The November show at the Plumas Arts Gallery in Quincy will feature artworks created by the 2018 Artists in the Lookout: Megan Gnekow, Lenora Herndon and Wendy Wayman. Each of these artists had a four-day stay at the top in the Black Mountain Lookout overlooking 200 square miles of forest at the eastern edge of the Beckwourth Ranger District.
Gnekow spent one of the last weeks in June at the lookout to collect ideas, information and preliminary sketches for her book, “Wildlife and Wildflowers: A Plumas National Forest Coloring Book.” The book of drawings illustrates some of the flora and fauna and ecosystems present in the area around the Black Mountain Lookout. The coloring book will be available to view and purchase at the Plumas Arts Gallery.
Herndon and Wayman spent their time in the lookout together with a residency that they planned as “Plein Air Par Deux.” They wanted to challenge the notion that aesthetic engagement with nature need be a solitary activity using a familiar saying in plein-air circles, “It takes two artists to paint: one to paint and the other to tell her when to stop.” Both artists produced a number of vividly colorful and distinctly different canvases.
The Artists in the Lookout Residency program has been a four-year partnership between Plumas Arts and Plumas National Forest. The forest offers the lookout stays to the artists and Plumas Arts coordinates the program. Visual and literary artists, as well, have been chosen for the residency. In return each offers original pieces to hang in the USFS offices, as well as images for cards or words for chapbooks — and now a coloring book — with proceeds from these sales providing Plumas Arts with financial support for the program.
The Black Mountain Lookout is situated on the eastern edge of the Beckwourth Ranger District, 10 miles from State Route 395, near Milford. | plumasarts.org