2012 Workshops and Exhibits

Wildlife Divide Exhibit

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Wildlife Divide is an ongoing series of activities and events intended to bridge the divide between urban and natural environments through artistic activity. The workshops and exhibits encourage the public to participate and collaborate on projects with both artists and naturalists, and to have an enjoyable, relaxing and educational experience within the Spring Mountains National Recreational Area, more commonly known as Mt. Charleston.

The events are designed to be interactive and provide multiple opportunities for ongoing participation. This summer there were three workshops in total. Each workshop was to address in different ways and with different art making techniques the visual and audible contrasts between human habitats and natural ones. The objectives of the series are: to learn about the surrounding natural habitats, to learn about creative production, and to contemplate better ways for us to integrate our notions of human habitats and natural habitats.

The results of the three workshops will be exhibited in two locations. The first exhibition will take place in a shipping container just outside the Visitors Center on Kyle Canyon Road.

The container was converted into a gallery space. The use of the container as a space for the artwork  brings to attention the re-use and repurposing of materials and manufactured items. The container was previously used to transport goods from various worldwide seaports. It is now used as a mobile indoor workspace that can be transported fairly easy to where it is needed. Instead of building permanent structures mobile ones can be used, when possible, to minimize our footprint and damage to the landscape.

The second exhibition took place in the Emergency Arts in downtown Las Vegas. Just as the participants of the project were asked to think about urban and natural habitats, the exhibit will mirror these investigations by providing a viewing in the city. Emergency arts is one of the new hotbeds in Las Vegas where entrepreneurs and creative professionals are studying and making plans to improve the quality of life. The momentum towards a sustainable path are evident in some of the new endeavors and businesses in the area. Recycling, re-purposing, research and sustainable development are words often used to define the new face of downtown Las Vegas. The projects attempt to address the utilization of urban areas left in abandonment for decades, and will eventually shape the future of the downtown urban landscape. These projects are evidence that we can apply creative problem solving and critical thought processes to make our urban experience more enjoyable, and in the process protect our wildlife.

The Workshops

The workshops were designed and intended for participants of all levels of art competency and were free to the public. Each workshop included an introductory talk by naturalists and biologists from the U.S. Forest service or the Great Basin Institute. The opportunity to learn how the mountains were formed and what species of plants and animals continue to be its inhabitants was invaluable. At the end of the workshop the participant left with a little more knowledge of the mountain and art training.

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Photography Project

The participants were asked to bring an object of any kind to use as the subject of their photos for the day. The object was to be representative of our urban habitats and was to be small enough to carry by hand on hikes around the Old Ski Tow area. Modern manufacturing and sciences have transformed our way of life. They have allowed us to create things of almost any shape and scale, and yet they are all made from the materials found in or beneath our landscape.  The attendees were asked to show how things brought out of modern living have varying degrees of contrast with nature.

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Drawing Project

Bringing their own sketchbooks and tools participants were to spend the day drawing at the Echo Canyon Trailhead, the participants were asked to make drawings that represent conflicting elements between human nature and nature at large. Intervention in natural habitats leaves a human “footprint” , geometric shapes, manufactured materials, structures and roads. This “footprint” signifies and maps our growing presence on the planet. The participants were also asked to contemplate how human intervention can better serve the preservation of natural habitats.

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The sculptures were created for the participants to use for a still-life. The sculptures are representative of movement and the crossing of the thresh-hold of the wildlife divide.

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Video and Sound Project

The sound and video workshop project consisted of creating a one minute video using footage from the mountain and from urban areas. The attendees were shown how to use various methods of composing video and to use experimental means of  field production. The videos show how sound and image change throughout our landscapes. Urban and wildlife, there exists a divide, and our consciousness shifts vastly from one place to the other.

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Still from project by Jenessa Kenway

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Still from a project by Cynthia Behr Warso

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Still from project by Erin Stellmon

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Still from project by JK Russ

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Still from Project by Javier Sanchez

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Still from project by Raul Capitulo

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Still from project by David Carter

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Still from project by Sarah Warso

About The Spring Mountains National Recreation Area

The Spring Mountains National Recreation Area (SMNRA) is part of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. Better known to locals as Mount Charleston, it is located just 30 minutes from downtown Las Vegas.

The area was first named the Charleston Forest Reserve in 1906. Additional land was added in 1989 to bring the area up to the current 316,000+ acres (1,279 km2). The area was designated as Spring Mountains National Recreation Area by the U.S Congress in 1993.

The Spring Mountains National Recreation Area, offers opportunities for year-round fun including hiking, camping, and picnicking, as well as snow-based activities in the winter. When you visit, join an interpretive hike with a naturalist to learn about the plants and animals unique to the Spring Mountains, attend a campfire program to learn how the mountains were formed, or trek through the snow on a guided snowshoe hike.

Enjoy snow-capped mountain peaks that are surrounded by desert and are home to over 50 sensitive plants and animals, some of which are found only in this special area and nowhere else in the world. The panoramic mountain range provides a quick getaway and a haven for solitude.

The Southern Nevada Conservancy and the U.S. Forest service encourages you to:

Explore. Learn. Volunteer.

This project was made possible by the U.S. Forest Service, The Great Basin Institute, and The Southern Nevada Conservancy. The Wildlife Divide was partially funded by the generous contributions of the Downtown Project.

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