At the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology on the Oregon Coast, the integration of art and nature is in some ways unavoidable.
The center provides an immersive creative experience for visiting art students and resident professional artists, which allows them to disconnect from their busier lives elsewhere.
The center sits on the edge of a 270-acre nature conservancy on the Oregon Coast, just north of Lincoln City.
What’s turned into a renowned art retreat began in the 1970s when two young artists, Frank and Jane Boyden, started hosting art and nature camps for kids.
Today, the center every year hosts hundreds of adult artists who attend workshops and classes at the remote, idyllic location.
Frank says the art and nature programs at Sitka were unique when they started more than 40 years ago.
“The idea of mixing environmental studies and art was a new thing, and I think a lot of what’s happened in the country has been based a lot upon what happened here in Sitka, in small ways. I think that programs which are incorporating environmental with science, arts, music, really meshing those together in a big weaving is really what the world is about anyway,” Frank said.
Sitka also hosts another program that’s a bit easier to access. Once a year the Sitka Art Invitational invites 140 artists to display pieces at an exhibition and sale held at the Oregon Forestry Center near the Oregon Zoo in Portland.