By Jennifer Morrissey
The Mission Trails Regional Park (MTRP) Foundation is hosting a presentation by anthropologist Michael Wilken-Robertson, author of “Kumeyaay Ethnobotany” on Thursday, May 16, at 6:30 p.m. in the MTRP Visitor Center Theater. Wilken-Robertson will discuss the interdependence between native peoples and native plants of the Californias through in-depth descriptions of native plants and their uses, lively narratives, and vivid photographs.
The presentation will also explore the fascinating world of northern Baja California’s original peoples and their descendants, whose profound knowledge of the land has sustained them from ancient times to the present. Wilken-Robertson’s research and advocacy work has explored traditional arts (pottery, basketry, oral narratives, and song), ethnobotany, history, languages, and cultural landscapes of the indigenous peoples of the northern Baja California region.
Guests will be able to buy the award-winning book “Kumeyaay Ethnobotany: Shared Heritage of the Californias” and have it signed by the author before the lecture. A sale of unique traditional arts (baskets, pottery, jewelry) will also take place at 6:30 p.m., with the lecture beginning at 7 p.m. in the MTRP Visitor Center Theater.
Wilken-Robinson has developed lifelong collaborative relationships with native artists and traditional authorities to foster cultural revitalization and sustainable community development. His fascination with native plants and the natural landscapes of the Californias has inspired him to explore the many ways that humans have interacted with their environments, from the ancient past into the present. He currently teaches in the anthropology department at California State University, San Marcos.
Tickets are $10 and can be purchased through the MTRP website at mtrp.org.
Call for artists
The Mission Trails Regional Park (MTRP) Foundation is accepting art submissions from May 1 through June 30, 2019 for 2020 exhibitions at the MTRP Visitor and Interpretive Center. Artists can submit diverse artistic interpretations of the natural world in a range of media including paint, clay, photography, pastel, fiber, colored pencil, mixed media, and more.
Artworks are juried by a panel of working artists and arts educators. Selected works will be presented for the enjoyment of the center’s more than 80,000 annual visitors. Art exhibitions showcase one artist or groups, and are staged for a period of six weeks. Artists can also host an opening reception for members of the public. Artworks include wall-hung, two-dimensional, and three-dimensional pieces.
The focus on nature-related subject matter is vital to the MTRP Foundation’s objective of expanding the understanding and enjoyment of nature and inspiring artistic expression in visitors of all ages. A portion of artwork sales supports MTRP through the foundation. More information and an application form can be found at mtrp.org.
— Jennifer Morrissey is executive director of the Mission Trails Regional Park Foundation.