Sitka Center for Art and Ecology

DSC_05712Program/project name: Sitka Center for Art and Ecology Reflections Program

Brief description of program/project development and components or hopes: 

The Reflections program at the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology is a 200 year-long project devoted to exhibiting place-based creative responses to the rich and varied landscapes in which Sitka is embedded. We invite each resident who chooses to participate in the program to submit a response to one or more specific Reflections sites within these landscapes, four in the Salmon River Estuary, two in the Cascade Head Experimental Forest. These responses will become part of a collective body of work in an online archive. The collection seeks to record shifting societal and cultural views of the environment, new ideas in art theory and technique, changes in the sites’ physical appearance, and the artists’ unique backgrounds and viewpoints.

Each year Sitka Center for Art and Ecology invites or selects 22 artists, writers, musicians and environmental scientists (6 at a time) to spend up to 3.5 months working on individual research projects. Interaction between participants is encouraged but not required. Collaboration happens informally.


Relationship with core science, education, cultural programs at the site: The focus on the sciences at Sitka has been sporadic over the years. Whereas educational programs in art and writing have been integrated program elements since the 1970s, the attention to science workshops and science residencies has come and gone several times over our 40-year history. Nevertheless, every artist resident is given a tour of our surrounding ecological sites including the experimental forest, the estuary restoration, the nature conservancy preserve, and the Westwind stewardship group’s property. These tours are intended to orient the artists to our local environment and often provides inspiration for work that happens during their time at Sitka.

Sitka also has a 4.5 month workshop program that brings in 1000 people. These workshops focus primarily on art subjects, but with an undercurrent of ecology woven into the experience.


Contact person(s):  Caroline Brooks