“A River Runs Through Us: The Art and Words of the Wild Lostine” art exhibit will be on display at the Josephy Center for Arts and Culture August 2 through September 9 in Joseph.

The Lostine River is officially designated as a wild river. The Lostine flows 31 miles from the mountain peaks in the Eagle Cap Wilderness and into the Wallowa River.

This exhibit will feature original works of art by local and regional artists, capturing the beauty, landscapes, and nature found in the wild landscape of the Lostine River’s watershed, ridge top to ridge top.

The 20 artists featured in the show are mostly local. A few are from from Idaho and Washington. Local featured artists are Mike Koloski, M.C. Reardon, Kathy Bowman, Kathy Hunter, Mary Edwards, Pamela Beach, David Jensen, Cameron Scott, David Martin, Joella Arment, Rick McEwan, Leslie LeViner, Jennifer Hawkins-Connolly, Cheryl Coughlan, Rick Bombaci and Kai Oliver.

Out of area artists include Robin Coen, David Martin and Jan L. Kirchhoff all from Idaho and Maja Shaw, from Washington

One of the artists featured at the exhibit is Cameron Scott. Scott is a poet, and artist of words. Scott graduated from Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA and received a Master of Fine Arts in Poetry from the University of Arizona in 2004. He spends his summers as a fly fishing guide in Basalt, Colorado and spends winters in Wallowa County. Scott was recently hired as the new English teacher at Wallowa High School, however, and may be devoting more time to life in the county.

“The three poems I generated and crafted for the exhibit were inspired specifically by the Lostine River. One of them builds off of a talk Shane Vatland of the Nez Perce Fisheries gave when he came and spoke with all of the artists. Words are alive, and so I tried to capture what he was saying to us, then revised with an eye on craft. Another was written during an afternoon with WREN (a Wallowa Resources Youth Program) where I was leading generative writing exercises at the Lostine Wildlife Refuge. The third poem was based on thinking about what a smolt experiences in its journey from our rivers to the ocean.” said Scott.

“As someone whose life has been tied to rivers for a long time through fishing and being a fishing guide, this opportunity to contribute with other artists to honor the Lostine was something I looked forward to doing. I enjoy the communities I find as a writer and artist. For me this project goes beyond the Lostine being a beautiful river and pastoral, and into thinking about conservation. The Lostine and other rivers are my life blood, put money in my pocket when I guide, and offer me solitude and spiritual grounding.”

Another featured local artist is Kathy Bowman from Joseph. She has two pieces on display at the exhibit; one is sumi-e style, also known as ink wash painting. Sumi-e is a Japanese brush painting technique that uses black ink in different concentrations and gives the impression of the subject using fewer brush strokes. Bowman’s pieces are unique in that she uses both traditional black and not so traditional silver inks.

Four years ago Bowman started participating in the Wallowa Valley Festival of Art and local shows at the Josephy Center. She also donates her paintings and prints to benefit the Humane Society, Ladd Marsh Bird Festival, and the City of Joseph Library.

“I’ve loved visiting Lostine Canyon wild landscape for some time, and am particularly fond of a rocky outcrop along the road that goes way down to the water’s edge, while supporting pretty grasses, penstemons, and rugged trees along the rim rock. I appreciate the Lostine Canyon event sponsored by the Josephy Center — it was a great day to go paint!” said Bowman.

This is the fifth Wild Landscape exhibit held at the Josephy Center. The goal of the wild landscape exhibits is to encourage us to celebrate and preserve what we have here in Wallowa County, according to director Cheryl Coughlan.

An exhibit companion book, or catalogue, will go up for sale at the exhibit opening on August 2. It is a compilation of the artwork that will be in the exhibit. The book contains drawings, paintings, photographs, and poems plus an introduction by Jenner Hanni.

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