Six artists-in-residence will be working at the UC Natural Reserve System this summer thanks to the 2014 Arts2NRS program. Offered for the first time this year by the NRS and the UC Institute for Research in the Arts (UCIRA), the program supports selected UC-affiliated artists working at some of the NRS’s 39 reserves.
The Arts2NRS call for proposals went out in late May. By the end of the three-week application period, the program had attracted 28 submissions by artists associated with seven campuses. Proposals ranged from film to dance to painting and performance art.
“We were received a large number of very strong proposals from across the system in this first round of the Arts2NRS call,” said Kim Yasuda, a professor of art at UC Santa Barbara and coordinator of the Arts2NRS program for UCIRA.
Projects were evaluated by a committee from UCIRA, which reviewed artistic merit, and the NRS, which ensured that all projects conformed to guidelines protecting sensitive ecological and environmental resources. Each of the six artists/collectives chosen are receiving $1,500 toward reserve travel and accommodation costs.
The work of this year’s recipients spans the breadth of UC arts research, including performance, film, music, and even paper folding. “We were attempting to seed diverse projects from a range of arts disciplines in the visual and performing arts,” Yasuda said.
Peggy Fiedler, Director of the Natural Reserve System, sees a bright and expanding future for artists at reserves. "The arts and humanities have been encouraged at reserves since the birth of the NRS in 1965. The urgency to demonstrate the importance of nature has only intensified since. We would welcome more artists at our reserves in coming years to help us communicate the importance of the natural world to a whole new segment of the public."
2014 Arts2NRS Award Recipients
Matthew Jamieson, Seth Andrews, MFA digital art and new media, UC Santa Cruz
Jamieson and Andrews will document progress of the five planting sites in the Sagehen in the High Sierra: A Proving Ground 50-year art installation by Helen Mayer Harrison and Newton Harrison at Sagehen Creek Field Station; their work will include developing a film and exhibit about the installation for reserve visitors.
Pablo Colapinto, MA and Ph.D. media art and technology, UC Santa Barbara
Deploying origami methods, Colapinto will explore biological folding strategies (insect wing supports and deployments are one example) at Yosemite Field Station in a melding of biomimicry, topology, and art.
Kevin O’Connor, PhD. performance studies, UC Davis
A dancer and choreographer, O’Connor will visit Blue Oak Ranch Reserve to explore how site-specific live art creates the possibility for what he calls “a kinesthetic entwinement with particular places,” and will invite up to six other dancers to investigate how somatic dance can affect receptivity to information seeping in from the environment.
Stephanie Lie, UC Berkeley drawing instructor, MFA from UC San Diego
Lie will create an estuary atlas for Scripps Coastal Reserve and/or Kendall-Frost Marsh Reserve incorporating photography, landscape drawing, video, maps, and historic photos as part of her atlas series on San Diego estuaries discovering new ways to relate to these liminal landscapes.
KinoEar Collective (Maayan Tsadka–doctor of music arts; Danielle Williamson–MFA digital art and new media; Nathaniel Ober–MFA digital art and new media), UC Santa Cruz
Made up of three artists in film, music composition, and performance-installation, the collective will visit at Yosemite Field Station to develop a music/performance piece incorporating elements of the environment as instruments and the public as performers; the group will produce a film of the resulting performance. An example of their previous work is the Critical Mess Music Project.