Yampa Sculpture Path & Studio is an evolving idea. We are now a registered 501c3 nonprofit. February 2019, we found a home consisting of roughly 12 acres of open land just outside of the town of Fort Bidwell which is located in the far northeastern corner of California known as Surprise Valley.
Fort Bidwell 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.
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.
Petroglyphs Before the Paiute, their 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.
Assembled tufa, granite, obsidian with partial wild horse skull.
Yampa Sculpture Path will cultivate a place for enjoying sculpture within nature, fostering creativity, contemplation and health-giving relaxation for all who visit. It also would provide opportunities for the surrounding region to experience the arts in profound and meaningful ways. ”Yampa Sculpture 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 A centerpiece to explore at YSPS is the Sprial Pollinator Garden. 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 the founder of Yampa Sculpture Path & Studio, but first of all, I am an artist. I am hoping this place will attract more artists, connecting them to their own journey and finding some solid ground inside themselves for soulful utterance. The hummingbirds will be your guide, the butterflies will test your benevolence and the bees will sound your mantra.
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. The government built a small house on each parcel of land. Later on, most of these families sold their property to the local settlers and the little houses were abandon.
Yampa Studio will be divided into three small spaces: Gift shop, gallery and mediation space.
Preservation We would like to preserve the integrity of the original outside design of this building and put up a plaque about it’s history honoring the families that went through this heart wrenching time. We will convert the inside the building to be Yampa Studio. It will be divided into three small spaces: a gallery, gift shop and meditation space. I hope to artistically preserve the ambiance of the old inside with streams of sunlight flowing through the building like a brief mirage into the past.
Yampa Sculpture Path will inspire to be to a place where people can come to walk or sit, to reflect or heal, while experiencing the awesome relationship art has with nature. Some large scale sculptures will be permanently exhibited here, so that they can be visited and revisited as many times as one wants.
Yampa Studio While the purpose of ~Yampa Sculpture Path~ is skillful contemplation and cross-pollination through art and nature, the purpose of the Yampa Studio will be to include engaging contemporary 3D works. The works will incorporate any 3D artist that wants to participate, with a special invitation to contemporary Native American artists.
Yampa Sculpture Path & Studio will also provide a place for both local artisans and sculptors to sell their works, as well as, promoting new ideas with visiting artists exhibits. Both should attract new Travelers to the area.