Many of the visitors to Pinnacles National Monument in California hope for a glimpse of a rare California Condor in the wild, and the planned release of two additional condors into the wild this Saturday offers an unusual opportunity to see one or more of the birds.
Thanks to the park's Artist in Residence program, visitors can also enjoy a beautiful stained glass depiction of a condor in flight. An image of the piece is shown to the left.
The stained glass piece was created by Linda Bjornson, Pinnacles’ first artist in residence, and is on display at the park's visitor center on the east side of the park. Information from the park describes the work, and the program that made it possible:
Entitled Return of the Condor, this piece artistically represents the park’s efforts in the condor recovery program that has been underway at Pinnacles for the past six years. By restoring condors to their rightful place in the skies above Pinnacles, the park staff are creating opportunities for visitors to make meaningful and lasting connections with the park.
Building on the efforts of Ansel Adams, George Masa, Chiura Obata, and others, Linda Bjornson upholds the tradition of artists who use their creative talents to foster inspiration, appreciation, and stewardship of the nation’s public lands.
The Artist In Residence program at Pinnacles began in the Fall of 2008.
This program immerses artists in the serenity and tranquility of a park wilderness setting. Far away from the lights, sounds and distractions of city life, artists can find inspiration in the solitude and the surroundings of the park.
Most residencies last about two weeks, with the artist expected to produce a few pieces, depending on the medium. Artists also interact with the public, often providing talks about their passion for art and their experience at the park. This program will ultimately involve many art councils, guilds and galleries in the process of selecting the artists and providing locations for displaying their work. We hope to create a solid base of artistic stewards that help the park through their artistic endeavors.
Linda Bjornson, a local stained glass artist based out of Aromas, California, was selected as the first Artist In Residence at Pinnacles National Monument.
Applications for the Fall 2009 Artist in Residence program at the park have just closed, but if you're interested in a future opportunity, you can download the application to get an idea of the process and qualifications.