Wild & Scenic salmon in downtown Grass Valley

The 13th annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival, the largest environmental festival of its kind, is January 15-18 in Grass Valley and Nevada City.

Downtown Grass Valley is known for its creative window displays, and this week we noticed salmon popping up on the windows, with artistic flair.

Some of them are photographed here. We talked to Sue Amick, owner of Foothill Mercantile, and Steve Rosenthal, owner of Tess’ Kitchen Store, who told us the idea was to draw attention to the festival, which is expanding its presence in Grass Valley, as well as Nevada City. For the first time, a bus will shuttle participants between the two historic towns this weekend.

The salmon, about 100 of them, are the handiwork of Grass Valley artist and council member Howard Levine. “The street art is helping to create a conversation about the festival,” Howard told us.

Howard’s artistic talents include printmaking. This technique is known as linocut, similar to woodcuts, where a sheet of linoleum (in this case, about 16 inches by 12 inches) is used for the relief structure. Howard cut out the salmon and “inked it” with some salmon-colored house paint.

The festival — which draws thousands of people to western Nevada County — also includes an art trek (we are one of the judges) and a wine walk, in addition to the environmental films. Our magazine is proud to be a sponsor, as we have in the past.

(Photos: Roseanne Burke)

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