A Vermont artist’s #resistance project to discover, reinterpret, and promote the irreplaceable value of our National Parks and their people.
Today, we find our country in grave turmoil. The current administration’s action to reverse critical climate change legislation, deregulate the fossil fuel industry, rolling back of protections to designated national monuments, and cutting funding for the preservation of the great gift of our National Parks System is alarming. In short order, they have attacked the EPA, scientific community, and moved toward deregulation of laws that protect our land, natural resources, and National Parks. We all must continue to resist these actions! In fact, it is the park rangers themselves that launched the resistance against these actions with alternative (rogue) social media accounts to get factual information to the public as gag orders and information freezes take hold. What can we do to combat these actions? Each one of us can utilize our individual gifts to create a massive shift of awareness, appreciation, and resistance. It is working presently in a variety of areas and I intend to continue in a way that can make an impact. As a 27 year resident of Vermont, blessed with a shared sensitivity for sustainable living, I came to fear that much of general public has either taken for granted or turned a blind eye to the incredible gift we have in our National Park System. Millions of acres of protected lands, chosen for their awe inspiring beauty, untamed habitat, and diverse wildlife are at imminent risk of losing protections, devastating development, drilling, and sell off. As the firestorm of change emanates from Washington, I am alarmed by the seeming lack of concern for the future of our parks.
We live in an age of on demand information driven by electronic relationships. Our most influential and powerful generation at risk has been raised seeing our country and the world through the lens of Google. I fear the National Parks have lost their importance in the minds of citizens, as if a Wiki search of the Grand Canyon equates to seeing our parks or even worse that a drive-by “selfie” at the rim posted to Instagram is a cheap substitute for truly experiencing the priceless gift that it is. Without personal, authentic, and emotional connection to the marvel of true nature, the parks will lose value and one day become a shadow of a once great tradition. As an artist, observer, and interpreter of nature, I am urgently driven to create a wake-up call using my gifts and great personal risk to preserve the legacy of the National Parks.
What is a rediscovery
Honor the great artist and activist Ansel Adams, who personally captured and promote the concept of “Wilderness Value” to conservation groups, Congress, Cabinet Members, and Presidents. Conduct two great American road trips to revisit, reinterpret, and reinvigorate value for our parks. In the spirit of his inspirational legacy, I hope to lift up his concept of The Wilderness Idea - “A mystique; a valid, intangible, non-materialist experience”. To this end, I desire to revisit some of the locations of the iconic photographs of Adams interpretation of wilderness and on the very same ground, interpret through paint a new record of these precious places as well as discover new spots along the way. Through a valuable permanent collection of plein-air paintings, and a personal study of the park’s people, I will record “Postcards from the Parks” though a virtual travel journal blog. Using social networking, environmental preservation organizations, and project partners, I intend to create a tribe of followers and awaken a new appreciation for our parks as Adams did almost 75 years ago. The ultimate goal is to create awareness, appreciation, and action to motivate a new generation to hit the road, experience these gifts with their own eyes, “Honor Ansel”, and join the resistance to protect these places for future generations.
"It's horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment."
Ansel Adams - American Photographer & Conservationist