L.C. Macalla tells stories in words, photographs, illustrations, mosaics and seeds. She has a B.A. in Environmental Studies and an M.A. in Native American Religious Traditions, both from UC Santa Barbara. She has taught writing and World Religions at Great Basin College in Nevada. Through her web journal, SomewhereOutWest.us she explores what it’s like living in a place where jackrabbits often outnumber people. Much of her creative work focuses on revitalizing the Traditional Ecological Knowledge of her multi-racial ancestors.
L.C.’s current project follows the epic journey once made by Chinook salmon from the mouth of the Columbia to the headwaters of the Owyhee River in northern Nevada. A key part of this project is a series of sixteen mosaic fish with a piece of spawning gravel at the base of their tail — a talisman calling them home to the river of their birth. These salmon represent the sixteen major tributaries that an Owyhee Chinook would pass on their way upstream. Collecting these gravels has taken L.C. over a thousand miles to the far-reaches of a vast watershed — including the eight dams that blocked the Owyhee salmon from their historic range. Can art help bring the salmon back?