While earning her masters in fine arts degree at San Jose State University, Nancy Tieken Lopez thesis project was an art hike held at Alum Rock State Park, and this project evolved into the Truckee-based nonprofit organization now called Trails and Vistas. She explains, “The purpose of Trails and Vistas is to reestablish bonds between individuals and between individuals and nature. Nature belongs to all of us and putting art in this context changes the experience and the audience.”
In “Reflections and Rhythms,” audience members will walk along a gentle two and a half mile single-track trail, with an experienced guide, pausing at creative, artistic expressions. Since the beginning of Trails and Vistas, dancers from the InnerRhythms Dance Theatre have brought unforgettable performances to the art hike. Elizabeth Archer, Trails and Vistas’ co-director and the director of InnerRhythms Dance Theatre, hopes that the experience inspires audience members. “Discover your own rhythm. Trust that there is a rhythm inside of you. Once you discover it, you are completely loyal to it,” says Archer.
Award-Winning Children's Artist and REMO Endorsed Drum Circle Facilitator Norman Jones will perform this September. Jones is from The Rhythm Child Network, a group formed in 2003 that uses drums and movement to foster creativity. By using the drum as a vehicle for building confidence, communicating positive messages and encouraging group dynamics, Rhythm Child helps people connect with their inner rhythms.
Famous for her magnificent egg art and inspirational storytelling, Cathee vanRossem-St.Clair, a Truckee resident, returns to Trails and Vistas. St. Clair's painted eggs have earned national recognition. One of her eggs, The California Thrasher, created for the Whitehouse Christmas Tree, is now in the National Archives. “Like most artists, my creative journey began at an early age. Since I lifted that first crayon, storytelling and language - the language of birds, the language of the earth, and the silent language we humans use to interact with our inner and outer landscapes, have fed my art. Images from dreams, observations, and quirky musings push their way into my sketchbooks to this day," shares St. Clair about the beginning of her artistic journey.
Another Tahoe-Truckee local resident, Emily Tessmer of Orenda Blu Music, will share sacred chants during the art hike. Tessmer explains the root of her inspiration and muse, “The river of music has carried me back to my ancestors…I feel the embrace of the divine like never before. The miracles are continually abounding in my life and my heart calls for the caress of my grandfathers and grandmothers in their wisdom.” She adds, “I am so grateful to be a part of Trails this year. Being a part of it last year was so inspiring and contributed to all that I envision for this year at Spooner Lake.”
By popular demand, Chief Red Hawk will return to Trails and Vistas. He uses stories to inspire people to reflect on the value of the land, and he shares wisdom about animals and the natural environment. He is the winner of two TELLY awards and performed at the Winter Olympics ceremonies in Utah. The most captivating aspects of Red Hawk's storytelling are the stories of his Native American ancestors that he shares through music and song.
Angelika’s Healing Music is another returning artist. She is an internationally acclaimed performer, composer and recording artist whose main intention is to promote oneness, peace, healing and goodwill through music. Angelika sings ancient Sanskrit healing chants and mantras in different languages and performs original songs, sharing love and celebration accompanied by a handmade tamboura monochord and twelve-string guitar.
Angelique Benicio, an illustrator and sculptor, is driven to convey impressions of the living experience with a child's sense of wonder. She is a published children's book illustrator, has worked in France as a freelance illustrator and as a painter and sculptor for French cinema productions.
If you go
What: Guided 2.5 mile art hike
When: Sept. 17 and 18, 2011
Where: Spooner Lake in Lake Tahoe-Nevada State Park
Tickets: $30 adults/$10 children available at www.trailsandvistas.org (prices increase Sept. 1)
Note: Art hikes tend to sell out. Select desired times and purchase soon to secure your spot.