WOS: Unwalking Jedediah Smith

June 11-17, 2016
Unwalking The West
Type of Trip:
Wide Open Studios

We begin our season in a crystalline watershed of the Siskiyou Mountains. The Siskiyous, spanning the California-Oregon border, are the largest subrange of the Klamath Mountains. We'll hike along the namesake river of famed mountain man Jedediah Smith, using his journal and others' observations as a point of departure to discuss the complexities of a region rife with paradox. It's one of the country's wildest corners, yet endures ongoing exploitation by logging and mining interests. It sits at a cultural confluence of several Indigenous nations, yet most contemporary Californians consider it an unpeopled backwater. The rugged landscape may read, initially, as inhospitable, but actually boasts biological diversity like few other places on Earth.

This one-week Wide Open Studios course is a forum for artists at all levels and from all creative disciplines to immerse themselves in the possibility of making work in a wilderness context. We will cover the basics of low-impact backpacking but also dedicate time to staying put, establishing a base-camp by the river from which to hike, make projects, hold readings and discussions, and enjoy refreshing swims. Time permitting, we will also spend a night in the redwoods.

Participants: Amory Abbott, M. Cochise Anderson, Sydney Cain, Esther Forbyn, Megan Hanley, Riley King, Sye Laird, Marlena Mendoza, Ivonne Paredes, Devin Symons

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