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


  • Spring into Summer with Workshops at Sitka!
  • Sitka Residents Define a New Age in Artistry
  • Sitka Volunteers Make it Possible!
  • Siletz Students Visit Sitka
  • Call for Proposals: Fall 2008 and Spring 2009 Residency Program
  • 2008 Workshop Program Registration

Spring into Summer with Workshops at Sitka!

Workshop season is just around the corner. Sign up now to ensure your spot. Workshops coming up in May that still have space for you:

Serene Reflection

Expressing the Figure in Clay, with Melissa Braden and Inguna Skuja, May 24th-25th Join spunky duo Skuja-Braden for a fun and fantastical workshop in figurative sculpture. Melissa and Inguna were the fall 2007 resident artists at Sitka Center for Art and Ecology.

The Writing Environment, with Ron Lovell, May 23rd-25th With scenic Cascade Head for inspiration, and an experienced instructor as your guide, learn to incorporate the environment into your writing and come away with a thousand-word piece of poetry or prose, fiction or an article!

Squash the Critic, Praise the Process, with Lauren Mantecon, May 26th-29th Lauren will shake you up and make you work in new ways in this prolific idea-generating workshop. A workshop appropriate for all, from total beginner to professional, you will be introduced to techniques that will help you get in touch with your creative potential.

Approaching Oil Painting, with Stephen Hayes, May 26th -28th Always wished you knew how to oil paint? Instructor Stephen Hayes has developed a class that will introduce you to the process and products of this traditional medium. Students will benefit from time in the studio to work on paintings with the guidance of an experienced instructor.

Coast, Climate, Camera: Documenting a Changing Landscape, with Gary Braasch, May 29th-June 2nd Explore the coastal environment and develop a photographic series based upon the concept of a changing landscape. The workshop format will include daily excursions into the field as well as time spent at Sitka's campus.

European Woodcarving, with Nora Hall, May 31st- June 2nd Don't miss a chance to work with master woodcarver Nora Hall. The focus of this workshop will be to explore classic European styles of woodcarving such as leaves, scrolls, flowers, and shells.

Mosses of Cascade Head, with Sarah Greene and Kurt Heckeroth, May 31st We invite you to spend a day doing the best of both worlds here at Sitka Center - you will spend the morning studying the mosses of the Cascade head area, and then spend the rest of the day working on drawings, journals, and photography based upon your findings in the field.

Sitka Residents Define a New Age in Artistry

Gumaelius Girls

The arrival of our newest group of Spring residents has caused quite a stir on campus. Sitka Center is excited to re-define the concept of "emerging artist" with our newest group of Spring residents. At ages 5, 3, and 2, respectively, ceramic artists-in-residence Ruby, Eliza, and Carmela Gumaelius defy convention and make art that appeals to the young at heart. Their artistic process is remarkable. During their first weeks in residence, they have built a sophisticated fort in the middle of the Boyden studio and executed elaborate decorations of the desks with sidewalk chalk. Often found singing while working, they credit singer-songwriter Raffi as a major inspiration.

Sitka Center is fortunate to host such sought-after starlets. Critics give this pint-sized trio rave reviews, calling their work "refreshing," "playful," and "remarkably child-like." Picasso famously said, "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up." For the Gumaelius girls, that's no problem at all.

The Residency program at Sitka Center supports the work of emerging, mid-career, and professional artists and ecologists and does not discriminate based upon age, race, religion, sex, or national origin. It may be April, but we are only partly fooling. For the full story on the Gumaelius family, please read on!

Ceramicists and Metalworkers: John and Robin Gumaelius have arrived with daughters Ruby, Eliza, and Carmela for a two-month residency at the Sitka Center. In their first weeks of residency, they set up the sculpture studio as a welding shop and the Boyden studio as clay and play space, and are making Morley house their home for the season. They have been prolific, producing a high volume of work in a short time. John and Robin collaborate on their work, which is characteristically figurative and highly detailed and combines clay and metals. Stay tuned for more updates on their process and progress, and mark your calendars to come see their work at the open house on May 17th!

Writer in Residence: Kim T. Griswell Writer Kim T. Griswell has been busy during her first week in residency. She devotes daily time to composing a daily poem or piece of writing, and working on the two novels she's had as works-in-progress for over a decade. In addition, she is interviewing local experts to learn and write about the history, flora, fauna, ecology, and art of Cascade Head. She has been getting ideas for children's non-fiction picture books when hiking the trails around Sitka Center, and she is devising ways to create web pages that will connect kids with nature. As editor of the popular children's magazine Highlights for Children, she has been working on non-fiction articles for publication. Her current article features the Gumaelius family and will be published in an upcoming issue of Highlights. Share in her experience by visiting her website, www.kimgriswell.com

Sitka Volunteers Make it Possible!


Dear Volunteers:
Sitka Center for Art and Ecology could not exist with out the support of our dedicated volunteers. Every aspect of our programs relies on your support, from resident support and maintenance tasks to special events and the many unexpected things that come up throughout the year. Thank you for coming when we call!

Recently, a collection of over 300 framed and unframed photographs by late Cascade Head resident Ned Westover was donated to the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology by the University of Nevada. We had to coordinate a strong team of volunteers and vehicles to move the photos out of Ned's studio and take them to Sitka. Working together, we carefully moved the heavy large-format photos in stacks of four or six at a time over a series of days. Thank you to John and Kathleen Holt, and Jack and Laura Doyle, Paul Katen, and Sean Ebel, for assisting with the moving process.

Once the photos were safely at Sitka, the task of sorting and cataloging them was left to our intrepid cataloging crew comprised of Connie and Pete Owston, and Kathleen Holt. This group sorted the collection with great care, and they removed damaged photos, cut off moldy mat boards, and even performed restoration work and matted and framed photos. They worked hard and long and late to complete the project so that the studio would be ready for the incoming resident.

Sitka now boasts 292 cataloged Westover photos in good condition (112 framed) Thank you to all of the people who made this acquisition effort possible!

Want to get involved? Sitka has more than 20 opportunities for Volunteers:

Grant Writer
Sitka Historian
Represent Sitka at local festivals
Quest Trail maintenance
Art Inventory Photographer
Studio Duster
Web programmer for Virtual Gallery
Resident Host
Events Volunteers
Catalog Distribution
Alumni Event Organizer
Bench Builder
Woodshed builder
Office Help
Estate Planner
Wine donor

For more information about each volunteer role and how to get involved

Siletz Students Visit Sitka

Chris Headley and Siletz students

An enthusiastic group of 6th graders from Siletz Valley School livened up the Sitka campus during a visit on March 14th. Sitka Artist in Residence Christopher Headley, and his partner, Irena Blonder, from Melbourne, Australia, played host to the group. The students explored the campus and got an exclusive preview of the exhibition of ceramics, photography and paintings that that were set up for the open house the following day.

The students were eager to find out how the work had been made, and Chris welcomed them into his sculpture studio for a demonstration. There he showed them the process of making a mold that he used to create the ceramic kangaroos featured in his series of photographs. The students were very excited when resident Headley gave each of them a kangaroo to keep. Irena provided a morning tea and snack, and then the group settled into the Edelman studio to view the film, "Rabbit-Proof Fence." The issues brought up in the film about aboriginal children in Australia will be incorporated into an upcoming unit on Indian boarding schools with the Siletz students. Sitka Center would like to thank resident artist Patricia Wheeler and teacher Joe Scott and the rest of the people who collaborated to make this experience possible for the students and resident artists.

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.