“Amanda’s connection to ‘America’s Best Idea’, our National Parks, has been of mutual benefit to both her and the parks: she gleans inspiration and subject matter from these special places, while inspiring visitors to become park advocates and foster their own creative endeavors…
Amanda brings the ancient art of woodblock printing to a new generation, where her relief prints of incredible flora and fauna and her educational interactions with visitors aids us with our important mission of promoting relevancy and stewardship into our next century of service and beyond. Amanda brings 30 years of experience as an artist, art teacher, and environmental educator…”
~ NPS introduction, Carlin Fenn, Padre Island National Seashore
Mojave National Preserve Spring 2019
Guadalupe Mountains National Park Spring 2017
Padre Island National Seashore Winter 2017
Petrified Forest National Park Winter 2016
Agate Fossil Beds National Monument Autumn 2016
Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area Autumn 2015
“…Above and beyond Amanda’s artistic abilities is her kindness and ability to work with others. Staff, visitors, program participants and other artists enjoyed working with Amanda. She worked well with others and fit seamlessly into the Bighorn Canyon team. It was truly a pleasure to work with her. I know that she inspired artists here and was an asset to the AIR at Bighorn Canyon.” ~ Christy Fleming, Chief of Interpretation
Homestead National Monument of America Spring 2015
In my thirty-year career as an artist I have prioritized experiential learning over pursuing an advanced degree. Even while a student seeking a BA in Printmaking I filled my non-school hours with an internship in art from a major US magazine, and an apprenticeship in etching and one in lithography from a fine arts book printing press in San Francisco. I have continually honed my skills as a teacher of art, outdoor ethics, and computer arts such as InDesign and Photoshop. For many years I have taught relief printing to students of all ages through residencies, summer camps, and community arts programs. I have owned my own gallery and arts studio – along the way hanging and curating numerous art exhibits. These paths have pushed me into graphic design, exhibit design and to a career as a museum Director/Curator. I make a living from my art and in my own way hope to spread my form of stewardship of the earth through my work and words.
I am driven to create/recreate the things I see because they stir my spirit… I seek a glimpse into the souls of our world, past and present, through my wanderings and I hope to effectively portray them in my drawings, prints and photographs. One of my goals is to express the flashes of wonder I experience in and from the natural world and human power sites such as ancient ruins – to convey the force of the wind, flora, fauna – and the underlying spirit that touches our hearts when we spend long hours in nature and in National Parks of all kinds. It is increasingly important to me to model Leave No Trace principles and to speak about my brand of stewardship of the National Parks through my work.
In my artwork I often depict human-made structures along with creatures from each area… Birds in flight and animals within the landscape introduce movement into images of buildings and natural features. I enjoy drawing for hours on end at ancient ruins such as Mesa Verde, Wupatki and Hovenweep, among so many others, and I am often visited by crows and ravens – coming near for a look… My natural curiosity and my meditation on design, balance, graphic force and the mystery of place combine in my artwork to draw in the viewer.
Through public programs I hope to introduce people to the ancient art of woodblock printing and to talk about my unique style of Leave No Trace Art, as well as discuss stewardship of National Parks and public lands through art. A priority has been to offer woodblock printing demonstrations and, given the opportunity, my lecture Find Your Park Through Art, which incorporates artwork and photography in a slideshow/talk about my art processes in National Parks and my experiences with Artist-in-Residence programs in six different parks from 2014 to 2017. Demonstrations of block cutting and printing illustrate first-hand this ancient art in an understandable and accessible way.
I have worn many hats in my life, presently focusing on my role as an educator and printmaker. I currently travel America’s landscape extensively and, as part of my Find Your Park Through Art campaign, I am creating a series of relief prints celebrating our National Parks. I have helped to inspire others to take up this campaign through a weekend with three artists at Bighorn Canyon NRA, an event with another artist at Agate Fossil Beds NP last October, and a residency at Petrified Forest NP in November. As one of the speakers for the 8th Annual Plein Air Festival in Zion NP I gave my talk, Find Your Park Through Art. In addition, as part of the Zion Canyon Field Institute educational offerings, I gave a relief printing workshop at Zion NP in November, 2016.
During 20-plus years I have traveled to an array of sites in search of petroglyphs, pictographs and dwelling places of the archaic to early modern day peoples. My curiosity has led me to Wupatki (including Crack-in-the-Rock Ruin,) Grand Gulch, Mesa Verde, Chaco, Canyon de Chelly, Casa Grande, Hovenweep, Petrified Forest, Keet Seel (overnight trip,) Betatakin, Bandelier, among others, and to petroglyph and pictograph sites too numerous to list, including the Great Gallery in Canyonlands on 3 separate visits! As a woman raised knowing that I have American Indian blood in my veins (my paternal grandmother was Algonquin) it has been a journey for me of discovery and love to learn about those who came before. My mother’s father sacrificed his life to save a fellow Navy flyer during WWII, and my searching has brought me closer to understanding the man he might have become had he lived beyond age 23.