Reprinted from Modern Hiker
"As it turns out, artists make exceptional conservationists. Their efforts are woven throughout the history of our national parks, but they are also heavily involved in the parks’ contemporary stories, typically through an artist-in-residency program that features artists creating works inspired by their surroundings. However, what if artists can move beyond their own practices to once again effect change on behalf of the parks? That’s the hope of Otis College of Arts and Design lecturer – and artist – Rebecca Lowry, founder of the Joshua Tree Art Innovation Laboratory, or JT Lab. Far from a traditional residency program, JT Lab aspires to a higher calling: tapping into the artists’ creative reservoirs to act not in service of their own art, but to the park itself.
JT Lab launched in October 2016, partially funded by a grant secured through the “Imagine Your Parks” initiative, a collaboration between the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Park Service in celebration of the former’s semicentennial and the latter’s centennial. The project is a natural extension of Lowry’s own work, considering her experience with both traditional residencies and independent projects in a number of parks, including Grand Canyon National Park, Joshua Tree National Park, Lava Beds National Monument, and Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve."
Read the full interview...
Image: Artists’ Tea featuring custom built all-terrain tea cart / credit: Jenny Kane