I was one of 7 lucky artists and writers chosen to spend 10 days in Denali Park as an artist in residence. My slot was August 4 through the 14th and I lived every second of the experience to the fullest. Artists are given the time and access to the park to bond with the landscape, be inspired, living in the cozy East Fork Cabin, the original cabin of Park founder, Adolph Murie. We are allowed to enter with our car and many, like myself, bring our mt bikes and use the park buses to explore the park. I also got off the road and hiked, sketched and took photographs.
The landforms and geology of Denali are unique and surprising in their variety. Unexpected colors...almost desert like, pinks, oranges and ochres and well as lavender hills covered in too many shades of green to name. Some landforms seemed otherworldly and I imagined my sketches could be titled field sketches from Mars. Denali is wild, and the Park caretakers do their best to maintain this nature.
Bears abound...I lost count...over 14. Big golden healthy beasts, wild and unhabituated to human contact. I saw a fox and a wolf...wolves are a rare sight as there are only 50 or so in the Park. A trapping and hunting zone exists just outside the park, wolves exit the park, often the vital alpha members, following the caribou and are killed.
My time in Denali was at the end of a whirlwind schedule of exhibits, workshops, AK. village residencies and a trip to Europe. It couldn't have been planned any better and was just what I needed: quiet time to reconnect to the source of my work. Denali didn't disappoint and I will carry with me an expanded consciousness of open space, silence..quietude.... as well as, a primal sense of awe and wonder of this beautiful and sublime wilderness. I will be creating a painting for Denali Park, part of the residency program. This piece will be part of the artist in residence collection displayed at the Park.
Follow the brush-L