Smithsonian Institution
Festival Radio
Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage Arts in Conservation Education

Inspirations from the Forest

Inspirations from the Forest, which stemmed from the Forest Service, Culture, and Community program at the 2005 Smithsonian Folklife Festival, was a traveling exhibition that appeared in sixty-four different venues across thirty-five different states (plus the District of Columbia). The exhibition, which traveled from January 2006 through July 2009, demonstrated how our national forests and other natural landscapes serve as inspirations for creating works of artistic and musical expression–through basketry, painting, photography, poetry, quilting, sculpture, song, and weaving. Encouraging local host communities to present workshops, lectures, concerts, and demonstrations, Inspirations from the Forest exemplified art in conservation education with a wide range of learning environments and different artistic media. Each venue displayed quotations and stories from artists who draw inspiration from national forests and grasslands, photographs of these artists’ works, a learning guide geared toward students, and a resource directory that guided visitors to additional sources. Many of the artists who demonstrated at the exhibition venues were recipients of the National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship. The Fellowship recognizes both individual artistic excellence and efforts to conserve America’s many cultures for future generations. For more information please visit www.festival.si.edu/past_festivals/forestry/
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