An art show with a view
August 9, 2004
Sierra SunWhen Truckee artist Nancy Lopez first envisioned the upcoming Trails and Vistas art walk, she sought to fuse different art forms together in a natural outdoor setting.The seed of her idea quickly grew to encompass 26 dancers, musicians and artists, land recently acquired by the Truckee Donner Land Trust and the audience itself. It’s a combination that should give birth to an event way beyond the scope of the typical Tahoe arts scene.Scheduled to coincide with Truckee Trails Day on Sept. 19, Lopez said she hopes the Trails and Vistas interactive art walk will draw a diverse audience.
“Installation art is an artwork that encompasses an extended space,” she said. “It can be a small space like a little room or it can be a large space like a mountainside….”Essentially, Lopez said, the effort aims at taking art out of the regular theater or gallery and putting it in a new place – and hopefully creating a new experience for the audience. The interactive nature of the event is designed to highlight the interrelation between nature and art.”This whole piece is about connection,” Lopez said. “Connection to each other, connection to nature and to the environment as a whole. And so we’re hopefully bringing more awareness to this particular piece of land that was purchased by the Truckee Donner Land Trust, and celebrating the beauty of the land through the arts.”The land is a 280-acre parcel in Upper Gregory Creek, also referred to as Negro Canyon, just north of Donner Lake. The Truckee Donner Land Trust recently signed an agreement to purchase the acreage.
According to Land Trust Associate Director Tanya Africa, the property is an important part of the Donner Lake watershed and it will also provide a vital link in the Donner Lake Rim Trail project.Participants who go on the 2.5-mile hike on Sept. 19 will have the chance to walk on what will become the Donner Lake Rim Trail while witnessing the collaborative art stations set up along the way.Dancers from the local InnerRhythms Dance Theatre company will play a large role in the installation with three performances along the route, featuring dance pieces choreographed by Artistic Director Elizabeth Archer to the music of local musicians and Native American drummers.Archer said she is excited to see how the audience reacts to the combinations of art, music, dance and nature that it will be exposed to.
“I see it as an opportunity to integrate the land and our culture with the arts…” she said, adding that she hopes to be able to entice people who may not be interested in going to a more traditional ballet-type performance.Joining the InnerRhythms dancers will be performers from the XYandZ Project, which features aerialist dancers who will perform while suspended by ropes strung between a stand of tall trees along the trail, the Da ‘Owaga All Nations Drummers, Yohosame Cameron, Peter Joseph Burtt, Rita Whitaker Hahn and Martha O’Neill.With so many diverse artists involved in the project, the event has evolved in ways that even Lopez did not anticipate.”I never know, even as the coordinator, what’s around the corner sometimes. So it’s very exciting and a very fluid way of working for each artist,” she said. “This is very outside of the mainstream of the art world here in Tahoe. A lot of people don’t know about installation art and what it is, so hopefully it’ll bring more awareness of the artists who live in the area and new kind of art forms.”