For the third consecutive year, the Clatsop Community College Basic Design class is exploring the practice of Shinrin-Yoku and its connection to the visual arts and nature. The students would like to extend an invitation to the community to take a break during the afternoon of Friday, June 7th from noon to 2 p.m. in order to enjoy a leisurely walk along the beautiful campus trail that leads up to the column. The start location is at the back of the lower parking lot at the end of Lexington Avenue on campus.
Special professional guest artist performances include beloved CCC guitar instructor Dave Drury, who will be playing on the trail between 1:00 and 1:30 p.m., accompanied by flutist Shelley Loring Barker. Dave has been teaching guitar and bass guitar at CCC for over two decades and counts performing, writing, recording and teaching music as his utmost passions. Immediately after the art hike at 2:00 p.m., the public is invited to attend a special celebration in the Royal Nebeker Gallery hosted by the art faculty to honor Dave for his many years of excellence in teaching and for his outstanding service to the college. Dave will be retiring at the end of this year, and it cannot possibly be expressed how much Dave will be missed by the entire campus community and beyond.
The Shinrin-Yoku event was inspired by multi-talented local artist, performer, and activist Marco Davis‘ innovative event called Sunday in the Park with Art. With his blessing, the students will install both individual and collaborative creative projects along the trail. The Japanese concept of Shinrin-Yoku, loosely translated into English as “Forest Bathing,” Shinrin-Yoku is a form of healing that involves wandering along a forest trail or spending time in natural places. This practice has proven to have many benefits, including boosted immune function, reduced blood pressure, reduced stress, improved mood, increased ability to focus, increased energy level, and improved sleep.
Another special professional guest artist who will be featured during the event is Kestral Gates. Kestrel has a degree in dance from Prescott College and brings together a number of movement disciplines. Her current life is dedicated to her collaboration with her husband (HiiH Lights), homeschooling her children, and supporting mothers. She continues to source her health and joy in movement through personal practice.
Slomo as a performance installation happened at art events in Portland in the early 2000’s. This is the first public showing of it since 2007. Kestrel Gates gathers a group of people, both performers and non-performers, to move very slowly, creating evert changing sculptural forms. She has also taught Slomo as a movement practice that uses slow movements to bring awareness and relaxation to the body.
In keeping with the Shinrin-Yoku theme, the students were tasked with a couple of specific design challenges. The first challenge was to clearly convey a message highlighting the critical importance of valuing and preserving our environment. The second challenge was to limit the materials used for the construction of the projects to “trash” that would otherwise have been destined for the waste stream. Basic Design student Willow Sites, who is constructing a papier-mâché mask from upcycled paper, explains that her inspiration was drawn from the Victorian era, which she describes as ” a very artistic and grim time. In her accompanying artist statement, she further explains: “I wanted to take a spin-off of this dark era, giving the mask (which I believe to be symbolic in itself) a flare of life. The plague doctor-like shape is meant to represent an attempt at healing a plague on the Earth; pollution. By allowing ourselves to breathe in and let the beautiful parts of the world be a part of us, we’re transforming the dark themes and negativities in the world to something with an optimistic air. The theme of this piece is change and healing, for it is essential to be able to view initially dark topics as something that can be transformed into something beautiful.”
Adrionna Long is collaborating in a group with two other students in a project with a focus on trees. In her artist statement, Adrionna points out that “trees have been not only neighbors of the human race, but one of the main supporters who have been there for all living beings since the very beginning. Unfortunately, we take advantage of our supporting neighbors and continue to unwittingly wear them down with our careless actions of creating waste. My group and I plan to convey this message through our piece which is a tree created through unwanted rubbish.” Janessa Sablan, who is also collaborating in this project, describes how she and her partners utilized the design principle of rhythm to create a “flow vertically upward, so that it gives the appearance of growth. Ultimately, this piece shows that along with the idea of decreasing the amount of garbage that we put out into the world, we can also find creative and inventive ways to stamp out single-use waste.” Anita Barbic, another partner in the group, poetically sums up the philosophical nature of their project: “Everything has a beginning and an end. As humans, we are given the gift of plentiful malleable resources. Through nature we can create, and yet everything we create will eventually return to the earth in all its paradisiacal glory. I wanted to emulate the development as well as the decay of natural life.”
Another type of plant form is referenced Carina Grossman’s project, the Amanita muscaria. Carina explains that these mushrooms are commonly known as “magic mushrooms.” In her artist statement, she explains her visual message: “I hope to inject a little magic into your thinking about alternative uses for plastics. These mushrooms are often used to expand your consciousness and I used this project to expand upon ways we can help keep plastics out of the landfills. I’ve also included a hands-on Zen sand garden inside the stem of the mushroom so you can meditate on the roots of the issue; even as you rake away stress. We can mimic the ripples our impact has on the beauty in nature with the patterns we place in the sand. The size of the mushroom is intended to remind you of the scale of the plastic problem facing us today; while the beauty still inspires you to think about all the magical creatures living in our environment.”
The students also address concerns about the creatures of the planet in their various projects. Selena Maple states: “One of my favorite things about living in the Pacific North West is listening to the natural symphony of sounds around us. The chirping of the birds, the sound of the gentle breeze as it passes through the vast variety of foliage, waves crashing against the shore, but my favorite sound has always been the chorus of frogs in the evenings. …..Unfortunately, these little creatures are very sensitive to environmental changes, including that of the chemicals we humans pump into the planet daily. The millions of tons of plastics that go unrecycled seep into our natural water ways and affect all species that comes into contact with the tainted life liquid. For this piece, I choose to instead use the otherwise harmful plastic as a way to pay homage to our mosquito eating friends.”
Ethan Huls and his project partner Ben Hardie created a piece called Message in a Bottle out of upcycled plastics, glass, and wood. Ethan explains that the intention of their project is “to capture an idea of water as a symbol of clarity” and to express the “idea of washing one’s grief away. In connection with that idea, we have also written poetry to accompany the piece directed toward one’s need to care for nature and themselves. We especially want to put the emphasis onto the bending of plastics thin and thick to create the illusion of water in a wave. The simplicity of the wave is something locals to this area have seen often and will hopefully see recreated in our artwork.” Ben explains how he hopes that their project will resonate with viewers: “Living in a coastal community, I wanted to create an art piece that was relevant and meaningful to the area. With so many plastic bags and bottles ending up in our local waters, I was inspired to make a wave of plastic carrying along specific messages. The message in a bottle theme is created to subtly bring awareness to our consumption and waste, but more specifically to showcase the artistic possibilities of upcycling one-use products.”
In his artist statement, Connor Kealey explains that he sees the arts “as a way of expressing the parts of emotion that words can’t. Combining language, visual and even auditory art fills in the blanks, allowing us to convey a more complete volume of an emotion. Just like each of us has our own unique handwriting, I like to think we also possess a sort of ‘emotional handwriting.’ Not to be confused with a chosen visual style, I see this more as the unconscious phenomenon of our thoughts and ideas being translated into material through our fingertips…..I care about the message being portrayed by my work and everyone else’s on this trail.”
Once again this year, the Basic Design class has created hand-painted rocks that will be interspersed along the trail for hikers to find as a means to entice our CCC community to get in the healthy habit of using the trail on a regular basis. If you find a rock along the trail, you may keep it or relocate it for another hiker to discover! Rain or shine, the event will proceed, so please come check it out—–we would love for everyone to participate!
Non-Discrimination Declaration It is the policy of Clatsop Community College that there will be no discrimination or harassment on the grounds of race, color, sex, gender, marital status, religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression or disability in any educational programs, activities, or employment. Questions or complaints should be directed to Naomi Garbutt, Affirmative Action/Gender Equity (Title IX) Officer, Towler Hall, Suite 110, email@example.com(link sends e-mail) 503-338-2450; TDD 503-338-2468. The Title II/Section 504 Coordinator, Shelly Alford, is located in Towler Hall, Suite 312C, firstname.lastname@example.org(link sends e-mail) 503-338-2474.
Accommodations Persons having questions about or a request for special needs and accommodation should contact JoAnn Zahn, Vice President of Finance and Operations, at Clatsop Community College, 1651 Lexington Avenue, Astoria, Oregon 97103, Library Suite 110, email@example.com Phone (503) 338-2421 or TDD (503) 338-2468. Please send special needs and accommodations requests here. Contact should be made at least two business days in advance of the event.
Declaración de no-discriminación Es la política de Clatsop Community College que no habrá ningún tipo de discriminación o acoso por razón de raza, color, sexo, género, estado civil, religión, origen nacional, edad, orientación sexual, identidad de género o expresióno discapacidad en los programas educativos, actividades o en la contratación. Preguntas o quejas deben ser dirigidas al Naomi Garbutt, Oficial de Acción Afirmativa / Título IX localizado en Towler Hall número 110, firstname.lastname@example.org(link sends e-mail) número de teléfono 503-338-2450, TDD (discapacidad auditiva) 503-338-2468. El Coordinador de la Titulo II/Sección 504, Shelly Alford, se encuentra en Towler Hall, numero 312C, email@example.com número de teléfono 503-338-2474. Para ADA y otras peticiones de servicios llame al 503-338-2474 o para TDD (discapacidad auditiva) 503-338-2468.
Ayuda a personas discapacitadas En cuanto a las personas discapacitadas, se les pide que se comuniquen con JoAnn Zahn, la Vice Presidente de Finanzas y Operaciones en Clatsop Community College, 1651 Lexington Avenue, Astoria, Oregon 97103, Library Suite 110, firstname.lastname@example.org(link sends e-mail) número teléfonico (503) 338-2421 o a TDD (503) 338-2468. Haga el favor de notificar a la oficina para que se le pueda proporcionar apoyo. La comunicación debe tomar lugar por lo menos dos días de trabajo antes del evento por el cual se requiera tal ayuda. Para más información, vea la página Web de Clatsop Community College bajo Información en Español.