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Plumas National Forest chooses ‘Artist in a Lookout’ selection

Feather Publishing
Sally Yost paints along Spanish Creek. Yost has been chosen as the inaugural “Artist in a Lookout” participant. Photo courtesy Plumas National Forest

Longtime Plumas County resident and artist Sally Yost has been selected to spend two weeks living and painting at Black Mountain Lookout, a Forest Service facility in the Plumas National Forest. 

According to Yost, she has dreamed about living in a high mountain lookout since her high school days, hence her exclamation when her selection was announced, “This is an artist’s dream come true!”

One of Yost’s paintings from the two-week residency will remain with the Plumas National Forest and will be used as the basis for an interpretive panel. Yost will also host a public “plein air” painting workshop (details pending) during her stay. Painting in the plein air style refers to painting outside in natural light.

A resident of Taylorsville since 1975, Yost has enjoyed a 30-year career as a freelance graphic designer/calligrapher. She started “plein air” sketching in the 1980s and is often seen alongside local country roads and trails, working at her easel with oils and sketchbooks to paint Plumas County scenes.

The pilot program is the brainchild of Lisa Sedlacek, assistant resource officer for the Beckwourth Ranger District and an artist in her own right. Sedlacek reached out and found the perfect partner in the Plumas Arts Commission. 

“This is an exciting opportunity for artists” said Roxanne Valladao, executive director for Plumas Arts. “This program meets the goals of Plumas Arts by enhancing and providing opportunities for artist development and excellence for artists and audiences of all ages,” according to Valladao. “This partnership helps us understand the connection between public land, our use of natural resources and our emotional ties to beauty and nature through self-expression.”

Yost’s lookout work may be seen at the Plumas Arts Gallery in Quincy during December. 

In 2015, program outreach will be expanded to include artists who reside beyond Plumas County. Those interested in the program are invited to contact information@plumasarts.org. For more information about the Black Mountain Lookout rental, visit fs.usda.gov/plumas.


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