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.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Oct.7 Journal by erogerscello

Oct. 7, 2013 Monday.
My journey comes to a close. I am on the last leg of my journey; Greyhound Bus from New York City, to Syracuse, to Rochester, NY.

Just over five weeks ago I began my journey to the Wilderness Residency on a train headed west. I traveled by train from Rochester, NY to Denver CO and then rode with Peggy from Denver to Dolores. My return trip started with an hour drive with Leslie to Cortez, a final four hours sitting and staring at the mountains, and playing my cello to them, then two flights with an extra ticket for my cello - Cortez to Denver, Denver to NYC. It was considerably cheaper to fly to NYC rather than Rochester, so I stopped in Brooklyn for a week to transition back to 'normal' life, visiting my boyfriend, and resting, and trying to process my month. Then a bus to complete my trip.

Arriving in NYC after a month of wilderness study areas and mountains was jolting. At 1AM honking, stop and go traffic, lights everywhere, and even the 'quiet' streets were overwhelming to me. My sister had said I was going to another kind of wilderness and I think she was right. My feelings driving from LaGuardia were of the energy and joy being sucked away from me a little bit- the extra euphoria and soul room I received when we entered the mountains a month previous, was being pulled out of me...

How nice to be welcomed Home!!!

On the week end we drove to CT to see the amazing Fall foliage and that joy returned- the trees in reds and orange and emerald and brown... fresh apples and cider, and other beautiful Autumn produce. You could smell Fall, and hear the sounds of Fall, and it was so wonderful.

Finally headed home to complete the cycle of the residency. To return to family, and "work": Teaching, trying to line up gigs, finishing my curriculum for the Arts classes that begin on Friday. Looking again at bills due or overdue or will be due, and sorting out my schedule. As almost everyone we encountered in our residency, we the artists also are impacted by the government shut down. We won't receive the second half of our stipend until the government is sorted. The "real" world threatens to extinguish my joy in life, but then I look outside at the trees and sky, and go play outside with my nieces, and am so grateful for the time I had in the wilderness, for the natural God-Art around me, and the people I love.

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