Artist in Residence
Greater Hells Canyon Council’s annual Artist in Residence (Wild Blues AiR) program creates a unique opportunity to engage with communities in our mission area through creative expression.
How the Program works
Following the pilot “Refugia of the Blue Mountains” exhibit, GHCC will select a different artist each year, beginning in 2025. The artist will be asked to produce works around a theme of GHCCs choosing. Artist mediums could include painting, sculpture, writing, film, music or crafts such as beading and basketweaving. There are many possibilities.
The chosen artist will be expected to complete a body of work to be exhibited at one or more events promoted by Greater Hells Canyon Council and the artist, during or immediately following the residence year. The artist will engage with the community through an exhibition opening, workshop, local presentation, outdoor activity, or other forms of outreach.
The artist will receive a $2,000 contribution toward supplies and travel expenses, as well as a two week “residency” at Good Bear Ranch at the foot of the Elkhorn Mountains outside of Baker City, Oregon during the year that they are collaborating with GHCC.
2023-24 Wild Blues AiR Program
The first, 2023-2024, Artist in Residence program (a two-year project) features watercolor artist Robin Coen and writer Marina Richie’s “Refugia of the Blue Mountains” exhibit. The show will include 25-30 watercolor paintings, a written overview of “Refugia” with narratives and poetry to accompany the paintings. In addition, the program will highlight an exhibition sized map of GHCC’s mission area, identifying the route of the Blue Mountains Trail with reference points on the map that relate to specific painting subjects or landscapes.
Our schedule of upcoming Exhibits is as follows:
May 2024 World Center for Birds of Prey-Opening Event, Boise, ID
Fall 2024 Sponsored Exhibit in La Grande, OR
May 2025 Crossroads Carnegie Art Center, Baker City
June/July 2025 Josephy Center for the Arts, Joseph, OR
Each event provides an opportunity to inform audiences in our mission area about our work.
Wild Blues Artists in Residence
Robin Coen’s love of “all things wild” emerged while growing up on a cattle ranch in the Elkhorn Mountains of Eastern Oregon. She shadowed her father through days of fence mending, irrigating fields, tending to sick calves and the occasional early morning horseback ride up the mountain to see the sun rise. This led her to a Bachelor of Science in Forest Engineering from the University of Washington. She now lives in Boise, Idaho and focuses on family, watercolor painting, gardening and managing her family ranch property (Good Bear Ranch) near Baker City, Oregon. She is devoted to conservation work, utilizing the ranch property to implement environmentally progressive practices for forest, water and rangeland management. Robin sponsors Greater Hells Canyon Council’s annual artist in residence (Wild Blues Artist in Residence) retreat at Good Bear Ranch. She also serves on their Board of Directors.
“I paint to deepen my understanding of the natural world, choosing an eco-centric point of view that encourages compassion and reciprocity. Small local wildflowers are painted on a large scale with native pollinators. Local wildlife and landscapes are portrayed through a lens that recognizes their intrinsic value but also their threatened status. It is my hope that art can influence others towards a deeper understanding of our role in recovering planetary health. This tiny blue jewel of life is our dearest treasure and most accurate reflection of our communal spiritual wealth.”
Marina Richie is a nature writer living in Bend, Oregon, and the author of the award-winning Halcyon Journey, In Search of the Belted Kingfisher. In addition to her 2022 book, she is the author of two children's books (Bird Feats and Bug Feats). Her articles and essays appear in numerous magazines, journals, and blogs. She has a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Montana and an undergraduate degree in biology from the University of Oregon. Marina serves on the board of directors for Greater Hells Canyon Council.
"Robin’s lively sensory paintings remind me of why I write. I’m moved to act on behalf of the last remaining wild places and our threatened wildlife. I strive to connect people from all walks of life to the natural world—to be curious, to practice the art of keen observation, to find the peace of wild things, and to be inspired to speak up on behalf of all who speak in the languages of kingfisher, beaver, pika, marten, wolverine, salmon, and hummingbird."
Please see her website for news and her bimonthly blog: www.marinarichie.com.
The 2023-24 Wild Blues Artist in Residence is generously sponsored by:
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