Mark your calendar! Join us from 2 to 4 PM on Sunday, October 22 when Flagg Mountain hosts Pines, Poets and Plein Air. The free public program will feature artists, writers and naturalists as they share information and interpret the mountain’s ecology and natural history.
Experts from the Nature Conservancy in Alabama, Alabama Trails Foundation and the Alabama Forestry Commission will join visual artists demonstrating plein air—French for “in the open air”—painting and accomplished poets reading their work. From their stations on and around the summit of Flagg, each will bring knowledge and interpretive practice to focus on the unique ecology of the area, including the remnant stand of Montane longleaf pine and the mountain’s diverse bird and plant species.
Pines, Poets and Plein Air is the second in a series of programs that pairs art and science to introduce visitors to the beauty and diversity of Alabama’s ‘first mountain,’” says Cindy Ragland, executive director of the Alabama Trails Foundation, one of the event co-sponsors. “There are many ways to be in nature and to learn about the history and natural history of our state, and this program offers something for everyone.”
Pines, Poets and Plein Air is free thanks to generous support from the Alabama Trails Foundation, the Alabama Forestry Commission and the Alabama State Council on the Arts, but registration is required. To register, visit https://alabamatrailsfoundation.org/ppp23/. information about parking, handicap accessibility and other details will be provided with registration. In case of rain, the program will be rescheduled to Spring 2024.
Chris Oberholster, Director of External Affairs with the Nature Conservancy in Alabama will be joined by Alabama Forestry Commission foresters to talk about Flagg Mountain’s unique ecology and the importance of its natural environment.
Presenting writers include:
Poet Tina Mozelle Braziel, director of the Ada Long Creative Writing Workshop at UAB and author of Known by Salt (Anhinga Press), winner of the Philip Levine Prize for Poetry, among other collections;
Salaam Green, founder of the Literary Healing Arts and current poet-in-residence for the Wallace House for Arts in Reconciliation and author of the forthcoming collection Healing in Harpersville (Pulley Press, 2024);
Taminko J. Kelley, author, media specialist and owner of CoolBird Studios in Goodwater, AL.
Artists who will be demonstrating plein air painting and talking about their work are
Amy Feger, who teaches studio art at the University of Montevallo and is a landscape painter whose interest in the natural sciences informs her work;
Timothy Joe, a self-taught representational artist from Greensboro AL, whose work focuses on capturing scenes that are disappearing and using history to gain insight into the backstories of his subjects;
Allison McElroy, a professor of painting at Jacksonville State University who uses rocks, soils and minerals to create work that strives to bridge the gap between nature and human expression.
Weogufka State Forest is located in Coosa County. Flagg Mountain is the first mountain of more than 1000 feet in the Appalachian Trail system and mile one of the Pinhoti Trail. At its top is a newly restored 1930s Civilian Conservation Corps fire tower. Montane longleaf pines, many species of birds and breathtaking views of surrounding counties are among Flagg Mountain’s treasures.
Registration and more information about Pines, Poets and Plein Air can be found at https://alabamatrailsfoundation.org/ppp23/. For more information about Flagg Mountain, visit https://forestry.alabama.gov/Pages/Management/WeogufkaSF.aspx.