Wallace Stegner, Author and Wilderness Advocate, was quoted as saying that “the National Parks were the very best idea that America ever had.” And I, Larry Iwerks, am in full agreement to that.
As Landscape Painters, we look closely at volcanic and layered rocks, the various plants and animals, and clouds formations. Searching & learning about the evolution of plants as former Ice Ages came and went, and thinking of times all the way back to the dinosaurs. Seeing that just in the last 100 years in the West, all have witnessed unprecedented ruination of the Land.
At further risk today are the loss of ever more forest lands, drinking water to groundwater pollution, carvings on hillsides by exploitative mining corporations both domestic and international. Also, the ever powerful off-road vehicle industries promoting abuses. Misuse of natural areas by poaching, and archeological-site thievery is also cause for great concern.
We need further protections of our western Public Lands in their natural state through Park legislation, which requires vigilant care by the People. The urgent need of upgrading these Lands to officially dedicated National Parks and designated Wilderness Areas—places not to be exploited and ruined for short economic gain, but to continue to exist for future generations to study and enjoy.
Through our community friendship, let us further celebrate and paint landscapes as we enjoy this, the 50th anniversary of the “Wilderness Act of 1964”, an historic Act which initially set aside the nearby San Rafael Wilderness as the very first protected designated “Wilderness Area.”
Thank you very much to the Santa Barbara Art Foundry & Gallery for hosting this exhibit of paintings from the Southern California Artists Painting for the Environment (S.C.A.P.E.), with a percentage of sales to benefit the Los Padres Chapter of Sierra Club.
— Larry Iwerks, Landscape Painter