An essay by Dr. Jennifer Sasser, gerontology program director, was published in the International Journal of Reminiscence and Lifelong Learning in January 2015.
Marlana Stoddard-Hayes, master's in interdisciplinary studies faculty member, was interviewed about her nature-inspired artwork in the spring 2014 issue of Fungi magazine.
Excerpt from an article in Fungi, spring 2014.
Marlana Stoddard is a Pacific Northwest artist whose work "has come to include the use of spore prints from the mushrooms that appear like clockwork on our land with the onset of fall rains. After harvesting the caps and trimming off the stems, the spores are allowed to drop over a period of minutes or hours and are then encased in a resin layer that slowly dries. Further working over the top of this layer allows the imagery to develop into a dense network of information... which requires a meditative process to create, as well as to decipher. It is my hope that the paintings create a world or picture space that is joyful to inhabit. By engaging the mushrooms and recognizing their unique design and pigmentation qualities, I feel I am calling the muse to co-create in a partnership that transcends time."
Stoddard's paintings are of a unique, almost enigmatic, style. Besides having botanical and mycological elements, there is movement but also peace. "About the paintings... they are about my mother's breath going in and out, as I was her caregiver for over two and a half years with all of the disease process. Maybe that is why they are mellow... to allow myself to move forward, I needed to make work that moved my mind into new territory, without being aggressive."
Marlana Stoddard-Hayes teaches a course on the creative process in the Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies Department. She also gives workshops at the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology. She will give a talk on September 11, 2014, as part of Mingle and Muse, the Sitka Center's summer art and ecology lecture series.