‘Park City Witness’ celebrates open land
Ryan Summerlin November 16, 2012
In 1998, a handful of local artists and writers, a bookstore owner and an editor worked with each other to pull together a book of essays and art called "Park City Witness" that celebrated open space and land preservation.
The book’s sales also raised the seed money for what is now the Summit Land Conservancy, which works in partnership with local landowners to permanently protect the remaining agricultural lands, viewsheds, animal habitats, waterways and rangelands in Park City and Summit County.
The organization, which was officially established in 2002, celebrated its 10th anniversary this year, and to commemorate, it has published the second edition of "Park City Witness," said Megan W. Fernandez, the conservancy’s outreach and development director.
The new book, which is available at Atticus Coffee, Books & Teahouse, Dolly’s Bookstore, the Swaner EcoCenter and the Summit Land Conservancy, is comprised of works from 19 writers and 17 artists from The Park Record, KPCW, The Kimball Art Center, Summit Land Conservancy, Park City High School, Park City Council, Park City Performing Arts Foundation, Park City Magazine, Mountain Bluebirds, One Revolution, Park City Medical Center and the Park City Professional Art Association.
The proceeds from the sales will go to saving land.
"Like it was with the first book, we thought the new one would be a great way to celebrate our successes and our talents we have in the community," Fernandez said during an interview with The Park Record. "It’s amazing how many people were able to contribute to the book."
Of those contributors, nine are returning writers and seven are returning artists.
"We asked everyone who participated in the first book, if they still lived in town, to participate again, and it was interesting to compare what they did in the first book to this book," Fernandez said. "To see how far they’ve come within their own lives was nice.
Fernandez found the other writers and artists whom she thought would work well with the book through online research.
"I went online to the Summit County Park City Summit County Arts Council website (www.pcarts.org ) and also the Park City Professional Artists Association website (www.parkcityart.com ) and looked through all of their portfolios," she said.
Since Fernandez also helped found the Summit County Public Art Advisory Board, she already had some artists in mind for the project.
"All the people who worked on this book took inspiration from open space," she said. "They know the importance of it and have seen how many changes have occurred in our backyard. Their work is just tremendous and they all spent so much time on their pieces."
Fernandez contacted Jane Gendron of J Gendron Communications to help with editing and worked with Liz Craig Meyers of Nine-Grain Design to come up with the book’s design.
"I also talked with Rick Pieros, who recently published a book called ‘Park City Past and Present,’ to give us tips on how to get out book published," Fernandez said. "He was great and also submitted one of his photos."
Another sponsor, the Lockwood Family Foundation, gave a donation to help cover a portion of the publishing cost, Fernandez said.
The Summit Land Conservancy began work on "Park City Witness" a year ago.
"The biggest challenge was financing the project, because the Summit Land Conservancy isn’t in the business of publishing books," Fernandez said. "But we’ve have people step up and we’re so happy with the finished project."
Summit Land Conservancy’s second edition of "Park City Witness" is available now at Atticus Coffee, Books & Teahouse. On Saturday, Dec. 1, Dolly’s Bookstore will host a book signing event from 6:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. For more information, visit www.summitlandconservancy.org.