The Festival Was A Huge Success!

SRT festival information booth, staffed by a crew of dedicated volunteers

What an amazing event! If you made it out to the first Kaweah Land & Arts Festival, then you were privy to the gathering momentum of a glorious movement that is properly recognizing the natural and cultural virtues of the Kaweah watershed landscape – from the peaks of the Great Western Divide on down to the dried up shores of the Tulare Lake Basin, and all the artists that live on and tend to that land. If you didn’t make it out to the festival, please check out our slideshow and stay tuned to the announcement of next year’s festival dates.

The purpose of the festival was to draw our attention outward to the meaning and magnificent sights of the Kaweah watershed. It’s so easy to go about our days, focused internally on our tasks, destinations and responsibilities without looking up to notice the Sierra Nevada looming less than 50 miles away, as we travel down a street named Kaweah or Mineral King or Tulare—unnoticed names that, when recognized, are important reminders of our heritage.

Matthew Rangel leads a field-drawing workshop on the Grapevine Trail at KOP

The purpose of the festival was also to highlight the great work of the artists, writers, poets, farmers, musicians, scientists and historians who devote their lives to telling the stories of the landscape in addition to taking care of it so that others can continue to tell the story. Thank you to everyone who shared their story.

And special thanks to Matthew Rangel who deserves so much credit for envisioning this project and carrying it to its fruition, which is really a much larger work in progress (for all of us). As a visual artist, Matthew’s vision is always being inspired anew and he is always anticipating how he can bring that growing inspiration to a larger audience. Matthew and the others on the Kaweah Land & Arts Festival planning committee (Bill Tweed, John Spivey, John Dofflemyer, Kevin Bowman, Laura Childers and Niki Woodard) are assessing the first festival and enthusiastically planning the second one. We’d love to hear your feedback, so please take a couple minutes to fill out this survey and send it in to Sequoia Riverlands Trust, Attn: Niki Woodard, 427 S. Garden St, Visalia, CA 93277 or fax it to 559-622-9477.

Bill Tweed reads historical interpretations of the Kaweah watershed

We’d also like to extend a hearty thanks to the dedicated crew of community volunteers who helped make all the events at the festival run smoothly: Tina Collins, John Greening, Dave Hobbs, Sally Hobbs, Joanne Hoyt, Ken Olsen, Shirley Kirkpatrick, Laurie Killian, Linda Roddick, Brad Schleder, Doug Snider, Don Stone, John Stowe, Phil White and Kay Woods.

Also, thanks to all the artists and vendors who set up their amazing work for everyone to enjoy: Steven Ball, Oshah Baxter, Cedrick Brown, Elsah Cort, Brandon Crow, John Griesbach, Michael Hansen, Shirley Keller, Anne Marks, Frances Pyles, Jane Zielger, Arts Visalia, California Native Plant Society, C & C Potters, Family Farm Fresh, Pleasant Valley Ranch, Sequoia Natural History Association, Seven Circles, Timothy Schweizer, Tulare County Citizens for Responsible Growth, Tulare County Historical Society, Urban Tree Foundation and WildPlaces. Also, thanks to John Crow of Crow’s BBQ for serving up delicious food despite the many mishaps of his morning (flat tires and broken trailer).

Sylvia Ross reads from a collection of Native American poetry, "The Dirt is Red Here"

And thanks to all of you for coming out and enjoying a special event with us. We look forward to making an even bigger impact in the years to come. If you aren’t already a member of Sequoia Riverlands Trust, please consider becoming one today and supporting such a worthy cause!

And, of course, thank you to all our sponsors and partners.

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Festival t-shirts are still available for a discounted price. You can purchase t-shirts, along with books and artist prints at Arts Visalia, which will be featuring Matthew Rangel’s innovative lithograph depictions of the Sierra Nevada, “a transect – Due East,” along with John Spivey’s vivid photography collection, “The Luminosity of Stone” for the remainder of the month of November.

* * *

And don’t forget to check out the festival slideshow!!

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2 Responses to The Festival Was A Huge Success!

  1. As an artist selling art, the day wasn’t profitable for me or Sequoia Riverland Trust, since we’d promised 10% of what we made, very few items sold. That was disappointing. Many people said they didn’t realize there was to be art to be purchased, thus didn’t bring cash with them, but I thought the advertising for the event was thorough, every where I looked. On the other hand, as people went through my photographs stories were told about Tulare County I’d never heard before, memories dredged up kicked off by pictures of mountains, streams, flowers, etc, that brought to the surface history. Invaluable moments that made me very glad I was there. My granddaughter, 8 years old, loved participating in the hike, children art set up, and viewing all the booths. She even found an artist who sold her a print for the $5.00 she had in her purse. This was a big deal since the print was far more than what Annie offered, but the artist was generous, thus Annie thrilled, bought her first piece of art from an artist. The dirt and wind were another problem for fine art, not really an appropriate venue for things that the elements can ruin. Ceramics, woodwork, recycled art seems more appropriate for the setting. Mostly I’d say it was a day well spent with lot’s to learn in a gorgeous setting. Thanks to all who made it happen.

    • sequoiariverlands says:

      Shirley, thank you so much for participating. And we are grateful for your feedback. Glad you enjoyed the event, despite the lack of profitability for you. I love that people engaged in their own storytelling of experiences with the land as a result of looking through your photographs. In many ways, that was the ultimate goal of the event… to get people to recognize the art of their own involvement with the land. Thank you for joining us in what was truly a perfect day. We hope you will join us next year as well!

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