Trails & Vistas | Intersection of art & nature

Photo By Jeff Engerbretson | Courtesy
Trails & Vistas

Trails & Vistas brings guided art hikes on Donner Summit starting at Clair Tappaan Lodge on Sept. 8 and 9, along with an evening World Concert on Sept. 8 on the Warren Edward Trepp Stage at Sand Harbor. Founder and artistic director Nancy Tieken Lopez has been staging this annual event in back-country venues in the Tahoe Sierra since 2004.

WATCH a sneak peak of Trails & Vistas

“I was stunned that Nancy thought of this. This is the first event of its kind that involves nature in all of the arts and bringing the arts onto the trails — it’s like walking into a Tolkien movie, it’s surreal. You turn the corner and there’s a giant full-sized moth dancing in the fields or a giant snail playing the accordion,” says Scarlet Rivera, one of the featured artists of this year’s Trails & Vistas.

Rivera says the first time she came to Tahoe she thought she died and went to heaven.

“It’s so beautiful and pristine — the colors of the lake and stone and rock. Being on the stage playing the cello, looking up to the mountains, there’s nothing like it. I don’t know anyone who can replicate this level of quality in an event. It’s the only one I’ve seen inclusive of all the arts. People are very lucky to have this world-class event right here in Lake Tahoe,” she says.

This year, Rivera says that she is looking forward to performing on the Trails & Vistas art hikes and the World Concert due to her collaboration with designer Zofia Kostyrko. In the months leading up to Trails & Vistas, Kostyrko has been designing a special costume for Rivera to use during the event titled “Gaia’s Gown.”

“I instantly thought of Zofia for the art installation this year and making a design that complements nature,” Rivera says.

Kostyrko was one of the top designers at Disney and creates engaging exhibits with a focus on conservation. Kostyrko is making “Gaia’s Gown” following the theme of animals, which complements Rivera’s musical endeavors. Rivera, who has made an album of animal sounds, is also known for her work with Bob Dylan and the Indigo Girls.

“We talked about embedding animal eyes in peacock flumes and if you look closely you’ll see a wolf, dolphin, elephant and the whole universe — that we’re all connected through the idea that we’re all part of the same fabric,” Rivera says.

Kostyrko is equally excited to be a part of Trails & Vistas this year and continues to challenge herself by creating wearable art.

Scarlet Rivera; “Gaia’s Gown” designed
for Scarlet Rivera by Zofi a Kostyrko. | Courtesy Trails
& Vistas

“Scarlet has been participating in [Trails & Vistas] for a while and has spoken so highly of it. I’m excited to be a part of it this year. We met several years ago through a mutual friend and I was really taken with her music. She had the voices of the animals. She taught me how to play violin a little bit but I’m mostly a visual artist. This is an interface of art and performance in an absolutely gorgeous environment. It’s experiencing nature at its best.

“I have worked in the themed destination entertainment world creating places and spaces in design. I love the idea of movement. I thought it was cool and wanted to do this because of Scarlet’s devotion to conservation, animals and the environment,” Kostyrko says.

“Gaia’s Gown” will be the only printed fabric of its kind in the world, unique for Rivera and her Trails & Vistas performance. Kostyrko is also designing the headpiece and shoes.

“Scarlet has insanely fabulous hair so I’m having fun with making something light and comfortable for her,” she says.

“The concept is absolutely phenomenal. Some of the most magical experiences I’ve ever had with art have been in locations like this because these moments are completely one of a kind. The changing weather and interaction with people, art and nature — I’m looking forward to being a part of Trails & Vistas and see where it goes from there,” Kostyrko says.

Trails & Vistas
Sept. 8 & 9 | Clair Tappaan Lodge | Norden

World Peace Concert
Sept. 9 | Sand Harbor State Park | Incline Village, Nev.

“It’s a multisensory thing, multidimensional experience for both the performers and the people coming. I encourage everyone to come and experience it. You won’t be disappointed,” Rivera says. | trailsandvistas.org