Art au naturel

Trails and Vistas Art Tour

Leah Tagalakis and Alyson Raymer from InnerRhythms Dance Theatre pose on one of the performance stages for the “Trails and Vistas Art Tour.”

Leah Tagalakis and Alyson Raymer from InnerRhythms Dance Theatre pose on one of the performance stages for the “Trails and Vistas Art Tour.”

“Seek her shade
and choose a line to follow her
twisted curves with your vision
Wonder at repeated shapes
—Jean L. Fournier

Poet Jean Fournier, along with a group of Truckee, Calif., artists, plans to challenge some outmoded but common notions about art and nature. While conventional wisdom suggests that art thrives best in big-city galleries, the second annual “Trails and Vistas Art Tour” on Aug. 28 is designed to prove conventional wisdom wrong.

In this outdoor excursion, visitors will be guided from one exhibit to the next on a four-mile trail designed to stimulate the senses. The tour begins at the Pacific Crest Trailhead near the Boreal Inn, where poetry, and other art media, will hit the trail.

Forest glades and granite outcroppings overlooking mountain lakes will be the backdrops for multi-media performances.

Artist Nancy Tieken Lopez coordinates the tour. Her installation art is the essential element that allows the other art forms to coalesce into the scenery. Her large flags, banners and paintings will help to define the performance “spaces” along the trail.

“Installation art is working with large spaces, sound, light and objects to create a holistic work of art. With ‘Trails and Vistas,’ I have a really large space (the mountains) to work with,” Nancy says, smiling.

This year’s theme for the show is “Wind over Stone.”

“Stone is permanence, and wind is temporary,” explains Elizabeth Archer, executive director of Truckee’s InnerRythms Dance Theatre. “We wanted to explore the relationship between these two opposing ideas through art. When I began to work with the choreography, I made the dancers’ movements reminiscent of the wind, as they dance over the stone and earth. The textures and colors of Nancy’s installations are directly from the sites where the dancers, musicians, poets and sculptors will be. The performers draw their inspiration from the beauty of nature, and so we hope our visitors will, too.”

The event also features live music.

“The Tsurunokai Drummers from Reno will play alongside Beverly Colgan, harp player from the Reno Philharmonic. We wanted to couple the sound of drumming with the soft sound of the harp,” Lopez says. Earth and ice sculptures will be on display. Poets Cathee van Rossem St. Clair and Fournier will read their work.

“It’s a unique event in which we combine original installation art, dance, music and poetry on a hike through the beautiful landscape of the Sierra to Summit Lake.”

“We hope the visual surprises simulate everyone’s mind, heart and especially, imagination,” she explains.

And what could do that better than a hike through a one-day performing-arts festival set in Tahoe’s grandeur?