Voices: A Sense of Insight

Wildling Museum of Art: Holly Cline


The Wildling Art Museum plays a unique role in California. As the only museum solely focused on wilderness and nature-themed art, our mission is to foster a sense of appreciation in our visitors for the wild spaces that grace our nation as visualized by artists who have traveled, explored, and love the natural flora and fauna. In today’s world, we find a growing number of people are becoming increasingly disconnected from the natural habitats that surround them.

The use of art to close this gap is a journey that begins with the artist. Trekking into remote landscapes, often enduring extreme weather and climate, their knowledge of the subject and personal connection to it is transferred through the medium to the viewer. By visiting the Wildling Art Museum, viewing the amazing results, and learning why that specific place held special meaning to the artist or the conservation efforts of that particular area, we hope to inspire our visitors to leave the museum and think a little deeper about the beauty and fragility of the natural world we live in.

Early on in my career at the Museum, we had an exhibition that focused on landscapes in the southwest region of the United States. One day, while passing through the gallery I stopped to chat with a visitor. During our conversation, she remarked that she was not particularly fond of a particular painting of the Grand Canyon. When I asked her why, she responded that it
was too unnatural.


Wildling Museum


A little perplexed I stood back and looked carefully at the work to try and
understand what part of it she found unrealistic. Personally, I felt that the artist
had done a masterful job at capturing the rawness of the canyon edge and the sweeping vista, which almost lifted you on your toes as you sought to make out
the wall on the other side of the canyon.

Finally, I asked her “Have you ever been to the Grand Canyon?” She replied, “No.” I’m not sure I convinced her that the painting did indeed capture the truth of that magnificent view, but as I spoke about my experiences visiting the Grand Canyon, I am confident that the introduction, through art and conversation, had been made, and that visiting this natural wonder would be in her future.