FAM at Land Arts of the American West

October 15 to November 1, 2017
Artists in Residence at Land Arts of the American West (Art and Ecology, University of New Mexico) 

Visit the JOURNAL section of this website for more images and personal thoughts on this trip. 

 
 Site of a failed housing development purchased by the Institute

Site of a failed housing development purchased by the Institute

Patagonia, Arizona

In this location we visited sites where the Borderlands Restoration Institute were undertaking watershed and habitat restoration, propagating native plant species and creating a corridor for wild animal movement in a failed housing development in the Sonita Creek Wildlife Corridor. The Corridor is a linkage for black bear and mountain lion moving between Mexico and the Huachuca and Santa Rita Mountain ranges outside Patagonia, Arizona. There have also been sightings of jaguars, whose habitats have been threatened by development, extraction and border infrastructure passing through. 

We collected seeds and cuttings, built rock damns and visited two border fences on the Mexico/USA border. FAM led the group through Pauline Olivero's Rock Piece at the Wildlife Corridor. 

 

 
 Yellow rock on canyon walls at Gila Wilderness

Yellow rock on canyon walls at Gila Wilderness

Gila Wilderness, New Mexico

The program treated this as a studio location. A solar powered tech station with laptops and recording equipment was available. Like Patagonia, Gila Wilderness is a semiarid desert. Semiarid deserts have a lot of vegetation including bushes with sharp thorns and spines that cling to your clothing. At Gila there was a river and several hot springs. The rock is bright yellow and sunset colours.

 

 
 White gypsum dunes at White Sands National Monument

White gypsum dunes at White Sands National Monument

White Sands, New Mexico

White Sands National Momument as the park is called is a hot and dry desert. The white sands are gypsum particles. This location was also treated as a studio. 

White Sands is the site of the first nuclear detonation in 1945 called "Project Trinity". It remains an active missile testing site. On our second night in the area we camped elsewhere due to testing.