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Oct 08th
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National Parks are an Incubator for Artists—Who Knew?

blog_caI just got back from an eight-day journey to Yreka and back, getting to meet and interview many incredible people.  One thing that stands out as unusual, but fascinating was the program at Whiskeytown, National Recreation Area.  It is the National Parks Artists-In-Residence Program at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area that offers established visual artists the opportunity to pursue their particular art form while being surrounded by the inspiring landscape of the park. The park provides a rustic cabin to participants for up to a four-week period.

I spoke with Sheila Edridge, the Artist-in-Residence Coordinator about the program.  Apparently, Whiskeytown is one of 29 National Parks and Recreation Areas that has an ongoing Artist-in-Residence program. The goal of the program is to invite professional artists to reside in the park for two to four weeks and produce works that are inspired by their stay. During the artists’ visit they provide a public demonstration and at the end of their stay they donate to the park an original piece of art that was inspired by their interpretation of the park’s environment and landscape.

This year Maria Medua, director of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Artists Gallery, juried the 2010 submissions. The selection process is based on artistic merit, the statement of intent, and appropriateness to a national park residency. The two artists chosen were Patricia Cummins from Miami, Florida, and Jacqueline Moses from Skokie, Illinois.

Whiskeytown National Recreation Area will begin a partnership with The Shasta County Arts Council in 2010. “The goal of this partnership is to expand Whiskeytown’s Artist-in-Residence Program and create more opportunities for the public to interact with the artists,” says Whiskeytown superintendent Jim Milestone. “Whiskeytown provides the artists an outstanding opportunity to explore and interpret the special landscape of the forested slopes of Shasta Bally, the surrounding oak woodlands, the majestic waterfalls, and the clear blue waters of Whiskeytown Lake.”

What a great idea: Nature, beauty, and artists.  I’ll bet Ansel Adams wishes he thought about that.  Oh yeah, he did.

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Mercury completes its retrograde Friday, poised stationary direct Friday evening at zero degrees Libra. Mercury begins its journey through Libra once again, completing its retrograde shadow Oct. 12. Things should be a bit less complicated by then. Daily life works better, plans move forward, large purchases can be made, and communication eases. Everything on hold during the retrograde is slowly released. Since we eliminated all thoughts and ideas no longer needed (the purpose of Mercury’s retrograde) during the retrograde, we can now gather new information—until the next retrograde occurs on Jan. 5, 2016 (1.3 degrees Aquarius), retrograding back to 15 degrees Capricorn on Jan. 25. It’s good to know beforehand when Mercury will retrograde next—Jan. 5, the day before Epiphany. On Monday is Columbus Day, when the sailor from Genoa arrived in the new lands (Americas), Oct. 12, 1492. This discovery by Columbus was the first encounter of Europeans with Native Americans. Other names for this day are “Discovery Day, Day of the Americas, Cultural Diversity Day, Indigenous People’s Day, and Dia de la Raza.” Italian communities especially celebrate this day. Oct. 12 is also Thanksgiving Day in Canada. Monday is also the (19 degrees) Libra new moon festival. Libra’s keynote while building the personality is, “Let choice be made.” Libra is the sign of making life choices. Often under great tension of opposing forces seeking harmony and balance. There is a battle between our lower (personality) and higher selves (soul). We are tested and called to cultivate right judgment and love. When we align with the will-to-good, right choice, then right judgment and love/wisdom come forth. Our tasks in Libra. 


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