Creek Awareness during Open Studio Tour 2017

Partnering with Sierra Streams for the Fall Colors Open Studio Tour was an idea that was well received. Cross-pollinating an art benefit with creek awareness had stirring results that brought different interest groups together.

Traffic at studio stop #26 was plentiful on both Saturday and Sunday. Many folks who came out for the art tour took time to learn about Deer Creek and SSI while entering the opportunity drawing for a chance to win a prize. There were a few creek savvy visitors who experienced the Open Studio Tour for the first time. It was a pleasure sharing community art and science will all of my visitors!

After the event was over, I delivered Life on the Creek t-shirts and home products (drawing prizes), along with collected donation money to the SSI office, where everything was graciously received. As Jennifer Langdon, SSI’s Development and Communications Director put it, “It was a win, win, win.”

As an artist, it was a good feeling knowing that everything I made for display would have a place to go afterword.

Prize winners, when picking up items,  had a chance to see Sierra Streams Institutes’ science lab and workspaces.

The 2017 Open Studio Tour was a success on many levels. I look forward to more joint ventures with Sierra Streams Institute in the future.

A week before the event, my twelve-year-old son went with me to the creek to take a few pictures for social media and the newspaper.  We had to be careful not get the prizes (on the stick) or the camera equipment wet. On our slow descent into the water, Ben noticed this slug also making a careful journey. Photo Credit: Ben Redfern








Below is the content that was created for the event.



Raising Deer Creek Awareness –  Open Studio Artist Partners with Sierra Streams Institute

Nevada City, CA September 21, 2017

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.

Redfern will be *raffling Life on the Creek t-shirts, housewares, and a framed 20×24 Sierran Tree Frog print. 100% of the money raised during the raffle will be donated to Sierra Streams Institute.

“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 artwork.  Those samples will be raffled off to support Sierra Streams Institute. *Raffle ticket prices: $5/1, $20/10 and $45/20. Business cards or mailing labels will be accepted in place of tickets for bulk purchases.

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.


More Information:

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


*NOTE: After submitting the News Release, I learned that the State of California has raffle rules. To comply with those rules, in subsequent communications, the term was changed to ‘Opportunity Drawing’. Tickets to participate were given away and a donation box was on display.


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