Spanning lofty heights of the Kaibab Plateau and sweeping vistas of the Marble Platform and Vermilion Cliffs, the Kane Ranch is an area of tremendous ecological importance, significant social value, and unparalleled beauty.
Grand Canyon Trust has been bringing conservation research and stewardship to this spectacular but little-known landscape since 2005. Now we are bringing art to this storied place.
In late November, the Trust invited four Flagstaff artists–Jean Rukkila, Tony Norris, Darcy Falk, and Shonto Begay–to a creative retreat at Kane Ranch. They brought stories, songs and poetry from the land back to Flagstaff and together created a performance for the Flagstaff Public Library “Stories to Life” program on January 12.
Artist Jean Rukkila, a native Arizonan said that:
Being there reminded me of growing up in the 60’s when the Arizona landscape was not so pinched by highways and shopping malls. There is a profound stillness and the loudest voice is the wind rising and falling. I savor noticing that the end of day has different sounds and colors then the beginning or high noon. It is a real privilege to be in a place where you are a minor voice.
With great local press on the project, more than 200 people attended with overwhelmingly positive feedback.
Trust board member Jim Babbitt provided rich context describing why House Rock Valley, Paria Plateau, and Kaibab Plateau inspire this new chapter of conservation, science, and art.
This is just the beginning of our efforts to cultivate artists as environmental advocates. Kane Ranch is a spectacular venue for cross-pollination between public lands management and conservation science. But artists help convey how these unspoiled places make us feel and why they matter. We will integrate art to create greater momentum for social change on the Colorado Plateau.
There are many opportunities to visit Kane Ranch. Click here to see our volunteer schedule or click here to learn more about a new journalling workshop. Are you an artist? Would you like to use your creative talents to inspire people to protect and restore the Colorado Plateau? Email Kate Watters, or call 928-774-7488.