Artists-in-Residence at work in park and surrounding communities

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Date: May 25, 2010
Contact: Charles Beall, 360-854-7302

Concrete: Newhalem Artist-in-Residence Kathleen Durkin
An Approach to Community Art
Upper Skagit Library
Thursday, May 27
7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Stehekin: Stehekin Artist-in-Residence Jay Needham
Natural Sounds: Acoustic Ecology and the Art of Interpretive Field Recording
Golden West Visitor Center
Friday, May 28
8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Sound Walk and Recording Workshop
Meet at the Golden West Visitor Center
Saturday, May 29
9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

North Cascades National Park is currently hosting two Artists-in-Residence -- muralist Kathleen Durkin in Newhalem and sound artist Jay Needham in Stehekin -- both of whom are offering free community programs this week.

Durkin is working with students from the Concrete School to create murals and art inspired by the Skagit River watershed. She is from Baltimore, Maryland and looks forward to working with a community very different from her own. “The relationship of my man-made world to a perceived more natural world is a theme I am constantly struggling with in my art,” explained Durkin. “I look forward to sharing that understanding with others who would not usually get the opportunity to see how glaciers feed the streams that feed the rivers – that eventually feed people.”

Needham is a sound artist and composer who travels worldwide documenting soundscapes and creating artistic works from the recordings he gathers in the wilderness and the airwaves. The interpretation of silence and the musicality of the natural world are frequent themes. His sound art, works for radio, and visual art have appeared at museums, festivals and on the airwaves worldwide. Needham received his MFA from The School of Art at California Institute of the Arts and he is an Associate Professor in Audio Arts in the College of Mass Communication and Media Arts at Southern Illinois University.

More information about Needham’s community programs:
Natural Sounds: Acoustic Ecology and the Art of Interpretive Field Recording
Listen to sounds recently collected in the Stehekin Valley as well as from projects in Antarctica and the rain forests of Panama.

Into the Field: Sound Walk and Recording Workshop
Take a “Sound Walk” exploring the Stehekin Valley's unique natural soundscape. During this walk, Needham will introduce concepts about acoustic ecology, active listening and other non-visual ways of interpreting the Cascades. The sound walk will also incorporate an introduction to making field recordings. Needham has brought several easy to use digital audio recorders so that you may make and keep recordings that you gather during our trip into the field.

Works from many previous Artists-in-Residence is on display at the North Cascades and Golden West Visitor Centers. Additional information about the park’s Artist-in-Residence Program is available at

A digital image of Kathleen Durkin working on a mural with students from the Concrete School is available at

A digital image of Jay Needham is available at

Last updated: August 11, 2017

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