Science Consultants: Becky Hewitt, Anna Talucci, Jill Johnstone, Michelle Mack, and Zav Grabinski
Future Legacies is from a series of paintings investigating ecology and climate change in the boreal forest. This work builds on a constellation of experiences from the last two years, a time when change intensified, affecting life in the forest as well as my own. Scientists Anna Talucci, Jill Johnstone, Michelle Mack, and Zav Grabinski all helped shape my understanding of the science that informs this work.
In Future Legacies, the bright green growth of new vegetation one year after the Yankovich Fire highlights cycles of resilience in the boreal forest. The size of the canvas references a 1 x 1 meter vegetation plot, often used by scientists to observe and track the coverage of various plant species on the forest floor. Weather, topography, and fuel sources all contribute to the relative severity of a wildfire. Fire severity affects what seeds and plants are most likely to succeed post-fire, shaping the future landscape. Returning to the Yankovich Fire to paint throughout the seasons, I bonded with beautifully charred spruce trees and enjoyed seeing bright green plants return to the forest.
I am appreciative of Maïté Agopian, Todd Sherman, Marianne Stolz, Gail Priday, and Kelsey Aho, who all joined me on walks or painting sessions in the woods to talk about our projects and brainstorm ideas. I am also grateful for conversations with Margo Klass, who helped refine the visual presentation for Solace of Circles. The collaborative and community-driven nature of this program makes me confident there are traces of inspiration from everyone involved with ITOC in this work. Thank you.
Klara Maisch documents landscape change in oil paintings created on location. Klara travels to remote regions of Alaska to paint outside, where direct experiences with the processes that shape a landscape inform the visual dynamics in her work. She is currently painting places transformed by wildfires, glacier retreat, permafrost thaw, and advancing treeline. Klara’s paintings have been featured in exhibitions throughout Alaska, California, Washington, and Hawaii. She was honored to receive support from the Alaska State Council on the Arts and The Puffin Foundation for her work with In A Time of Change: Boreal Forest Stories.