Artist-as-Trickster: Wide Open Studios Summer Field Study

June 20- July 10, 2021

Location: Klamath-Siskiyou Ecoregion / Klamath, Modoc, Tolowa, Karuk, Takelma, Hupa, Shasta, Yurok, and Wintu territories

Meetup: Portland, OR or Medford, OR

Application: January 5 – April 15

Instructors: Ryan Pierce and Anna Ialeggio

Cost: $3300 (includes food, transportation, camping and entry fees). Two partial ($1000) scholarships are available.

Activities: backpacking, day hiking, base-camping, car camping

Level of Difficulty: Moderate to challenging. This course includes an introduction to backpacking in remote and rugged terrain.  Our guides will teach backcountry skills from the ground up, and we welcome and encourage folks who have never been backpacking or camping to learn from us! Participants should have a level of physical health and ability that enables them to carry a 40-50 lb pack for an average of five miles each day. The instructors will be available to offer training advice prior to the experience.

Description: Artist-as-Trickster is a backcountry-based survey of strategies for subversion, fable, and ruse. Taking inspiration from the prevalence of mythical tricksters throughout the cultures of the world, we will share a journey through the wild heart of the Klamath-Siskiyous, a land whose natural history is touched by mystery and contradiction.

Our readers will include stories from Native North America wherein Coyote reigns supreme. Coyote dwells in paradox, and we will observe the ways contemporary artists embrace paradox in a daily sequence of artist profiles and a parallel course of Tiny Projects—prompts that ask each artist to try new ways to disrupt their own creative habits. Emphasis will be placed on experimentation as opposed to polished work. Visiting artists will join us to illuminate the strategies they use to embrace the unexpected, as well as to discuss the many enchantments and conflicts of the Klamath.

The structure of this trip involves backpacking trips of five or six days separated by car-camping segments in rural communities to engage with visiting artists and cultural sites, food shop, shower, and do laundry. Current COVID and wildfire considerations will impact the structure of the trip significantly and, in general, this course is a good fit for people who like surprises.

COVID considerations: Signal Fire designs safe programs in coordination with rural and tribal communities, trip leaders and participants, outdoor recreational industry leaders, and regional and national health guidelines. This rigorous evaluation applies to seasonal risks such as wildfires, as well as novelties like COVID-19. Signal Fire maintains open communication with program participants and emergent needs will be addressed transparently. We are grateful to our trip leaders, staff, Board, community and program partners who tirelessly collaborate with us to manage these risks. To learn more, contact your trip leader or Our Director of Field Programming,