| Daniel Dancer, has an MA in child-psychology and has devoted his professional life to working with children in a very unusual way. Working as a photo-journalist in the 80's, he became fascinated with sky art while traveling to Peru and encountering the famous Nazca Lines. When he returned home, he began working with Kansas field artist, Stan Herd, who creates giant images on the Earth (like the one below) by using a tractor as a paint brush and crops for color. One day, Daniel decided to bring an entire elementary school out to perform as beads on the headband of a 25 acre Indian head. The result was stunning. Two decades later, while visiting in Kansas, he ran into one of the "bead kids" who told him that the experience was the most memorable thing he did in school, that it taught him that our view of the world is too small . . . that a Big Picture View is essential! His comment led directly to the creation of Art For the Sky.
children perform as beads on headband of "The Native American,"
20 acre field image by Stan Herd photograph © Daniel
Dancer's decade long photography work with Stan became the material for a five-year touring show with Exhibits USA called Fields in Focus: Art For the Sky, and a book called Crop Art and Other Earth Works. Daniel's fascination with developing humanity's big picture vision led him to work with Lighthawk (the environmental air force) aerially documenting the human impacts upon the natural world. His interest guided him across the continent in the creation of varied found art works upon the Earth that made the most sense when viewed from above. Believing that "only from the sky can we truly understand our rightful fit in the world," Daniel's mission is to awaken what he calls, our "sky-sightedness" something he feels lies dormant within us all. To awaken this way of seeing the world he founded Art For the Sky in 2000.
Daniel's work as a conceptual artist and educator has been shaped by his travels worldwide in search of styles of being that engender happiness and sustainability. After getting his MA degree at the University of Kansas, he left the academic world to raise llamas and pursue a career as an environmental photographer. His striking images of beauty and destruction have been published in hundreds of publications worldwide and viewed in galleries across America. It is precisely this interface between wild nature and devastation that most greatly informs his work and which led him to try to reach as many people as possible through sky art.
Working with communities from Alaska to Australia to create art upon the Earth, Dancer has documented his work in various ways. An Exhibits USA tour called Sacred Ground-Sacred Sky: An Eco-Experience became their second most requested show in its five year tour across the country. This 32 picture educational exhibit is currently seeking a permanent home where it can be on public display. All of Dancer's work to date is documented in his book, DESPERATE PRAYERS: A Quest for Sense in a Senseless Time. A father of two, Daniel is adept at working with adults and children of all ages. Daniel is also a singer-songwriter whose music is featured on his first CD called Wild is the Way recorded with his band, Skysight. Dancer is the founder of Rowena Wilds, a 200 acre, eco-community near Hood River, Oregon where he lives in his Earth-sheltered home built of recycled and Earth friendly materials. (see short version of this bio).
Sky Art & Quantum Physics
We all long for tribe, for belonging and wholeness. This longing is at the heart of the human experience. It is this very longing that creates and recreates the universe every single day. This need to be complete, to be whole, lives in all things and is the essence I think in the magic of the giant collaborative, living paintings for the sky. As each sky art image nears completion there comes a moment when it becomes a metaphor for how change happens, for how wholeness manifests . . . for creation itself. Consider physics for a moment: a critical mass of electrons arise out of chaos, align and bond together and . . .viola' . . . an atom is born. Physicists call this moment Phase Transition. On the ground, in the art, everyone can sense this sudden field of created energy. It is evident in the joy and magic written on every face. “Phase Transition”? I call it simply L O V E . Isn’t this transition, this shift, exactly what we need in the world right now!? In the end . . . since this is temporary art made of people not electrons . . . every image dissolves back in to the chaos from whence it came, the experience lodged in the heart of every participant . . . operating instructions perhaps, for the future.
I am in deep gratitude to the thousands of students and teachers in many lands who were willing to go outside in all sorts of weather to embody my vision. Without them, this art could not happen and cannot continue. Thank You! You keep my world spinning!