Making Art in Wild Places

By Lee Sherman Gellatly (Terra Magazine)

Creative Coast ProjectLast spring, students studying music, video, theater and visual arts took a walk in the woods. When they came out, their creative spirits were infused with the sounds, textures, shapes and colors of the Hopkins Demonstration Forest.

Music student Ryan Zubieta listened to the sounds around him — water running over stones, branches clicking together, wind rattling the canopy — then recorded and edited them, finally converting them into a haunting piece of music that, he says, “retains the organic quality” of the original woodland sounds.

“Student projects involved not only sound capture but also acting and directing, video documentation, drawing and sculpture,” says Charles Robinson, a faculty member in the College of Liberal Arts.

The interdisciplinary “Creative Forest Project” of the School of Arts & Communication was recast this year as the “Creative Coast Project.” In April and May, students ventured to Cape Perpetua, where faculty members led workshops and then set the students loose in groups to create writings, films, music and plays.  The partnership also includes the U.S. Forest Service team at Cape Perpetua, Oregon Sea Grant and OSU Extension.


(Above right) Students in Anna Fidler’s foundation arts class worked with sea water to create dye effects on fabric. Afterwards, they added crochet to the artwork.
(Right) Makeup designer and theatre student PJ Harris applies makeup to Brian Greer. "We have three models representing the forest, the ocean and the land/earth/rocks. We have a makeup person, a writer and a photographer. We are going into the forest and onto the rocks and we will take photographs and the storyteller will create a story," Harris said.
Photos by Julia Bradshaw


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