For those of us vested in the protection of our National Parks, Monuments, and other public lands the new year has begun under a storm cloud of anger, frustration, and anxiety. The impact of the government shut-down on these important places and the thousands of NPS employees that steward them is taking its toil on our land, wildlife, and people. Like you, I have been closely following the stories that both have wounded me deeply, like learning about the vandalism and damage done to Joshua Tree, or restored my hope by reading about countless groups of volunteers out in their local parks, cleaning up or offering support to NPS workers who continue to serve and protect without pay. I have written, called, donated, and helped in any way I can from my home in Northern Vermont. As the days of this shut-down continue to climb, our lands, wildlife, natural resources, and cultural heritage that they are meant to preserve become more and more threatened.
There has never been a time that a project like Postcards from the Parks could be more important in bringing awareness and action through art, photography, and authentic person to person conversations and stories about the real time threats, needs, and vital issues that are on the forefront of each park. 2019 is going to be a BIG YEAR for me and Postcards from the Parks! There is so much to share including multiple invitations from across the country to be an Artist in Residence and share about my project, two new artist road trips on the docket, and moving across the country to commit more time to this project as it continues to grow and unfold!
Here are some highlights of what is coming up for Postcards from the Parks:
I am honored to have been invited as a guest Artist in Residence this Spring at three incredible schools across the country. I am truly looking forward to working with both the students and art educators, teaching workshops in plein-air painting, collage, and mixed media. In addition, I will have the opportunity to present and share about my adventures and ongoing Postcards from the Parks work with the each school community!
January 26 - February 2: TASIS Dorado - Dorado, Puerto Rico
March 3-6: Providence Day School - Charlotte, North Carolina
March 18-22: The Crane School - Santa Barbara, California
Spring will also bring a trip to Acadia National Park and Cape Cod National Seashore - Stay tuned for those additions to the gallery and blog posts!
In June, I will head back across the Atlantic for my other love - teaching painting, drawing, and printmaking at Les Tapies in the South of France. This is my eighth summer being a part of this incredible program where we teach two intensive high school programs as well as a new adult program (ARCH)! I am also very proud and grateful to say that Les Tapies is also the first business sponsor of Postcards from the Parks! If you are interested in learning more about either of these programs check out the links below:
September brings the biggest news as I will pack up my Jeep, and along with my trusty traveling companion Charlie (my dog), we will hit the road bound for our new home base for the next year or two - TAOS, New Mexico! I will be leaving Vermont where I have lived for the past 30 years for a new adventure out West. Taos will be the perfect base camp to dedicate even more time to Postcards from the Parks, beginning to write the manuscript for my book, and begin offering Postcards from the Parks Expedition Trips where I will continue to expand upon the goals of PFP by inviting small groups of high school students into the parks to experience these places with their own eyes. I think it is amazingly appropriate that one of my heroes, Ansel Adams - a photographer, art activist, and conservationist - that has inspired me to do the work I am doing, published his first major work based on his photos of Taos, NM entitled Taos Pueblo in 1930. Now following in his footsteps, Taos and the awe-inspiring landscape, people, and art community will be the foil of the next chapter of my art career and the continuation of my important life’s work - Postcards from the Parks!
Of course I will be making a Postcards from the Parks road trip out of this and visiting the following National Parks (and several Monuments and Forests) along the way including:
Great Smoky Mountain National Park - North Carolina/Tennessee
Shenandoah National Park - Virginia
Mammoth Caves National Park - Kentucky
Hot Springs National Park - Arkansas
Taking crazy leaps of faith like this one is not new to me, but that doesn’t mean they don’t come with equal doses of excitement and apprehension! This is going to be a big financial risk, but I know that it will be worth it as I create more opportunity to bring a voice to our public lands through art. If you are so moved and have the resources to share, I hope that you would consider becoming a PFP Patron Partner and contributing to the ongoing project! I am also in search of a handful of the RIGHT business sponsors that are dedicated to the business practices that are environmentally friendly, sustainable, and give back to important causes like this one. If you are interested or know of someone that may be interested in becoming a Postcards from the Parks business sponsor, please get in touch or share along. Your help in spreading the word about this project is pivotal to its success and I am so appreciative!