As we drove away from the residency and the home that nurtured us for the past month, the experience was so amazing it felt as if it couldn’t have been real. We left behind a guestbook for future artists with this (lengthy) inaugural entry:
“I’m perched high on a hill off Notom-Bullfrog Road at dawn, the desert sprawling beneath me, cinnamon-bun domes looming in the distance, no sound but the wind, shadows gliding across the land like a raptor, alive and searching. With the cold of the night on my face and the rising sun warming my back, I look at the shale beneath my feet, once an ocean now a mountain, eventually disintegrating into a plain. Even in this stillness, everything is in motion - as am I - searching for the heart of the place, searching for where I belong in it - only a grain of sand in a vast, rugged, untamed land. The click of my shutter freezes this moment, but my perception of it will evolve in time’s ever-shifting sands.
I am in Capitol Reef only briefly with my boots crunching clay and rocks, wind chapping my lips, lungs straining for oxygen and thighs burning. I am skin and bone, sweat and blood. I am alive.
We navigate through land and time, leaving a cairn of our soul to find the way back here again and again.
The park staff welcomed us with the embrace of old friends — both professionally and socially. They shared their knowledge of this land, its history and its secrets. Their enthusiastic outreach enhanced my work and experience. The Brimhall House reflected the same warmth, an idyllic cocoon and base from which collaboration and understanding could unfold. Capitol Reef is not an easy viewpoint or overlook. It takes time, perseverance and patience to unwrap its essence.
To those who follow me, I highly encourage getting to know the staff and locals in town, whose insight is invaluable. Relationships forged with heartfelt intention and a natural curiosity give birth to creativity. This community will make your art better in ways you can’t imagine." #CapitolReefAIR #usinterior #capitolreefnps #capitolreefnationalpark #nationalparkservice #NPS #artistinresidence