Amerind Free Online Artist Talk
“Collaborating with Place” with Artist Shawn Skabelund
Saturday, October 30, 2021, 11:00 am – Arizona Time
The landscapes I live in become my studio, not as subject matter to draw or paint, but to observe and look, discovering materials that I can collect in order to create new “landscapes” and forms. As someone with three degrees in drawing, I will discuss the trajectory of my career and my creative process in creating site-specific, place-based installations.
Shawn Skabelund is an artist, educator and independent curator based in Flagstaff, AZ, working with and in specific landscapes to reveal their complex issues, ecologies and cultural histories. Shawn grew up in the small logging town of McCall, ID, in the mountains of Payette National Forest. His fondest childhood memories were of days picking huckleberries, which would become the root of his creative process. He received his MFA in Drawing/Painting from the University of Iowa in 1990 and his BFA in Drawing from Utah State University in 1987.
For three decades, Skabelund’s creative research and place-based craft and practice have focused on what Wendell Berry calls “the unsettling of America,” and how historical and contemporary Manifest Destiny have impacted specific landscapes and cultures in the United States. In particular, he is interested in the ecological consequences of anthropogenic climate change and for the past decade he has been exploring human’s relationship with Earth, and the planet’s relationship with fire, both in its origin and now in its destruction, and understanding the pyrocene and the interaction between our addiction to fossil fuels and natural fire.
Skabelund’s projects have been commissioned and funded by organizations including the Arizona Commission on the Arts, The Puffin Foundation, The Contemporary Forum of the Phoenix Art Museum, the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs, Bandelier National Monument and Northern Arizona University’s College of Arts & Letters and School of Music, and the Martin-Springer Institute. His recent work has been developed as an artist-in-residence, resulting in large-scale installations and/or performative art actions in collaboration with community engagement and partnership. Such projects have unfolded throughout the American West, from Bandelier National Monument, New Mexico to the Wrangell Mountains Center, McCarthy, Alaska and from the Volland Store, Alma, Kansas to BoxoProjects, Joshua Tree, CA. The projects he has helped plan and the exhibitions he has curated have been funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and Arts Work grants, the Joint Fire Science Program, Southwest Fire Science Consortium, and the Landscape Conservation Initiative.
This online program is free, but space is limited. To register visit: https://bit.ly/AmerindOnline103021