Frye Art Museum
photo by Jill Berarducci
Earthscape: Artists in Alaska's Copper River Delta
June 19 - September 5, 1999
The Frye Art Museum presents a unique exhibition that makes a strong environmental case for preservation of Alaska's Copper River Delta. The Copper River Delta is the largest wetland on the Pacific Coast of North America. In 1995, twenty-five artists from around the world were invited to capture the unique beauty of this endangered land, among them Northwest sculptor, Tony Angell.
The project was an international bid to preserve the Delta by creating an awareness for the intrinsic beauty of this little-known land. Covering over 700,00 acres, the Delta is an immense work of art in its own right and supports the Earth's greatest concentration of migrating shorebirds. Right: Andrea Rich, Power Creek, woodcut
Invited artists spent one to two weeks working together or alone in various conditions, getting a feel for the Delta's immensity. The result of their labor is on view in Earthscape: Artists in Alaska's Copper River Delta
The exhibition and project was organized by the Dutch-based Artists for Nature Foundation, the brainchild of Ysbrand Brouwers, a landscape architect and wildlife art collector from the Netherlands. Past projects of the Foundation have included Biebrza Valley in Poland, Extremadura in Spain, the South-Wexford wetlands in Ireland, and the Loire Estuary in France. The goal of Artists for Nature is to highlight the natural diversity of some of the world's last wild places.
Enter the Copper River Delta - a landscape that residents have come together to preserve. The Delta is host to 40 species of mammals and it produces one of the most bountiful red salmon runs on the continent. Riki Ott, executive director for promotion of the Copper River Delta Watershed Project, in Cordova, Alaska, coordinated the visiting artists and the Cordova Artists for Nature venture. "The idea of the Watershed Project is to diversify our economy in ways that maximize resource use and benefit residents," says Ott. "The exhibition helps meet this goal by raising awareness of the invaluable resources in the Delta." The exhibition is organized by the Copper River Delta Watershed Project, Cordova, Alaska. A fully illustrated and documented ~book published by the University of Washington Press, about the artists and their work is available in conjunction with the exhibition.
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This page was originally published in 1999 in Resource Library Magazine. Please see Resource Library's Overview section for more information.
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