Welcome to Yampa Sculpture Path & the Studio of Sherburn LaBelle
If you like sculpture & hummingbirds you might enjoy arranging an invitation to visit. I am located just outside of the town of Fort Bidwell in the northeastern corner of California known as Surprise Valley. Presently, Yampa Path is open by invitation only, so if you’re really curious, go to contact to arrange for an invitation.
Yampa is the Paiute word for an edible tuber that provides nourishment. The wild tuber still grows in the surrounding hills here. It was an important food source for the Northern Paiute living in this region and could be eaten raw or cooked. It was also dried and stored to eat during the long hard winters. Like the wild tuber provides food for the body, we believe, art provides nourishment for the soul.
Yampa Path will cultivate a place for enjoying sculpture within nature. It also provides opportunities to experience the arts in profound and meaningful ways. “Yampa Path” walks at the northern edge of the high desert and grasslands of Surprise Valley surrounded by mountains… just beautiful. The Sandhill Cranes nest here in the spring and the views are quiet ones.
The Spiral Pollinator Garden with Sculptures will be a centerpiece to explore. Along the path will be large wedge-shaped gardens of pollinator plants for bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. These areas will be endowed with sculptures casting back some other kinds of light to ponder. The spiral path is a walk to breathe attention to our vulnerable pollinators. Our butterflies, our hummingbirds, our bees, and also our artists who cross-pollinate ideas into our communities. Anyone can walk the path and hopefully learn that beauty inspires life. I am an artist and am designing the path. I am hoping the path will connect people to their own journey and help them find some solid ground inside themselves. When you walk the path here, the hummingbirds will be your guide, the butterflies will test your benevolence and the bees will sound your mantra. This is my vision.
MY JOB AS AN ARTIST
Ultimately, my job as an artist is to nurture the artistic experience. So I deliberately create impulses of light and textural surfaces to draw you into the core of my work. I hope you can take a moment; linger here, leave inspired.
I believe Art is magical. Art can create new paradigms that can help all of us make better choices in our lives.
This is how I think; what I do; who I am.
MY PERCEPTION OF ART
The invisible bubble is what I call the state of mind that you experience when viewing a work of Art. Our existing cultural threads that help us through unfamiliar experiences are so frayed in our society that very often knowledge comes to a dead-end, rather than be woven into a new layer of experience.
Art can help mend those frayed threads. Art is vital part of culture. Like bubbles touching and forming interlocking spheres shades of new colors are illuminated and we become connected.
As an artist I ask you, please, protect this process and give voice to the Arts.
Petroglyphs Before the Paiute, there was a more ancient nomadic people living here we know very little about. We see evidence of them throughout the landscape painted on rock walls and overhangs. The images are fading away. We want to honor these people by reproducing some on these images on cornerstone-markers along the path designating exhibition areas.
The Historical Building
Remarkably the original house on the property still stands. It dates back to the late 1800s when the old fort closed down. The property is referred to by the locals as the “Old Indian Property.” When the reservation was established and the government was closing the fort, it still owned parcels of lands associated with the old fort. So the land was divided up and given back to Native American families.
A small house on each parcel of land by the government. Later on, most of these families sold their property to the local settlers and the little houses were abandon. Preservation: I would like to preserve part of the integrity of the original outside design of this building to honor the families that went through this heart wrenching time converting the inside of the building to a meditation gallery, but right now it just costs too much.
I’m located in Fort Bidwell which is situated within what is called the tri-state region of Oregon, Nevada, and California.
The entire area is a historic treasure, cradling part of the old wagon train route that cuts across the Great Basin stretching through northwestern Nevada to the edge of northeastern California, arriving at the unexpected grassy meadows and hot springs of Surprise Valley. This was a resting place for the early settlers before attempting the treacherous Fandango Pass over the Warner Mountains.