The Mesa Refuge teams up with the Point Reyes National Seashore Association for a pilot program funded by the National Endowment for the Arts.
In honor of the National Park Service’s centennial anniversary, and in service to one of our most pressing environmental concerns, a program called Climate Change at the Western Edge will support six artists to explore and contribute to the conversation about climate change while living in residence on or near Point Reyes National Seashore. Both writers and visual artists will be in residence August 5-12, including painter Eva Bovenzi, photographer Elizabeth Fenwick, writer and museum curator Lizzetta LeFalle-Collins, poet and critic Angela Hume, wildlife artist and biologist Sophie Webb, and professor and author Dr. Kyle Powys Whyte.
“We are so pleased to collaborate with our colleagues at the Point Reyes National Seashore Association,” said Mesa Refuge Executive Director Susan Page Tillett. “The program creates a unique opportunity, doubles the number of residents as we can usually accommodate and brings outstanding arts programming into our local park,” she said.
Artists have both inspired and been inspired by our nation’s national parks. Early landscape painters shared the beauty of what would eventually become some of our most iconic national parks, igniting conservation-minded political action that eventually led to the founding of the National Park Service 100 years ago. Over the last century, the parks themselves have stirred artists to create a wide range of works providing enjoyment to park visitors and bringing awareness about the value of wild places and nature. This project allows the six artists to explore the issue through the lenses of both the arts and science.
“Since the inception of the National Park Service 100 years ago, the arts have played a critical role in highlighting the scenery and stories in America’s national parks,” Point Reyes National Seashore Superintendent Cicely Muldoon said. “We are proud to continue that tradition here at Point Reyes National Seashore as we welcome artists to explore the profound impacts of climate change on these extraordinary landscapes,” she said.
Participating artists will live both at the Mesa Refuge, an established writers retreat, and at the historic Chief’s House, part of a former lifesaving station located in Point Reyes National Seashore. The project is the first artist-in-residence program located in the park.
Artists will have access to park scientists and ecologists who are experts on climate change and its effects on public lands. Artists will have time and space to work on their own creative works and to share perspectives with each other. A presentation by the artists in 2017 will give the public a chance to learn about their experiences. This new project is a collaboration between Point Reyes National Seashore Association (PRNSA), Point Reyes National Seashore and the Mesa Refuge. The pilot project is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts.