Pablo McLoud's Award Winning Photograph "Winter Magic"

Sharing the Experience: Creative Resident Recognized in 2018 Photo Contest

In pursuing our mission to inspire and empower environmental stewardship for all through transformative experiences in nature the North Cascades Institute boasts a wide range of programs aimed at bringing a diversity of participants to experience the North Cascades at our beautiful campus on Diablo Lake. From Mountain School to Adult and Family Programs, Conferences and Retreats, and Youth Leadership Adventures, the dedicated staff and graduate students at the Institute wear a lot of hats in providing high quality outdoor experiences and educational opportunities to our greater community. Yet many people are probably unaware that the North Cascades Institute also hosts a Creative Residence Program to bring in artists from around the world to explore their work with the backdrop of our majestic mountains as a creative muse.

Over the years, the Creative Residence Program has opened its doors to accomplished practitioners of a variety of artistic mediums including poets, naturalists, sculptures, painters, writers, and photographers just to name a few. Last year, one of our creative residents, Pablo McCloud, was honored by the National Park Foundation‘s Share the Experience Photo Contest as a finalist for his photo “Winter Magic” (featured above) taken during his residency here! I had a chance to chat with Pablo about his experience with the Creative Residency Program and what inspires him to “share the experience”.

Wispy Wonder. By Pablo McCloud.

Q: What attracted you to the Creative Residency at North Cascades Institute?

Pablo:My desire to live with purpose and passion motivates me to seek unique opportunities around the world to experience, learn, and grow.  I sought out the Artist Residency at the North Cascades Institute to help foster and enhance my photographic creativity.”

Q: What were your goals in coming here?

Pablo:The goal was to explore and discover distinct and magical moments throughout the rugged North Cascades during the brief Fall season, and to share those instants with others through photographs that inspire, awaken, and stir the soul.  The objective was to expose, educate, and connect others to the mountainous beauty that surrounds us, appreciate the precious wilderness resources, and be moved to conserve and protect them for future generations.”

Dam Nation. By Pablo McCloud.

Q: How would you describe your experience as a Creative Resident at the North Cascades Institute?

Pablo: “My tenure at the Environmental Learning Center was a whirlwind of activities.  All my experiences at NCI were profoundly rewarding including participating in Mountain School events with excited fifth graders to learning about the cultural history of the native and early inhabitants of the Skagit River Valley to exploring, wandering and discovering magical places in the high country of the North Cascades.  I made friends, had fabulous experiences, and created memories to last a lifetime.”

Irises. By Pablo McCloud

Q: How did you spend your time in the Residency?

Pablo:During my month-long adventure I hiked over 200 miles, collected over 3000 photographs, and learned, shared, and became a part of the Environmental Learning Center community.”

Q: Would you recommend the Residency to other artists?

Pablo:Definitely! The Residency experience was enriching and gratifying, fulfilling and inspiring, and I am thankful to everyone for their support, interest, and generosity.  I departed with a new appreciation for our wilderness environment, and dedicated myself to the preservation and protection of your unique and special mountain home.”

Fall Pastel. By Pablo McCloud

Q: Can you speak a little bit about the Share the Experience Photo Contest?

Pablo:A special reward from my residency was having one of my images that was collected in the Pasayten Wilderness selected as a winning photo in the national Share the Experience photo contest.  With that image I got to reach out to a large audience to share the beauty and grandeur of the North Cascades.”

Q: Any other thoughts about North Cascades Institute in general?

Pablo:Special people, places, and opportunities of a lifetime await all who visit North Cascades Institute as a student, guest, or creative resident.”

Mt. Baker Wilderness – Keep it Wild! By Pablo McCloud

On behalf of the North Cascades Institute, I would like to congratulate Pablo McCloud on his accomplishments, and thank him for his time and inspiring work as a Creative Resident.

Currently, Pablo is engaged in a 7-month volunteer project with the US Fish and Wildlife Service on remote and isolated Johnston Atoll National Wildlife Refuge. We can’t wait to see the incredible images he produces while he’s there.

You can check out more of Pablo’s work on his website.

If you are, or know someone, interested in applying for Artist in Residence Program, you can do so here.

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