Sitka Center for Art and Ecology

Foundation in science basis for art of Landa Townsend
News-Times, Newport Oregon
by Leslie O’Donnell

“At first, the seeds are crystallized, but as the ice leaves melt, the seeds become more distinct and go into the stream,” she said.  “It’s an ephemeral art piece pending on the weather - but it’s very magical.” 

“If you stumble on one on your own, it’s very wonderful experience,” she said. “When you watch the leaf melt, everything slows down.  You see bugs crawling around, droplets of water, seeds floating to the surface, and you hear the birds singing and the stream bed sounds.”


“It has been a very nice piece to do.”

She is also working on an even more subtle piece – growing Sitka spruce seedlings in preparation for planting them on nurse logs.

“The thing I really like about Sitka is its old growth forest, with lots of nurse logs (dead trees left in the forest that nurture new growth).”  Townsend said. “It’s an affirmation of the way life continues – it’s part of the natural process.


In an urban area, that process is really denied,” she added.  “When a tree dies there, it’s taken out, rather than left to decay.  Being from an urban area and being reintroduced to this process I really interesting.”

Again, it was the environment at Sitka that inspired Townsend for the project, and she is planting 3-inch tall seedlings on spruce nurse logs that she said offer ideal growing conditions.