PLAYA Announces 2021 Workshops, Themed Weekends & More Dates for Self-Directed Residencies

PLAYA’s new, dynamic workshop and themed weekend series is open for registration. 

PLAYA is honored to work with an accomplished and passionate field of instructors and facilitators who have helped to shape a year of distinctive and rich experiences. The selection of workshops and weekends focuses on opportunities to learn and immerse in the natural history and desert landscape of Oregon’s Great Basin.  

“We are pleased to have unique workshops and themed weekends that explore and exhibit the intersection of art and science,” said Interim Executive Director Elizabeth Quinn. “It will be fascinating to experience the work and ideas that come from the participants of PLAYA’s workshops and themed weekends.”

Beginning in May and running through September, PLAYA is pleased to present the following workshops:

PLAYA launches the year of workshops and themed weekends with the always-popular Birding Weekend with Pepper Trail.

Daniela Molnar will teach Pigment and Water: Exploration, Observation, Imagination, and Chance. PLAYA’s juxtaposition of dry and wet landscapes provides the perfect backdrop to consider the two main elements of water media painting: pigment (dry) and water (wet). 

Daniela Molnar  returns and will partner with Stacy Moore of The Institute for Applied Ecology for Art + Ecology of PLAYA, which offers a unique opportunity to learn from both a scientist and an artist and to experience how these fields inform and complement each other. Also in August, Diana Six, Professor of Forest Entomology/Pathology at the University of Montana, will facilitate An Education of Arid Places. This hybrid workshop/residency approach includes guided field experiences in the morning followed by afternoons of open studio time. Kevin Morefield will teach Beginning Astrophotography: Milky Way Nightscapes in late August, where he will teach how to capture the dark, star-filled skies of the Summer Lake Valley.

The first weekend of September, artist and scientist Dana Reason will facilitate Desert Soundscapes & Deep Listening Ecology. The goal of this workshop is to enhance our acoustic awareness and global sound-print and to truly encourage creative engagement, sustainable listening practices and an authentic connection to both the sound of a place, community and our collective voices. Also in September, Craig Childs, award-winning author who has published more than a dozen books of adventure, wilderness and science, including House of Rain and The Secret Knowledge of Water, will teach a weekend writing workshop titled Where the Land Meets the Eye. Pepper Trail and geologist Daniele McKay will facilitate Great Basin Natural History Weekend in mid-September. At the end of September, Jennifer Elise Foerster, author of two books of poetry, Leaving Tulsa (2013) and Bright Raft in the Afterweather (2018), and facilitator at the Rainier Writing Workshop and Literary Assistant to the U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo, will teach Writing in the Oasis. This multi-genre writing intensive is an invitation for attention and deep listening to the ephemeral present/presence of time and place.

For more information and to register for workshops and themed weekends, CLICK HERE or visit:

PLAYA’s Self-Directed Residencies have been well received. New dates in May have opened up. To learn more and begin your reservation CLICK HERE or visit: Arrivals for Self-Directed Residencies are always on a Thursday with flexible departures. They start at a minimum of two nights and, during certain times, can last up to ten nights. Along with time to focus on creative and/or scientific work, Self-Directed Residencies also give participants the opportunity to connect with the other creative and scientifically minded people on campus and experience aspects of the Summer Lake Valley through Friday evening gatherings and Saturday presentations, field trips and/or hikes.

PLAYA sits at the foot of Winter Ridge at the edge of a ten-mile wide, 20-mile long intermittent desert lake. The subtle hills, striking rock formations and captivating light nourish and stimulate new ideas and fresh thinking. Cabins free of internet and with uninterrupted views allow for deep focus on projects. Along with cabins, studio rentals are also available.

Click HERE or visit to learn more.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *