Wildlife Divide

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About the Wildlife Divide

 

The Wildlife Divide Project was started in Las Vegas in 2012 by artist and curator David Sanchez Burr. The program began as part of the Spring Mountain National Recreation Area art programing. The U.S Forest Service in conjunction with the Southern Nevada Conservancy and the Great Basin Institute, needed programming that would engage the public at large through the arts and have these activities serve as a vehicle to increased education and knowledge about the natural, scientific, and historic value of the area.

 

Given the unique landscapes and topography of the region in combination with the rapidly encroaching urban areas the Wildlife Divide was designed as a means to explore the threshold between these vastly different ecologies. Art programming in the natural landscape needed to  address the increasing divide between pedestrian knowledge of the biological and natural systems that surround our city and the work of the scientists and researchers that study these areas. Art projects, workshops, lectures and exhibitions were designed to thread through the threshold of urban and natural environments, and investigate how these ecologies could someday connect in ways that are both sustainable and conscious of preservation. Although this project started in Mt Charleston it became increasingly evident that the Wildlife Divide could be useful anywhere where there is a need to build community consciousness towards preservation, ecosystems, art and science.

 

 

The Workshops

 

In the past two years the program has succeeded in providing 12 workshops ranging in themes like video production, sound art, condition reporting, sewing and drawing. The typical workshop consists of a naturalist and an artist teaming up to present a short talk giving the participants an opportunity to learn from local artists and scientists. The talks are followed by a workshop in an array of subjects and participants are encouraged to explore the natural are and bring food for a picnic. The workshops start at 11 and are often finished by 4pm and are typically attended by 10 to 30 participants. The demographic categories are far reaching and the program has had success in reaching youth and adult interest.

 

The Exhibitions

 

Exhibitions happen at the end of the summer season typically around October. The exhibition at Mt Charleston was executed by converting a shipping container to a gallery and hauling it up to the mountain. The Wildlife Divide also engages in urban areas proven by its 2012 exhibition at Emergency Arts in downtown Las Vegas. Future plans include mobile exhibitions that visit areas in Clark County where cultural activities are not easily accessible.

 

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The Wildlife Divide comes to an end…. for now.

Over the past couple of years I have had the pleasure of organizing some art workshops and events with some incredible people on Mount Charleston. It started when the Spring Mountain National Recreation Area needed to fill a gap in their art programing. The area wanted to do something that would engage the public at large through art and serve as a vehicle to increased education and knowledge about the areas natural, scientific, and historic importance. After thinking through potential ideas I proposed the Wildlife Divide. I felt that todays art programming in the natural landscape needed to  address the increasing divide between the general knowledge of the biological and natural systems that maintain urban and natural areas, and the scientific research in these areas I felt that people could directly engage with those that do the research. There was an opening to design instructional art projects that would thread through the theme of urban and natural environments, and investigate how these ecologies could someday connect in ways that are both sustainable and conscious of preservation. Although this project started in Mt Charleston it has become increasingly evident that the Wildlife Divide could be useful anywhere where there is a need to build community consciousness in respect to preservation,wildlife, the arts, urbanism, and our modern technological times.

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Over the course of two years there were a total of eleven workshops each inviting a visiting artist from the region and often a naturalist or representative from participating regional and national organizations such as the U.S. Forest Service, Great Basin Institute or the Southern Nevada Conservancy.The participants would learn important information about natural, geological and historical relevant to the area and participate in a unique workshop that built on the concept of the Wildlife Divide.

One of the activities  designed for the Fall Festival on two consecutive years was the collage mosaic, in 2012 the themed tree was the Pinyon Pine, 2013 was the year for the Bristlecone Pine . I will be posting the last of the few projects over the course of the next few days here are the time lapse videos of the mosaics. The mosaic was made by visitors who created a collage on a panel based on the image that corresponded to the grid.

Thanks to everyone who helped make the Wildlife Divide happen.

David

 

Pinyon Pine 2012

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Bristlecone Pine 2013

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Artist Workshop with Graham Winbrow June 1st 11:00am to 5:00pm Don’t Miss it!!!

Artist Workshop with Graham Winbrow June 1st 11:00am to 5:00pm

Location: Mary Jane Falls Trail Head/ Old Ski Tow Area

This workshop will feature site specific work with artist Graham Winbrow. Graham will lead participants to the creation of an “altered” space within the Spring Mountain National Recreation Area, using categorization as an art making technique, participants will emulate the use of order and schemes in every day life to create a colllaborative art installation in the SMNRA.

 

What to bring:

  1. Sunscreen with UV protection.
  2. Work Gloves
  3. A wide brimmed hat.
  4. Wear comfortable shoes or sneakers.
  5. Snacks.
  6. A folding Chair.
  7. A jacket and umbrella.

 

Jean Piaget’s theories regarding mental categorization and the development of “schemes” are especially pertinent when considering a divide between mankind and wilderness. As humans, we naturally contextualize our environment by categorizing sensations and perceptions that are a foundation for our relationship with an external world. As we mature and our awareness about this world grows, our mental processes become increasingly more reliant on recognizable patterns, relationships, and familiar “categories,” conceived of by Piaget as “schemes” for interpreting our daily existence.

 

Mankind’s interactions with nature may be described as a schematic approach to resolving the chaos and uncertainty of dwelling in wilderness; the built environment as an attempt to introduce order and clarity to everyday life; however, the urban landscape of southern Nevada is testament to the forcefulness of our species’ drive to colonize and transform the natural environment.

 

This work engages participants in a cooperative task to transform an area of wilderness within the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area. Individuals will follow a schematic approach for categorizing and sorting elements within set boundaries in a wilderness area. Participants will work cooperatively to define “categories” and a “scheme” for producing results within the timeframe for this project. Examples of manipulated objects may include stones, rocks, fallen branches, trash, and other transient elements that participants will physically move and reposition within the space. The artist does not seek to permanently alter or modify any existing area of wilderness through this action.

 

The Art and Educational programs at Mt. Charleston are designed to use art as a medium to encourage learning about the ecology, geology and natural landscape of the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area. The programs range in focus from traditional photography and drawing workshops to demos in video and sound composing. The art programs include the Wildlife Divide series; an innovative approach to public art programming that includes 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 Recreation Area, more commonly known as Mt. Charleston.

 

Please feel free to contact me with any questions, a new blog related to the Wildlife Divide will soon be online at current info is available also on www.gomtcharleston.com.

RSVP: art@gomtcharleston.com

About Graham Winbrow

Graham Wimbrow was born in Baltimore, Maryland, where he lived until
relocating to Las Vegas, Nevada, in 2013. Wimbrow graduated from the
Maryland Institute College of Art in 2011 with a degree in
Interdisciplinary Sculpture, having pursued internships with two organic
farms, the Baltimore Office of Sustainability, and the Contemporary Art
Museum. In 2011 Wimbrow¹s work was featured in an exhibition jointly
hosted by The Walters Art Museum and the Current Gallery, punctuated by
his lecture titled Alcohol, History, and Religion.

Following his graduation, Wimbrow has pursued a career in arts and
environmental education and has held a variety of teaching and educational
positions. Wimbrow currently manages youth and educational programming for
the Outside Las Vegas Foundation, an environmental nonprofit in southern
Nevada.

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