Sky Gallery
Who We Are
Daniel Dancer
(newspaper article by Julie Johnson in the Bend Bulletin)

Artist Creations an Apology to Earth

Daniel Dancer's art is not collectable. Its not even permanent, except in photographs and the minds of those who view it.
Dancer is an artist of ecology. He builds artwork out of found materials in the wild, then lets nature slowly reclaim the pieces. His art is a way to give thanks for the beauty of Earth, Dancer says, and a healing apology to Earth for the damage humankind has wrought upon the planet.
Dancer will present a slide show and discussion of his work at the Bend Environmental Center, this coming Thursday night at 7pm. Admission is $7.00.

The presentation, Declaring Sacred Ground, is what Dancer calls “a guided slide experience for our apocalyptic times.”
That phrase would well describe his artwork, too. Dancer builds his art upon the scarred places of Earth, like a plowed native prairie in Kansas, a clearcut or a Utah open pit mine. They are ways of “putting prayer into form” he says.

The pieces often evoke a sense of loss as in the case of “Beluga Peacemaker” in the Arctic Circle. The sculpture features a driftwood beluga whale skeleton hanging from a wooden frame with prayer flags and feathers. Other pieces point out the desolation and destruction of a landscape. “Restoration Mound,” built on the edge of an open pit mine in Utah, features a hand-patted mound of barren dirt which buries the flywheel of an old engine, rimmed with stones and feathers and topped with a tipi of rusty truck parts enclosing a plastic spoon.

Dancer is also a photographer, author, educator and advocate of sustainable living. He founded Rowena Wilds,  a 200 acre eco-community near Hood River where he lives in the model earth-sheltered home built of recycled and earth-friendly materials. And Dancer conducts week-long artist-in-residence programs in elementary schools, where he works with students to create one of his specialties -- art for the sky, or giant works of art  best viewed from above. During his schools visits , Dancer teaches students about the history of art for the sky and the significance of the animals and symbols chosen for the art. The students become part of 200-feet-long, salmon, feathers, trees or symbols constructed on sporting fields and photographed from an airplane or helicopter. Its a way for them to “become the change they wish to see in the world” as Gandhi said, and teaches them the importance of learning to see "the big picture."

 Photographs of Dancer's artwork and art for the sky constructions can be viewed at the Web site inconcertwithnature.com. His images and stories have appeared in galleries and magazines across the world.