Arts in the Cascades

20180121_ChaletHillWideNightDONOTCROP2_HannahLauber.jpg
Photo by Hannah Lauber

March 22–25, 2019

The relationship of art, the earth, and the spirit is the theme of Arts in the Cascades, which returns to Holden Village on March 22-25, 2019. This is an immersive weekend that includes an interpretive hike, group activities, optional one-on-one conversations with the leaders, and plenty of studio time. There is room for 20 artists.

You will engage with the natural world, channel your spiritual and creative energies, and express yourself through the arts. And you will engage with the wilderness and look through the lens of these disciplines to experience the earth in a new way.

"The arts can help give visual language to the unseen; form new ideas, renewed ways of being together, and new ways to inhabit the future," Holden Village Executive Directors and artists Peg Carlson-Hoffman + Chuck Hoffman said.

2019 Classes and Instructors


Imaging the Land: Photographs, Mystics, and Prophets
Come hear from our Village Artist, Emilie, who will share her original art and reflections. She will discuss how the traditions of Christian mysticism and prophetic writings have informed her perceiving and creating of land-images and invite conversation around those themes.

Tracing the Light: Studio Tour and Conversation
Visit Emilie, Village Artist, in her studio to see how she works with the medium of light and photo materials to create images. From equipment to material and metaphor, be ready to share conversation about creating images and how process can drive creative exploration.

Emilie Bouvier, Holden Village Artist:
Emilie_Bouvier_200.jpgA practicing studio artist from Minneapolis, Emilie’s primary medium is historic and alternative process photography. She uses this means of tracing (-graph) with light (photo-) to create landscapes that invite deep questions. She is drawn to the places where ecology, land history, land politics, social systems, and the depth/breath of our spiritual life and rich theological traditions meet – and how those intersections can open up through image-making.



Listening to the Wilderness
Explore what it means to listen deeply to the wilderness around you through artistic and meditative practice. Bring a journal, a camera, a sketchbook, or just yourself, to come into a deeper relationship with nature.

Windows to the Universe
There are so many stories being told to us, all we need to do is look up and listen. Explore the night sky above the Village and Railroad Creek Valley with nothing but our eyes, locating specific stars, constellations, and planets best seen in a true dark sky setting. You are encouraged to bring a journal or sketchbook to write down or draw whatever stories unfold to you while looking through these windows into the past as well as the future.

Andrew Zimmerman, Holden Village Naturalist:
Andrew_Zimmerman_200.jpgAndrew grew up exploring the outdoors with his family and friends. He has explored many of our country’s national parks as well as several other nationalparks in other countries including Tanzania, Chile, and Argentina, always learning new things from the experiences of interacting with other cultures. His B.A in Biology from Augustana College has aided him as Holden’s Village Naturalist where he leads a number of thought provoking sessions related to the natural world that surrounds our remote community, the joint ecology of human activity and wilderness.



Art . Earth . Spirit
Using language of shape, form and color we will reach into the landscape of the earth and deeper, into our silence, to touch where Spirit takes form. The artist’s role is to listen and respond not only to our own inner voice but also the presence of the unseen. The art becomes dialogue between artist, materials, the divine and eventually the viewer.

Peg Carlson-Hoffman + Chuck Hoffman, Holden Village Executive Directors:
Chuck_Hoffman__Peg_Carlson-Hoffman_200.jpgChuck + Peg are artists, peacemakers, and the Executive Directors of Holden Village. Together they have a deep desire to see people flourish and re-form their relationships with the earth, the Divine and each other. Chuck + Peg have taught and exhibited internationally on themes related to the sacredness of the earth and the oneness of the human soul.

Their work in places of conflict where physical walls divide communities has been particularly formative. Their experience in Belfast over the years runs especially deep, and is at the core of their sense of call to Holden at this time of building vital and vibrant work, and developing new programs for the village in its ongoing process of re-forming.

Peg is a painter, lettering artist and designer. She served as an artist and Creative Director for Hallmark Cards for over 21 years. Her passion for art and faith includes designing spaces and experiential environments for engaging the Holy.

Chuck, a painter and designer worked as an Associate Creative Director for the Walt Disney Company. He completed his Master of Arts in Art and Theology at Luther Seminary. His passion for the spiritual in art finds inspiration in the transcending connection of art and prayer, regardless of a person’s cultural background or religious tradition.