast.com

Meet the Fall 2008 Artists-In-Residency

Imagine having 4 uninterrupted months to dig deeply into a subject that ignites your creative passion. What if your lodging costs were covered and you were given a big studio so you could work undisturbed? What if right outside your door, you had a huge meadow that led to the mouth of a river as it emptied into the Pacific Ocean and all around your studio were giant Sitka trees and towering Douglas Fir? What if the only expectation in exchange for this gift of time and space to focus on your work, was doing something for the local community?

This dream has become a reality for 10 artists from around the world who were recently chosen to participate in the residency program at the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology. The residencies vary from two to fourteen weeks with the costs (avg $12,250 per resident) for each residency paid for with generous support from donors, foundations, Sitka members, and art patrons at the art invitational. The total annual cost for Sitka's residency program is $98,250. If you would like to be involved in supporting the residency program, please contact us. Sitka is working on raising $1.75 million to permanently sustain the residency program.

The Residency Program at Sitka started in 1981 and since that first year with a single resident, over 170 residents have participated. The program provides artists, writers, and natural science scholars the opportunity to conduct their work in the unique environment of Cascade Head and the Salmon River estuary. All residents perform community outreach during their stay, offering free exhibits and lectures on campus, presentations to area schools or community groups, and/or conducting scholarly research for local educational institutions. Some residents are emerging voices; others are mature professionals, internationally recognized in their disciplines. Residents have come from across the U.S. and seventeen nations.

We are delighted to introduce the Artists-in-Residency for the 2008-2009 season with a brief description of the work they will be doing during their time at Sitka. We will offer a public Open House for viewing the artists' work during the first part of January and in mid May so check our web site for details as they develop.

Louisa Conrad, MFA, from Vermont, will be making an anthropological and visual model surrounding Chinook Salmon, a starting point in mapping the Large Marine Ecosystem of the California Current.

Matthew Bower, BFA, from Alaska, will focus on printmaking using the data collected on the transformation of the Salmon River over the past thirty years.

Dawn Stetzel, MFA, from Iowa, will work on a project called, "Art and Ethnobotany: Connections of Plants, People and Place." This involves her connection to a local ethnobotanist while at Sitka, her absorption of the native plants and the environmental concerns of the area, and the sculptural installations that she produces in response to her research. More information about Dawn's last large body of work "Fragile Environments" and a blog of her Sitka residency

Clare Rojas (left) is the first of two Jordan D. Schnitzer Print Residents in 2008. Clare is from Columbus, Ohio and has a BFA in printmaking from Rhode Island School of Design as well as an MFA from the Art Institute of Chicago in Painting. She now lives and works in San Francisco, California. Clare is working with Julia D'Amario (right), a master printer who has been working on the Print Residency program for 6 years. Julia helps artists from different media translate their art to print. Please visit our web site for more details about the Jordan Schnitzer Printmaking Residency program.

New Website Section

Artists JournalSitka is pleased to announce a new section of our website. It's still in "Beta" but our hope is that it will grow over time. We invited Past Residents to submit updates on books published, Art Shows upcoming, and other activities in which they are engaged. A few have responded with enthusiasm and you can see their updates here. We will also be offering books written by past residents and Sitka instructors for sale at Wordstock and the Art Invitational in November in Portland.

Online Photo Sharing

For those of you with an interest in sharing your photos of and around the Sitka Center, please consider joining the recently-created group on Flickr created to connect alumni, staff and instructors of the workshops offered here. You can upload photos, screenshots, art or illustration, video and animation. You can also simply look at uploaded photos.


Flickr is an online photo management and sharing application that is free and easy to use.

To join this group, click on the above link (or copy and paste it into your web browser). You'll see a link to "Join this group." Then you can see what this group is all about!

Once you are logged in as a group member, you can see more pictures. Some current members have set their photos to be visible only to those who are logged in. You can also make comments on the work shared by the other group members.

If have received this email in error, or if for any reason you want to unsubscribe from our email list, please let us know. Subscription changes and feedback about the E-Update can be sent to info@sitkacenter.org.

Sitka Center for Art and Ecology, PO Box 65, Otis, OR 97368 PH: (541) 994–5485. FX: (541) 994-8024 Web: www.sitkacenter.org; Email: info@sitkacenter.org