A Wilderness Science and Art Collaboration

Aldo & Leonardo, a partnership between Colorado Art Ranch and the Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute, is a project to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act. The project is inspired by the scientific wisdom of Aldo Leopold and the artistic genius of Leonardo da Vinci. Our endeavor is an interdisciplinary collaboration of artists and scientists designed to celebrate the lands, resources and opportunities protected by the Wilderness Act. In 2013, we are hosting one-month residencies in six diverse wilderness areas. Artists will work alongside wildland research scientists and gain firsthand knowledge of the wonders, complexities and challenges of our nation's wildest places. The result will be a body of work that creatively illustrates the value of wild areas and honors the scientific efforts to preserve wilderness for the next fifty years.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Going to the desert

By Leslie Sobel

I am thrilled to be part of the Art + Science + Wilderness residencies sponsored by Aldo & Leonardo - Colorado Art Ranch’s collaborative residencies with the Aldo Leopold Society pairing artists with scientists in wilderness settings.  I will be spending the month of September at Canyons of the Ancients National Monument along with two other artists - sculptor Ben McCarthy and cellist/composer Esther Rogers.  You can see my work here.

My son asked me today how I would pair my main medium - encaustic - with field work in the desert.  The answer is sequentially!  In the field I’ll draw, do water color studies, keep a journal and shoot a lot of pictures.  Back home in the studio those sources will become finished pieces.  Right now I envision a series of bas relief sculptures and encaustic monotypes but we’ll see how the experience shapes my work.

I’m looking forward to doing some studying to get ready to go.  I’ve spent a lot of time in the desert southwest but this particular park is new to me and has an astonishing number of Ancestral Puebloan sites.  I expect to learn a lot.  It’s a tremendous experiential gift to spend a good chunk of time in the desert and I’m looking forward to it immensely.

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