About Trail Mix

White Mountain Trail Mix is a collaborative project of visual artist Xavier Cortada and composer Juan Carlos Espinosa to be created as part of an artist’s residency at the White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire. The artist residency is a collaboration of the White Mountain National Forest and the Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire.  For more information about the residency, please scroll down or please visit: http://aannh.org 


During July 2012, Cortada and Espinosa will create a series of site-specific works inspired by their month-long exploration of and walks through the White Mountain National Forest.  These works will include drawings and other visual works, temporary art installations and soundscapes. The work will be a creative response to the flora, fauna, and landscape, as well the human presence in the forest. 
Cortada and Espinosa have worked together on numerous projects over the last few years, most of them have been related to their shared environmental concerns. Their eco-art practice is defined by interdisciplinary collaboration and participatory practices that involve artists, scientists, communities with the goal of public awareness and bioremediation.Cortada has created art on six continents engaging the local to address the global. Espinosa reflects his concern for environmental issues, as well as his concern for the withering of human and cultural memory in his music and sound art.
During their residency, Cortada and Espinosa will create opportunities for visitors and forest staff to see the artistic process in action. Their process will be documented and posted on this blog. As part of the residency, they will engage participants in the creation of an interactive art piece inspired by their work during the residency.
Cortada will also deliver an artist’s talk where he will show installations from other residencies (e.g., South Pole, The Netherlands) as well as the works inspired by their walks across the different areas of this huge forest. These will be shown in conjunction with the performance of Espinosa’s soundscape. Espinosa will also offer a lecture on the relationship between music, humans and nature and/or a talk on creating a sound art piece.



The White Mountain National Forest is partnering with the Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire to continue the Artist-in-Residence (AIR) program begun in 2011 as part of the Weeks Centennial Celebration. We are now seeking applications from interested artists in all media for 2012.

Mead Base, Center Sandwich, housing for WMNF Artist in ResidenceThe White Mountain National Forest (WMNF)

The White Mountain National Forest encompasses nearly 800,000 acres in New Hampshire and western Maine. It includes beautiful woods, waterfalls and rivers and rugged mountains. The well-known Presidential and Franconia Ranges, the famed Tuckerman Ravine, and homes to moose, black bear and many species of wildlife are all part of the WMNF landscape. Other highlights of the Forest are the largest alpine area in the eastern United States, over 1200 miles of hiking trails, and year-round recreation, including skiing, snowshoeing, mountaineering, snowmobiling and touring by car or on foot. Considered one of the Northeast’s “jewels,” the WMNF is within a day’s drive of 70 million people and hosts about 6 million visitors each year.

Though best known as a recreation destination, the Forest is also managed for many other purposes. Its multiple-use mission includes sustainable forestry, maintaining water quality and providing wildlife habitat and designated wilderness. The Forest plays a critical role in the ecological health of the area and in supplying clean water to thousands of people.

The WMNF surrounds many small and mid-sized communities, each with its own special flavor. The majority of Forest visitors come from New Hampshire, Massachusetts and other Northeastern states. There are also visitors from throughout the United States and Canada as well as international travelers.

The Artist-in-Residence Program

The WMNF Artist-in-Residence (AIR) program offers professional and emerging artists in all media – visual and performing artists, craftspeople, writers, composers, eco artists and media artists – an opportunity to pursue their particular art form while being inspired by the surrounding forest and sharing their work and their artistic process with members of the public.

The WMNF and the Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire (AANNH) are working together to manage and sustain the AIR program.AANNH is a nonprofit organization that works throughout the northern half of the state to promote, support and sustain culture, heritage and the arts.

Our Artist in Residence program was launched last year as part of the Weeks Act Centennial celebration; 2011 marked the 100th anniversary of the passage of the Weeks Act, a milestone in American conservation history. (The Weeks Act enabled the federal government to purchase land in the eastern U.S., allowing cut and burned-over lands to become publicly owned national forests, thus leading to the creation of the White Mountain National Forest and 52 other national forests.) We are pleased to continue the program in 2012, with a goal of creating a lasting Artist-in-Residence program on the White Mountain National Forest.

Goals of the residency

The residency program seeks to use art and creative expression to explore the many ways in which people relate to forests in general, and to the WMNF in particular. The program goals include:

Capture the beauty and spirit of the WMNF through the creation of high-quality art;

o    Provide learning opportunities through the arts to visitors to the WMNF;

o    Help citizens understand the connections between public lands, our use of natural resources and our emotional ties to beauty, nature and self-expression, thus serving as a link between the utilitarian and aesthetic values of the forest; and

o    Celebrate the power of the arts – and artists – to explore and interpret the forest environment and forest-related issues.

Watch for the announcement of this year’s Artist(s) in Residence.

If you have additional questions about the residency, please contact Frumie Selchen, Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire, Frumie@aannh.org, 603-323-7302.

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