Molissa Udevitz, Oralee Nudson and Dana Lindauer
Boreal Forest Duet
Boreal Forest Duet is a collaborative limited edition artist book created for the 2022 In a Time of Change (ITOC): Boreal Forest Stories interdisciplinary program uniting arts, humanities, and sciences. Its writing and concept was developed by Molissa Udevitz. The artist book design and construction were created by Oralee Nudson. All illustrations featured throughout the book and cover were drawn by Dana Lindauer. The artists first met in person at the ITOC June 2021 Bonanza Creek Field Trip where they participated in Molissa’s outdoor mindful movement session.
Inspired by the outdoor mindful movement session, Boreal Forest Duet invites readers to slow down and engage mindfully with boreal forest plants in new ways. Sensory and movement prompts are interspersed with boreal forest ecology to spark awe and connection to this ecosystem through each season.
The illustrations supplement the text, providing close up sketches of common plants of the boreal forest that individuals may encounter while exploring the movement prompts. Plant sketches are inspired by photographs of the boreal forest taken by Dana and Molissa.
Design and construction of Boreal Forest Duet is intended to engage the reader’s tactile senses through various textured papers, interactive magnetic leaves, and a pop-up structure. Each season’s design reflects elements observed that time of year including fallen leaves, a gradated winter sunset, bright green fiddleheads bursting through a carpet of brown soil, and vibrant colors resonating during the extended Alaskan summer daylight hours.
Special thanks to Dr. Christa Mulder for fact-checking the science, Corinna Cook for providing writing suggestions, Rick Thoman for providing temperature data, Mary Beth Leigh for facilitating ITOC, and members of the Northwoods Book Arts Guild for book construction feedback.
Visit molissaudevitz.com to listen to the audio version of Boreal Forest Duet.
Molissa Udevitz’s creative work is influenced by her professional educator experience, dance background, and love of the outdoors. She began choreographing modern dances inspired by the natural world in college and has since expanded to bring dance and mindful movement outdoors to help people connect with nature. Molissa’s work in education has ranged from teen backpacking trips to youth art camps to creative aging workshops. She has a B.A. in Environmental Studies and a B.A. in Dance from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Molissa lives in her hometown of Anchorage and can be found hiking and skiing its many trails.
Book Artist Oralee Nudson enjoys living in the Boreal Forest and observing its beautiful colors, textures, and endless shapes. Finding inspiration and incorporating unusual materials in the versatile book art form allows her to communicate abstract ideas. First introduced to artist books in 2014, she has found endless opportunity for learning new binding techniques, artist book presentation, and inspiration for future work from the forest and local book arts community.
Dana Lindauer works as an educator in many forms. Her roots are in outdoor education with experiences ranging from teaching preschoolers to milk a cow, to explaining walrus haul-out behavior to retirees. Now, as she works behind a screen for the UAF School of Education crafting stories from assessment data, she continues her investigation of outdoor spaces through trail running, sketching, and conversations with others who marvel at nature’s complexity.