Artists on Yellow Island

Friends of the San Juans hosted nearly 40 artists and Lummi council member Karlie Kinley on Yellow Island this April for Friends’ first-ever Artist Expedition. The wildflowers were blooming and there was ample inspiration abound. Prominent floral displays included broadleafed shooting star, hairy paintbrush, chocolate lily, camas and stonecrop. Yellow Island has been stewarded by indigenous communities who practiced controlled burning to keep the tree population in check to cultivate foods like Camas bulbs for seasonal harvest. It’s a pristine and exquisite gem in the San Juans, thanks to the continued stewardship of Matthew Axling, Yellow Island Steward with The Nature Conservancy. Special thanks to Ayn Gailey, Lead Ambassador with Friends of the San Juans, for her organizing efforts and to board director Kai Sanburn for joining us on this unique island expedition!

Inviting continued Relationship with Artists
We are inspired by the talented creators and narrators across the Salish Sea, and we know that artists can compel hearts and minds through their creations in ways that build protection and restoration work. Some of the ways Friends of the San Juans plans to partner with artists this year include event collaborations, sponsored publications, joint design projects, exhibitions that drive forward our vision, creator collaborations, and promotional spotlights. If any of this sounds motivating, reach out to [email protected]!

Images courtesy of Samuel Gailey, and Ayn Gailey, Lead Ambassador Volunteer with Friends of the San Juans

Artists play such a special role in storytelling and expressing a sense of place in the islands. We are grateful for the artistry, creativity, and passion for the environment that the following artists brought to this experience. Please explore their talents via the links provided!

Britt McGillivray
Ayn Gailey, Instagram
Charles Dalton
Nik Schulz
Robert Dash, Instagram
Ranna McNeil
Brook Meinhardt, Instagram
Avinoam Shmueli
Peter Olesen
Sharon Ho, Instagram
Peter Fisher
Samuel W. Gailey, Instagram
Jill McCabe Johnson, Instagram
Natalie Menacho, Instagram
Susan Mustard
Kiki Roumel, Textile Artist
Yssa Rodriguez, Teen Nature Illustrator
Christa Smith

Interested in an island expedition for artists?! Email us at [email protected].

It wasn’t until 1979 that San Juan County got a comprehensive growth plan and that was largely due to the Friends of the San Juan’s being there to advocate for the shoreline and the ecosystem. Since then, there have been constant waves of pressure by developers. Friends have risen each time, fighting to protect this fragile and precious place.

Liza Michaelson

member, San Juan Island