Support hands-on science education in the Sierra Nevada

Local Artist Showcases Life on Deer Creek, Supports Sierra Streams with Open Studios Drawing

Local artist Lisa Redfern stands alongside Deer Creek with a clothesline displaying t-shirts and pillows showing artwork from her Life on Deer Creek series

PLEASE NOTE: This post has been updated to reflect the change from a raffle to an opportunity drawing.

During the first weekend in October, when 44 studios open their doors across Nevada County for the Fall Colors Open Studios Art Tour, artist Lisa Redfern will be showing a range of her artwork while spotlighting local watershed awareness with her Life on the Creek art series. Focusing on Deer Creek, the series features plants and animals that live there.

framed poster of Sierran Tree Frog in Lisa Redfern's Life on the Creek seriesOn October 7 and 8 only, Redfern will be displaying Life on the Creek t-shirts, housewares, and a framed 20×24 Sierran Tree Frog print. Instead of a raffle, she will be holding an “opportunity drawing” – every visitor will get a free ticket to a drawing to win one of these items. And while you’re there, please take the opportunity to support Sierra Streams Institute with a donation!

Redfern and her work can be found at 12531 Lowhills Road, off of Newtown Road, in Nevada City (#26 in the Open Studios tour brochure).

“Deer Creek is a sweet little waterway that runs through our backyard,” says Redfern. It became a passion and focus of the art series last winter when storms turned the creek into a powerful, churning force that threatened homes and businesses.

Redfern began blogging about it after photographing high water levels and comparing them to images she’d taken in 2011. Having recently read The Diary of a Forty-Niner by Chauncey L. Canfield, she was drawn to the Deer Creek references. As a writer as well as an artist, Redfern was inspired to use her blog, Following Deer Creek, to tell a bigger story about how the creek was formed, what plants and animals live around and within it, who are the native people that inhabited the area, how the gold rush and contemporary living habits have affected it.

“Research for every blog post consistently led to the Sierra Streams Institute website. I knew about their programs for school children, but until I started working on the Deer Creek project, I hadn’t fully appreciated everything that they do to study and care for our local watershed,” says Redfern.

“What became apparent very quickly,” she continues, “is that even though Deer Creek is smaller than the Yuba River and other rivers in the news, it shares the same problems as watersheds across the globe.”

“Once I had enough information on the blog to show where I was going with the idea, I contacted Sierra Streams Institute,” said Redfern.

“Art and science are natural allies, and this project is a terrific example of how art and science can come together to inspire us to appreciate and protect the natural world,” said Joanne Hild, biologist and SSI’s executive director. “We were delighted to discover that the science background and data on the Sierra Streams website was so helpful to Lisa in developing this innovative project, and are excited to expand the collaboration as the project develops.”

To be eco-friendly at studio stop #26 on the tour, Redfern decided to show samples of her Life on the Creek art work. Visitors to her booth will receive a free ticket to a drawing for the samples and encouraged to make a donation to Sierra Streams Institute.

Postcards with information on ordering custom Life on the Creek items online will also be available at Redfern’s booth. Five dollars from each online sale will support Redfern’s long-range plan for the information on her blog, a documentary film about Deer Creek.

“Like the little creek and global watersheds, art for art is one thing, but when it partners with organizations to communicate important ideas, it becomes something bigger,” says Redfern.

More Information:

Fall Colors Open Studios & Art Tour – #26| Free & All Ages| Newtown near Discovery Way, Nevada City | 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Open House Preview Event: Thursday, October 5, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. – Center for the Arts