LEAP is Land, Experience and Art of Place and was founded by artist, Claire Coté, in the summer of 2009. Inspired by a sense of wonder, and a commitment to creativity and sustainability, LEAP is an experimental, interdisciplinary, artist-driven, initiative creating fertile ground for collaboration. LEAP is based in Questa, New Mexico and works with within the local surrounding communities as well as with collaborators and artists from near and far.
LEAP arts events, adventures and classes explore, in a variety of forms, the richness and diversity in the ecology of the places where they occur: wilderness, flora and fauna, ancient and contemporary cultures, geology, the strands of our community and the interdependence of all of these things. Each year, we work with our collaborators on a theme to inform our events and outreach programming:
LEAP Annual Themes to Date:
LEAP provides opportunities to deepen our appreciation and understanding of and relationship to our environments and our human and non-human neighbors; to increase our commitment to protecting these places and relationships and fostering creative responses and expressions of them in contemporary art and culture.
LEAP serves as an interdisciplinary networking hub, connecting artists, students and the public with conservationists, land management organizations and practitioners in other fields. A passion for experiencing and protecting wild lands and waters is at its core.
LEAP works with art as a form of fieldwork and an investigative technique for research with expanded parameters and outcome possibilities. Artists, as cultural creatives, are encouraged to team-up with practitioners in other fields to explore, document, study and “express” different environments, areas and problems. LEAP investigates and actively examines the meaning and applications of the word “resource” and “management.”
Place, environment and the particularities of locality are central to this program. According to Einstein, “All action is local.” For many artists, nature is a great source of inspiration, but through LEAP artists and the public alike are encouraged, to go beyond observation; to interact with and participate in the places around them. Familiarity is the first step toward appreciation and appreciation is the first step towards conservation.
LEAP is a project of Localogy, a 501(c)nonprofit.
Claire Coté (BA, MA) – LEAP Director
Claire is an artist, educator, curator, mother and radial homemaker. Her interdisciplinary arts practice and education work take her on local and international adventures into nature, classrooms and galleries. She is the founder of LEAP, co-organizer of SEED, co-curator at OCHO Art & Event Space and ongoing collaborator with English Artist, Anna Keleher. Born and raised north of Questa, New Mexico, Claire now lives in Sunshine Valley with her husband and daughter in their off-grid home. More…
Anita McKeown (PhD,FRSA, BA, MA) – LEAP Creative Associate
is an itinerant interdisciplinary artist, curator and researcher working in the public domain. She is interested in Creative Placemaking and Open Source Culture and Technology (ethically and ecologically) and STEAM education. Previously, Director of the CATALYST initiative at SMARTlab,UCD, Dublin she recently completed her PhD. She is now continuing her independent research and live, situated art projects as Art Services Unincorporated (ASU). More…
Gaea McGahee (BA, MA) – LEAP Creative Associate
spends time in her kitchen exploring ferments, sourdoughs, and the anthropology of these food traditions. She’s a lover of deserts and open spaces, homemaking and expansive travel. She’s an adjunct anthropology professor and has taught in-class and online since 2003, including classes on climate change and adaptation in past and current societies. She brings her perspective rooted in anthropology and informed by life in New Mexico and travel elsewhere and her desire to serve community with collaborative projects. More…