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Art at the Bioneers Conference

“Art is not a mirror held up to reality, but a hammer with which to shape it”~Bertolt Brecht

At Bioneers, we believe in the power of art to inspire action, facilitate cross cultural understanding and dialogue, and give voice to important issues. We believe in art as a form of protest, resistance, and hope. In honor, this year’s conference brings together a wide variety of artists who have devoted their lives to using art as a vehicle for personal and social transformation.

Art on the Grounds

Take flight with Toni Milkulka’s flock of beautiful silk bird puppets. Artist, Toni “Tone” Mikulka, makes giant flying, rod-supported bird kite puppets of silk, bamboo, reed, and papier mache, using nontoxic processes. Operated by one, two or three people, the birds are lightweight and can be puppeteered by children as young as four years old with some guidance.

Sit inside a life size “Spirit Nest” created by Jayson Fann. “Throughout the natural world there are numerous species of animals crafting nests for comfort, safety and a sense of home. We find inspiration in the intuitive nature of nest building. Guided by artistic intuition as well as the natural form of the wood we work with we often find the pieces fit into place all on their own.” ~Jayson Fann

Artist Joel Dean Stockdill brings an original sculpture to Bioneers built with found and recycled materials. He will also be talking about his project The Trace, which aims to leave behind a piece of art that can bring life and engagement in the community and change the way people look at waste. “My Wild Life Series began as a simple attempt to restore a line of communication with the wild animals. These homages take form as sculptural cave drawing, built freestyle with found materials.” ~Joel Dean Stockdill

Artist, Wendy Domster has been creating sculptural Installations specifically for the Bioneers Conference over the past ten years. She returns this year to join in the Uprising and re-imagining of our experience of the world around us through sculptural composition, using elements from nature and recycled manufactured materials. This years installation is titled: “STICK TOGETHER”.


Take a restorative break in a meditation space by the lake, design by Ryan Tacata. Ryan Tacata is a performance maker and scholar based in San Francisco. He has a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2007) and received his PhD in Performance Studies from Stanford University. His recent projects include For You (2016-) with Erika Chong Shuch (a series of performances for audiences of 12); dancing in Ann Carlson’s Doggie Hamlet  (2015 -); and Lolas (2017), a performance installation in honor of Filipino grandmothers at the Asian Art Museum. He is currently a Visiting Faculty member in the department of History and Theory of Contemporary Art at the San Francisco Art Institute.

Come visit the medicine wheel create by Tomahawk GreyEyes.

The medicine wheel is the name now used to refer to a Native American symbol of a circle divided by the lines that mark the 4 cardinal directions. Distinguishing the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of each person. The design has been graffiti painted all over the Bay Area. Ancient medicine wheels like that of Big Horn, WY, were stone installations that outlined solstices and other astrological events. This installation celebrates the new moon on October 19th and holds the artists intentions for the rest of the lunar cycle.

Jenni Ward
I am a sculptor, art instructor and owner of Earth Art Studio. I have been an artist for as long as I can remember; memories of cutting, bending and building as a child have matured into a career of creating. Passionate about working with clay to build abstract forms and installations that reflect the beauty of the natural world, my favorite days are ones where I am splattered with clay and working in the studio all day long. Outside the studio, I can often be found exploring the forests, mountains or tide pools near my California studio for inspiration, usually with a collection of bones, rocks and wood in my pockets. My exploration of the natural world are referenced throughout my work. I am a wanderer who ventures off to foreign lands where I find inspiration in the people, the land and the art I encounter. A natural teacher and philanthropist, I share my creativity with students at my home studio and abroad.


Come make a prayer for a tree Kristin Kaye’s TREE DREAM PROJECT
Kristin Kaye is an author and teacher. She writes at the intersection of nature, narrative and spirituality. She is also the founder of Tree Dreams, a global tree tagging campaign that celebrates the myriad ways we are connected to each other, to nature and to our future. Tree Dreams tags hang in 12 countries, 22 states and teachers have created Tree Dreams lesson plans for the classroom. The project leapt from the pages of a novel by the same name—Tree Dreams: A Novel is forthcoming Spring, 2018. Tree Dreams was born from extensive research trailing conservation foresters; tagging along with Ascending the Giants—arborists who climb and measure the biggest of each species for the National Big Tree Registry; living with EarthFirst! in the canopy of a redwood grove at the only tree sit in the country at that time; serving a Neighborhood Tree Steward and spending long hours in the company of redwoods.

Lunchtime Performance Schedule

Lunch Hour Music: Join us in the Living Culture House for relaxing and rejuvenating live music by a wide variety of artists, Fri-Sun, 1:00-2:30pm

Friday (Lawn)

1:15-1:45 Embodiment Project “Ancient Children” is a hip-hop documentary dance theater production based on Shakti Butler’s new film, Healing Justice, which explores the ways restorative justice can interrupt the school-to-prison pipeline. Performed by eight dancers, this piece illuminates this pressing issue through a combination of theater and hip-hop dance.

Ignite Joy Productions
For Bioneers conference, Ignite Joy Productions will be offering an interpretive dance and hula hoop performance that reminds us of our important role as stewards for our planet Earth.  We will be bringing extra hula hoops and smiles to invite all to play and join in the dance of life!Ignite Joy Productions mission is to ignite joy locally and globally through the performing arts.  Our vision is to bring diverse audiences together and to use our art to inspire sustainability and positive change.  We encourage people to express themselves and discover the joy and love within through dance performances and classes, innovative experiences and collaborative productions.  We offer creative fire-dancing shows, glow light performances, and intentional dance and music experiences.  We create custom dance experiences for diverse audiences and clients that have ranged from music concerts, weddings, corporate retreats, festivals, conferences, and more.  Our dancers have performed at the following events: Snow Globe Music Festival, Wanderlust, Boogaloo Music Festival, Celebration of the Elements, Reno Sculpture Fest, Reno Art Walk, Jungle Experience, Stilldream Festival and more.We lead dance workshops and host spin jams and would love to create a custom experience package for your next event!  Our specialities include fire, day and glow/LED dance shows; fire dancing and flow arts including hula hoop, poi, fans, staff and dragon staff, fire eating, and fire breathing; jazz, lyrical and interpretive dance; and roaming, interactive characters.  Many of our dancers are also registered yoga teachers, group fitness certified and qigong and movement teachers.  Ignite Joy Productions is based in South Lake Tahoe, California but we travel around California and the world to learn, teach and perform.   For bookings contact

Dancing Earth, Dancing Earth’s Bay Area indigenous contemporary collaborators will activate the lawn space with breathtaking, earth-inspired dances.

Saturday (Lawn)

1:15-1:45 Dancing Earth, Dancing Earth’s Bay Area indigenous contemporary collaborators will activate the lawn space with breathtaking, earth-inspired dances.

1:50-2:30pm Trashion Show– Truckee High’s Envirolution Club’s annual extravaganza

Shea Freedom – Born in Los Angeles, CA Freedom was raised in California’s foster care system where he was subject to 28 different placements. Like 68% of foster youth freedom emancipated into homelessness. No doubt the early instability would prepare him for the fast paced life on the road. He has found his home on stages across the nation. In song or as a keynote speaker, you can find freedom advocating for foster youth, transgender and environmental issues. Freedom has traveled solo all over the united states via thumb and motorcycle, collecting stories from the back of shrimp boats in the Gulf of Mexico to the festivals upon the shores of Hawaii. Freedom brought the love on tour in 2016 opening for world renowned artist Trevor Hall in Arizona & California.

As a member of the LGBTQ community freedom was awarded the 2016 rising star award by black trans men inc and has shared the stage with renowned LGBTQ artist goddess & she who were featured on the showtime hit series “The l word.”In 2015 freedom was invited by sisters Chloe & Leah of Rising Appalachia to tour in AZ, CA and CO.


KDMG and Dance Monks are collaborating to create a physical, experiential installation and body-based recharge. We invite you to integrate and to commune directly with the trees and land, in support of your innovating, information gathering, and networking. Your experience will be as restful, contemplative or engaged as you choose. We will offer prompts for exploration along the way. There will be invitations to share your experience.
[Sunday, 10/221-2:30pm | All artists will be present.]

The heart of this research is at the intersection of two long-term projects: NETWORK (Krista DeNio>>Moving Ground) and Tree of Life (Dance Monks).

Dancing Earth, Dancing Earth’s Bay Area indigenous contemporary collaborators will activate the lawn space with breathtaking, earth-inspired dances.

Artists Village: Exhibit Hall

Join us for an artist village that brings together artists inspired by ecology, social justice and indigenous knowledge. There will also be an artist market with beautiful art work for sale.

Displaying artists include:

Future Parks Foundation: “The goal of the Future Parks Foundation is to create engaging new forms of art to cultivate the support the National Parks need. New types of media about the Parks will spark awareness and stewardship for the next generation.”

Cara Romero: Bioneers’ own Director of the Indigenous Knowledge Program and award winning artist, Cara Romero, displays her stunning photographs. Cara Romero is a Chemehuevi photographer creating monumental fine art photographs. Her work is a response to current events and issues in Indian Country.

Terry Oxford- Pollinator Advocate – Terry is a natural, biodynamic chemical–free beekeeper in San Francisco.  About more than honey, her work is about providing pesticide free food for all pollinators by creating systemic neonic-free commercial and urban landscaping.  Pollinators currently thrive in San Francisco because the diverse flowering trees are largely insecticide-free.  But the city is preparing to plant nearly 55K flowering, ornamental tree saplings most of which have been pre-treated at the nursery with long-lasting systemic Neonicotinoids. Terry is launching an awareness campaign, Sky Meadows San Francisco to illuminate the importance of flowering trees for pollinators.  Her Mission?  That all California nursery trees provide safe food without poison, for all pollinators. Her compelling beeswax art, created inside her UrbanBeeSF hives is a collaboration with her bees who really want humans to please hurry and evolve into our better selves!

Lissa Starnes Zelaya San Francisco Bay Area artist Lissa Starnes received her BFA from the Academy of Art University in 1986 and worked on her MFA at the Art Institute in 1987. Having studied with some notable Bay Area artists Manuel Neri, Nathan Oliveira, Howard Brodie, Thomas Marsh, and highly influenced by the Surrealists, her recent work reflects semi-abstract worldly forms where she depicts the networking of plants and fungi integrating figurative and animal forms. Her keen interest and research into the consciousness of trees has awakened her world to educate others about the shared intelligence and sentient nature of the plant and fungi kingdoms. Her goal is to enlighten the viewer with the networking that happens right underneath the soil and to bring awareness to the moral rights of plants to also include life, liberty, and bodily integrity. Deforestation, ocean acidification, and plant medicine are among the concerns and interests brought forth with her colorful paintings, vibrant pastel and pen, and manipulated mobile art photography.

Josué Rivas (Mexica/Otomi) is an award-winning indigenous documentary photographer, cinematographer, and film director specialized in working on stories that challenge the mainstream narrative about indigenous peoples. His work aims to create awareness about issues affecting native communities across Turtle Island and to amplify the voices of those in the shadows of our society. He is a 2017 Magnum Foundation Photography and Social Justice Fellow and founder of the Standing Strong Project.
Instagram @josue_foto
Facebook Josue Rivas Foto
Twitter @josue_foto

Angela Gonzalez is a Bay Area based artist who creates works from recycled materials and converts them into pieces that help viewers make the connection between art, technology and sustainability.

She has held solo exhibitions in the United States at corporate headquarters including Gymboree Corporation and Union Bank, and in government facilities such as the Colombian Consulate in San Francisco, the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts and Tiburon City Hall in California.

In addition, Angela has exhibited her art work as part of group exhibitions at venues including: the New York Hall of Science Museum, NY, the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art, CA, the Museum of Art and History, Lancaster, CA, the Coral Springs Museum of Art, FL, the Design District, South End, Charlotte, NC, the O’Hanlon Center for the Arts, Mill Valley, CA, and the Sustainable Silicon Valley WEST Summit, Palo Alto, CA.

She has a Design Degree from the Politecnico Nacional, Colombia
, and has completed art coursework at the Angel Academy of Art, Florence, Italy, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL, and the Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA.

Xander Weaver-Scull was born and raised in the San Geronimo Valley, CA. He is a social/environmental/climate justice awareness artist. The majority of his recent work portrays threatened, endangered and recovered species. He is passionate about creating this work because most species do not have the ability to speak on their own behalf. Nearly one in five reptiles, one in four mammals, and one in three amphibians are threatened with extinction. He tries to create inspiring artwork that is not didactic.

Leonore Alaniz is a textile and apparel designer with extensive work experience in art and industry. Teaching artisan committed to skill sharing. Slow cloth-ing fiber activist with focus on regenerative, zero waste practices. Curator of exhibits that feature textiles and their makers in cultural context. Botanical printmaker documenting the diversity of plant foliage.

Bay Area Artist Yurik Riegel brings his oil-painted visions of transformation to the Bioneers conference. His art is a conversation about environmentalism, global evolution, the coming technological singularity, trans-humanism, and the challenge of saving ourselves from ourselves by digging deeper into our own humanity.  Yurik Riegel has chosen classically trained oil painting as his vehicle for expressing modern concepts. His paintings are an up-to-the minute reflection of modern man’s struggle to know himself in an age of information and globalization. Sometimes a glimpse into a richer more spiritual existence in the past; sometimes a bold look forward; many times a blending of the two in the eternal Now.

Yurik’s range gives him the ability to masterfully fuse detailed and emotive classical figures with contemporary and abstract painting. His art has graced the pages of magazines and the walls of tech CEOs’ homes.


Amy Karle – Leveraging models of neuroscience and artificial neural networks, Amy Karle creates anatomical drawings in a digital method replicating how she may create them in the real world. These images become mirrors back to the self in execution, concept and final content.

Amy Karle is an internationally award winning bioartist who leverages technology to create work that catalytically examines material and spiritual aspects of life. Emulating patterns found in anatomy, psychology and nature, Karle’s work taps our concepts of what it means to be human and in this body, expressing internal processes in visual forms. Her work can be seen as artifacts of a speculative future where biological and technological systems merge. As an artist and designer, Karle is also a provocateur and a futurist, opening future visions of how technology could be utilized to support and enhance humanity while making advancements in the technology towards those goals in the process. Amy Karle is Co-Founder of Conceptual Art Technologies,  was Autodesk’s Artist in Residence and has been named one of the “Most Influential Women in 3D Printing”.

WEAD – Women Eco Artists Dialog presents an exhibition of 24 posters that are archival prints of original historic posters from regional, national and international environmental campaigns. Focusing on women’s unique perspectives WEAD collaborates internationally to further the field and understanding of ecological and social justice art.

Karina Colliat has been drawing and painting since 1995 and sculpting since the year 2000. Art making has always been a healing process for her whether it’s using art to express feelings and energy or as a focused meditation where she let’s go of self and creation flows through her. She loves getting her hands in the clay. The texture is like earth and feels grounding and soothing to work with. It takes her away from daily stresses and is healing for her soul. She also loves making nature art and most often tree bark art. In 2011 she created Ecoutearth, an Mindfulness, Ecotherapy, and Expressive Arts practice that encourages slowing down and coming into right relationship with mother earth. Karina is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who resides in Marin, CA where she has a private practice helping people with chronic disease find health using the arts and nature.

Robert Bern is an artist and healthcare technology professional working in Santa Fe NM. His artwork investigates the complex narratives, cultural meanings and hidden bias’s revolving around healthcare and illness in the United States.

Julianne Skai Arbor is the author of TreeGirl: Intimate Encounters with Wild Nature. She has been on the forefront of the fields of ecotherapy, nature connection and environmental art since 1995. She travels around the world to learn from the trees first hand, and with a remote control and a tripod, photographs herself intertwined in intimate connection with the forest.  To date, she has intertwined with over 70 species of trees in 13 countries.

Michael Divine – I’ve spent the better part of my life making art. I use my work to explore and illuminate the myriad facets of the human experience. I draw on a variety of influences and find inspiration in the world around me, current events, music, nature, and more. Most of my time is spent painting but I also mentor individual artists, teach workshops, and show my work at a variety of events and venues around the globe. I’ve worked on multiple design and marketing projects, illustrated books, done film character design and art direction, helping others to bring their own visions into reality. As a team, my wife and I build installation projects and large scale stage designs. I live in Northern California with my wife, Violet, our gardens, and our caboodle of cats.

Marie Cartier is a multidisciplinary artist born and raised, living and working in San Francisco. She is a painter, mixed media artist and zine-maker. She is also a theater artist in performance, prop making, lighting design and education and works regularly with the San Francisco Mime Troupe (a major source of inspiration for physical and political theater). Marie’s primary visual arts practice is her ongoing “Plein Air SF” painting series, which involved biking, busing and walking adventures to discover natural places to capture, even within urban environments. She holds BA’s in Theater and Peace and Conflict Studies from UC Berkeley.

Laurie Marshall founded the Singing Tree Project in 2000, inspired by a child imagining the whole world making a painting together.  Marshall drew upon the inspiration of the mutualism of trees to fulfill this dream. A youth-led project, each collaborative Singing Tree mural is a shared vision of success around a challenge that is faced by the community. 17,000 people from 50 countries have made 47 Singing Trees murals. Laurie is  committed to partnering the genius of youth to heal the world. As an arts-integration and project-based learning specialist, she has dedicated 35 years to unleashing the brilliance of young people in under-served  rural and urban communities. Her clients have included public schools around the country, NASA, Georgetown University’s Center for Excellence in Public Leadership, the U. S. Department of Interior, the U.S. Army Core of Engineers, the U.S. Botanical Gardens, UNICEF, prisons and hospices. She is a Lead Artist with Create Peace Project, an international non-profit that uses art as a peace building tool.

October 19-21, 2018
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Welcome to Bioneers! Thank you for visiting our site! We are really excited that you are interested in the Bioneers community. When you sign up for our mailing list, you will receive 15% off of up to 2 tickets to the Bioneers conference and be entered into a raffle for 2 free tickets to the conference. Winners to be announced July 15th. Hope to see you at the conference!
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