Forest Fire exhibition in Truckee

The FOREST FIRE Exhibition at the Truckee Community Recreation Center is winning rave reviews. In this immersive exhibit, visitors take a 13,000-year journey through the captivating story of the Sierra Nevada Forest’s relationship with fire and the surprising and essential role humans play within it. (Image: “Dao Lulelek” by Judith Lowry)

They walk through a simulated forest, learning how we affect our forests, our watersheds, and our own health – as well as envisioning our future forests through the art and stories of eighteen artists and writers. With over 7,000 fires burning in California this year, the exhibition could not be more timely or relevant.

“FOREST FIRE shows us that at the core of science is creativity, and that there are solutions to the ever-increasing effects of climate change. Through the work of our artists, our exhibition gives voice to real solutions from the science community, industry, federal, state, and local fire and water agencies, and our Tribal populations. We invite the public to join us for this conversation while “living” the history and future of our forests in a deeply visceral and beautiful way,” said Eliza Tudor, Executive Director of Nevada County Arts Council.

The exhibition features the work of artists Sarah Coleman, Judith Lowry, Indigo Moor, Tahiti Pehrson, Sara L. Smith, Andie Thrams and others.

An Opening Reception included presentations by Anna Klovstad, Mayor of the Town of Truckee; Eliza Tudor, Executive Director of Nevada County Arts Council; William L. Fox, Director of the Center for Art + Environment at the Nevada Museum of Art; Indigo Moor, Poet Laureate Emeritus of Sacramento; and Michael and Heather Llewellyn of Llewellyn Studio, FOREST FIRE’s Curator and Producer team.

Visitors to the exhibition are invited to participate in the collaborative art project, Visioning Our Future Forest, by creating a small piece of drawn, painted or written art (materials will be provided). These works will then be archived at the Truckee Historical Society as a record of participants’ thoughts about our changing forests.

“We hope that viewers take away a common understanding of the forest ecology, its relationship to fire and the human role within that relationship. We hope they will find ways to care for the forest that gives so much to us and is so critical in slowing climate change,” said Michael Llewellyn, of Llewellyn Studios.

This exhibition is part of the FOREST FIRE Project, presented by Nevada County Arts Council, Truckee Donner Recreation and Park District, and UC Berkeley’s Sagehen Creek Field Station, in partnership with the project creators, Michael and Heather Llewellyn of Llewellyn Studio.

Heather Llewellyn said,“FOREST FIRE was born from our desire as artists to engage climate change head-on. What could we do to serve our community in facing the coming challenges? What could we do to help our community figure out what to do about catastrophic fire and water insecurity? After speaking with the science community at U.C. Berkeley – Sagehen Creek Field Station, we realized that they had solutions and that their solutions incorporated the perspectives of multiple forest stakeholders, including native tribes, foresters, timbering interests, land managers, etc. As artists, we had cultural avenues open to us that the science community does not. We felt the most helpful thing we could do for our community was to transform the empiricism of science into a story that was easily accessible to the public.”

The goal of the FOREST FIRE Project is to inspire a broad community conversation about catastrophic fire in the Sierra Nevada Forest, and what can be done to become more resilient in the future. An important element of FOREST FIRE is local ecology education and art practice for children in the Tahoe-Truckee Unified School District. A book, “Who Needs a Forest Fire” by Paula Henson, and an animated film, “A Fire for All” by Christopher Baldwin, have also been created for the FOREST FIRE Project.

Importantly, Heather Llewellyn acknowledges the important role of local tribal populations, saying “We are deeply grateful for the time and patience granted to us by members from the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California, the Nisenan People of the Nevada City Rancheria, the Mountain Maidu and the North Fork Mono Tribe, in helping us to understand tribal cultural perspectives and the challenges in incorporating traditional tribal practices into federally mandated land management regulations.”

Nevada County Arts Council and its partners are grateful to the generous contributions of many state and local partners, including California Arts Council, California Humanities, Truckee Arts Alliance, Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation, University of Nevada, Reno, Tahoe Truckee Excellence in Education Foundation, Sierra Watershed Education Partnerships, Truckee Public Art Commission, East River PR, Truckee Tahoe Airport District and Mountain Forge.

For more information about the FOREST FIRE Project and Exhibition, visit and, where you can you can support this project by donating at


What: FOREST FIRE Exhibition Opening

When: Friday, December 10, 2021, from 5-7 pm (Exhibition runs through June 2022)

Where: Truckee Community Recreation Center, 10981 Truckee Way, Truckee, CA 96161 (Masks are required inside the building.)

Who: Nevada County Arts Council, Truckee Donner Recreation & Park District and University of California, Berkeley – Sagehen Creek Research Station, in partnership with Llewellyn Studio

Admission: Free; donations welcomed at

Website: and


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