« back

e-SitkaLetter, January 2008:
from Sitka Center for Art and Ecology


  • Notes From The Director
  • New Residents Arriving At The Sitka Center
  • January Board Update
  • Call for Applications: Summer 2008 Internship
  • Call for Proposals: Fall 2008 and Spring 2009 Residency Program
  • 2008 Workshop Program Registration

Notes From The Director

Eric Vines, new Executive Director, Sitka Center

In the first hours of my very first day as the new Executive Director, seven elk strolled up to within 15 yards of our offices and began calmly munching on the bushes that surround our buildings. Molly called to me excitedly and as we peered out the windows at our magnificent gardeners, I couldn’t help but be flattered when Molly suggested that they were paying me a visit.

A few metaphors came to mind to try and explain my experience during the first few weeks as Sitka’s chief: drinking from a firehose, leaping onto a moving bus, climbing a mountain, marrying into a funky family with a dozen eccentric aunts and uncles who like to collect mushrooms and dance and paint landscapes on the walls. But none of these images truly capture the warmth and generosity I have felt as I have entered the Sitka family. Time and again, I have been charmed and entranced by stories of how this tiny place on the Oregon Coast has impacted the lives of so many people. If a place can become imbued with a positive essence that carries on in spite of time’s passage, then the Sitka Center is such a place. During the last two years, we’ve experienced our share of turmoil with differing visions of what the Sitka Center could be and how it would embrace its future. Yet, all along, the place endured, quietly working its magic on the residents, the instructors, the students, and the staff. While the board passionately debated how to lead the organization forward, artists, naturalists and musicians continued to gain inspiration from the magnificent ecological surroundings in which we are situated. While staff members have come and gone and come again, the elk have continued to prune our bushes without regard to whose bushes they were pruning. We are merely stewards of this place in partnership with the elk.

A calm has come to Sitka over the past few weeks. As the last of our Fall Residents depart, we prepare for our Spring Residents to arrive and the 2008 workshop season to begin. I can start to feel the rhythm of the place, its inhale and exhale marking our moments of interaction with people, nature and art. Cycles that repeat, but are never the same. We fall in love with each moment and then it is gone, replaced by the next and then the next.

And so here we are at the beginning of a new year with an exciting mix of classes designed to inspire you, a roster of residents eager to explore the boundaries of imagination, and a fresh set of opportunities for you to get involved. We can, each in our own way, contribute to the dream that if we allow art and ecology to mix, we can make the world a place where all of us will want to live in the future.

Please jump in and participate. Soak it up. Inhale. Exhale. Come be in this place where you are encouraged to fall in love with nature, fall in love with art, and fall in love with humanity. Discover the timeless quality of this place that never went away.

I look forward to meeting you,

Eric Vines
Executive Director

New Residents Arriving At The Sitka Center

Christopher Headley, Patricia Wheeler, and Carol Gigliotti will be living and working at the Sitka Center from February 1st through March 26th. Christopher Headley, from Australia, makes ceramic artworks and site-specific installations that explore the relationships between human beings and the environment. During his residency, Chris will work on a site-specific project titled Recycling Image and Material. Patricia Wheeler, from Deer Isle, Maine, will focus on the completion of an on-going multi-media piece that combines painting and videography. Carol Gigliotti of Vancouver, B.C., will use her time at Sitka to work on a book project titled Wilderness and Technology: Creativity and the Non-Human. Come meet the residents and learn more about their creative work during the Spring Resident Open House on March 15th, from 1-5pm.


January Board Update

The Board is pleased to announce that Janine Stanton has joined the Board as of January.  Janine was Program Director for Facilities Construction for OHSU from 2001-2006, and before that had facilities management experience with Legacy and Good Samaritan Hospitals in Portland.  Her expertise in facilities planning and her very positive outlook will be a great benefit to Sitka.  The January Resident Open House was very well attended, especially given the hail that covered the road to Sitka.  Sarah Rabkin did two readings from her collection of essays titled “Circling Home.” Melissa Braden and Inguna Skuja shared a body of porcelain work in an installation that portrayed the many faces of Buddha. A slide presentation of Thomas Riesing’s landscape paintings was also on display. It was a great opportunity to introduce Eric Vines, the new ED, to many people in the local Sitka community. Thank you to the residents, volunteers, and Sitka Center staff who helped to make this event such a success.

Ceramic installation by residents Melissa Braden and Inguna Skuja during the Fall 2007 Spring Resident Open House. Photo: Sarah Rabkin.

Call for Applications: Summer 2008 Internship

Experience a summer at Sitka as the 2008 workshop program intern! From June through September, interns help the Sitka Center offer more than 80 hands-on workshop in a wide variety of topics including drawing, painting, sculpture, natural science, music, writing, and calligraphy. Courses offer one to five day intensive exploration for individuals of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds. The intern is provided with housing, a stipend, and the opportunity to participate in workshops. The application deadline is March 31st ... more >>

Call for Proposals: Fall 2008 and Spring 2009 Residency Program

The deadline to apply for our Fall 2008 and Spring 2009 residencies is April 21st 2008. Artists, writers, and natural science scholars are encouraged to submit a proposal for a project that investigates the connection between art, nature, and humanity. Residents are provided with the space and support needed to conduct their research or execute creative work at the Sitka Center for one to four months free of charge. During their residency, residents are expected to share their gifts by performing community outreach and participating in the Resident Open House. We encourage applications from emerging, mid-career, and professionals on sabbatical. Join the legacy of the 150 artists, writers, and naturalists whose work has been profoundly impacted from their time in residence at the Sitka Center ... more >>

2008 Workshop Program Registration

Keep an eye out for the 2008 workshop catalog - it should be in your mailbox by mid-February. Please let us know if you would like to receive our workshop catalog if you’re not already on our mailing list. The 2008 workshop program will be posted on Sitka’s website very soon. In addition to courses by some of our most beloved instructors, you’ll find a number of experimental workshops with new instructors. Registration for 2008 Sitka workshops will open on March 3. The two-week window of early registration for Sitka Center members begins on February 18th. Some of our most popular workshops fill up fast, so register early to guarantee your place! If you are not already a member and wish to join at the same time as you register for a workshop, you will be entitled to the members-only early registration period.