Art and science joined in Fort Worden project

"The Soil Remembers" is a public art interpretive trail at Fort Worden State Park in Port Townsend. Deanne Pindell

"The Soil Remembers" is a public art interpretive trail at Fort Worden State Park in Port Townsend. Deanne Pindell

PORT TOWNSEND — A new public art project and interactive nature trail winds its way through Fort Worden State Park this month.

Blazed by a team of artists and soil scientists — collaborators for more than a year — “The Soil Remembers” takes an up-close look at the history and geology of the area from the perspective of soil and the microbes living within it.

Contributors were public artist Deanna Pindell, Kansas-based soils scientist and artist Rhonda Janke, local painter Dawn Sagar and soils scientist John Fleming.

The team began its work by taking soil samples from a variety of different ecosystems.

In each hole left from the sample, they buried a wadded piece of cotton fabric.

After a month in the ground, the fabric was dug up.

The soil microbes had stained it, leaving subtle colors in beautiful patterns.

Meanwhile, Janke and her students at Kansas State University analyzed the original soil samples for composition, color and organic matter before identifying the soil type of each sample.

The leftover soils from each site were made into thick paints for the sign at that location.

The highly textured “soil paints” were designed for children to touch safely.

Each sign also has a section cutout, with the cotton cloth from that site attached so sunlight illuminates the transparent patterns.

There’s no beginning or end to the trail, so visitors can enjoy the sites in any order they choose.

Janke, herself an artist, hopes the science-meets-art helps the community feel a stronger sense of connection and identity.

A website at www.soilremembers.com rounds out the project, featuring educational information on soils and the geology of the fort, instructions on making art paints from soil and advice on working with microbes in your own soil to make delicately imprinted cloths.

“The Soil Remembers” was funded in full by the artists as a gift to the community.

It began two years ago under the Site-Specific Art program at Goddard College and was installed on the fort grounds for three weeks in 2012. This year’s installation is independent of the college.

For more information, email Deanna Pindell at deannapindell@earthlink.net.

More in News

Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe council leaders celebrate the opening of the tribe’s new library at its Blyn campus on Saturday. Pictured, from left, are treasurer Theresa Lehman, vice chair Loni Grinnell-Greninger, chair/CEO Ron Allen and secretary Rochelle Blankenship. (Michael Dashiell/Olympic Peninsula News Group)
Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe celebrates library opening

Chairman/CEO: New facility is ‘second to none’

Solar array, battery storage to be installed on Port Angeles Senior Center

System could provide hours of backup power in case of an outage

UPDATE: Power restored between Sequim, Port Angeles

A tree has been removed from a Clallam County PUD… Continue reading

Road work to close Quinault Loop

Work crews from Haztech Drilling will begin geotechnical drilling… Continue reading

Fiber gathering Thursday at Studio Bob

Marva Holmes will host “St*tch & B*tch” at 4:30… Continue reading

Dream Playground to be fully covered by insurance

Donations still will be used in May rebuild

About 30 sailboats compete in the Port Townsend Sailing Association’s 33rd annual Shipwrights Regatta on Port Townsend Bay on Saturday. More of a fun event than a sailing competition, awards are given out during a pizza party afterward for the most navigationally challenged (Directional Helmet trophy) and for the “saltiest” boat and crew. (Steve Mullensky/for Peninsula Daily News)
Shipwrights Regatta

About 30 sailboats compete in the Port Townsend Sailing Association’s 33rd annual… Continue reading

The City of Sequim hosts 13 manufactured home/mobile home parks with 596 existing units and 786 approved dwelling units. City staff continue to look into zoning options that could protect these sites from redevelopment to help protect affordable housing options in the city. (City of Sequim)
Sequim extends its mobile home moratorium

City staff to work preserving manufactured housing option

Olympic Medical Center chief outlines efforts at improvements

Decreased number of travelers among them

Jay and Trudi Inslee wear red for #WearRedDay to support women’s heart health in 2022. (Jay Inslee)
Gov. Inslee reflects in his final year of three terms

On the second level of the white and gray marbled… Continue reading

KEITH THORPE/PENINSULA DAILY NEWS
Chris Johnson of Nordland-based Nordland Construction loads traffic drums onto a trailer as coworker Robert Bufford prepares to secure the load as the pair prepares to open the parking lot at Port Angeles City Pier to automobiles on Friday. The work was part of a project to improve storm drainage, replace damaged sidewalks and ADA ramps and mitigate shoreline erosion around the lot, which had been closed since early January. Tree replacement and other project detail work is expected to follow over the next few weeks.
City Pier parking open

Chris Johnson of Nordland-based Nordland Construction loads traffic drums onto a trailer… Continue reading

Sequim Citizen of the Year luncheon on Tuesday

Emiko Brock, Labbe, Olsen to be honored