Ya’pa’ Sculpture Park

Ya’pa’ Sculpture Park is an evolving idea. As of February 2019, we have purchased roughly 12 acres of open land located in the town of Fort Bidwell in the far northeastern corner of California known as Surprise Valley. It is situated within the tri-state region of Oregon, Nevada, and California. Much of this area is considered a historic landmark cradling part of the old wagon-train route of the famous Applegate-Lassen trail that cuts across the Great Basin that stretches through northwestern Nevada to the edge of northeastern California, arriving at the unexpected grassy meadows and hot springs of Surprise Valley. This was a resting place for the early settlers before attempting the treacherous Fandango Pass over the Warner Mountains.  

Ya’pa’ is the Paiute word for an edible tuber that provides nourishment. The Ya’pa’ Sculpture Park would cultivate a place for enjoying sculpture within nature, fostering creativity, contemplation and health-giving relaxation for all who visit. It also would provide educational opportunities to the surrounding region to experience the arts in profound and meaningful ways. Ya’pa’ Sculpture Park lies at the edge of the high desert and at the foot of the Warner Mts… just beautiful, where Sandhill Cranes nest and the views are quiet ones.

There is a historical building on our property dating back to the late 1800s to early 1900s, built when the old fort closed down. The property is referred to by locals as the “old Indian property.”  When the reservation was established and the government was closing the Fort, it still owned parcels of lands associated with the old fort. So the land was divided up and given to Native American families. Later one, many of these families sold their property to local farmers. Remarkably, the house on the property still stands. I would like to preserve it. The ambiance of this structure will be maintained with streams of sunlight flowing through the building. I will also include a plaque about the history of the building, honoring the families that went through this heartwrenching time in our history. Inside the building will be a gallery, gift shop and meditation space.

“When we heal ourselves, 
We heal our ancestors from wounds that run deep in our family. 
When we heal our ancestors, 
We heal the World from wounds that run deep in humanity.”
                                                   — Miriam Rose Ungunmerr-Baumann
                                                    Aboriginal activitist, educator and artist.

The purpose of Ya’pa’ Sculpture Park is to incorporate work from both contemporary Native American sculptors and work from other sculptors that believe in the mission of the park.  I’m hoping to create a shared spiritual place where people can come to reflect, to heal and to be awed by the relationship art has with nature.

A local photographer, Larry Turner, describes the area, “Surprise Valley has been a recreation destination for history buffs, rock-hounds, hikers, fisherman, horseback riders, hot spring aficionados, back-country explorers, and birders. “Burners” also pass through every Labor Day, on their way to the Burning Man event, 60 miles south of Cedarville in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert.” Check out Larry’s article to see some beautiful photos of this area. 

I believe the park could stimulate a powwow of sorts—a heart to heart exchange on multiple levels. And importantly, in addition, it will add a few jobs, increase tourism in the area and offer a public forum for artistic expression by providing an awesome place to experience art. I’m working on establishing funding, a website, along with other details for its success. My aim is that it will include a visiting artist program, educational opportunities for children and art excursions for adults.

👏👏👏  Plz check back for more information.

Mount Bidwell
Event honoring the Indian Elders that attended the Ft Bidwell Boarding School. Anita Williams, on the far right, is the organizer of the annual event. In the middle is Randy’L He-dow Teto, model for the Sacagawea Native American Dollar Coin and Goodwill Ambassador. To the left is, Brenda Sherburn LaBelle, who created a replica of the coin.
2018, Miss Indian World, Taylor Christianna Thomas with her little nephew in parade.
Antelope Country.
From Farmland to High Desert to Warner Mts in distance.
Road to top of Mt Bidwell
People can see the sculpture park location from the top of Mt Bidwell. It is near the lower right-hand corner, about 1/4 up the page on the right side.
There are a few Historical buildings in town. 1876 / Old General Store
Old photo of Enlisted Barracks, 1890, Fort Bidwell, CA,
Proposed Gallery / Historical Building, built late 1800s or very early 1900s/ East Side View
Historical Building on the Ya’pa’ Sculpture Park property.
Inside Detail. Facing North. As you can see we need to put a roof on this building as soon as possible.

Thank you for any support you can give.
Go to https://www.saveworlddraw.org/ya-pa-sculpture-park/