Great Basin National Park AIR

Below are the pieces I completed for the Darwin Lambert Artist in Residence Program at Great Basin National Park. Great Basin Sky has been donated to the park as part of the residency.  You can find all the patterns here on Ravelry. See below for my artist's statement.

Great Basin Sky 


Desert Colors 

Rose Trellis

Dropping a Stone in Lake Stella

Pine Needles

September Leaves

Pinyon Nut 

Aspen Leaf

Coyote Willow 


Red-winged Blackbird 

Strawberry Fire 

Leave No Trace

Playing with Horsetails


Wild Rose Hips 

Mountain Mahogany

Pocket Mouse Topsy-Turvey

Virginia Catherall 
Statement of Purpose for Residency
Great Basin National Park

As a knitting and textile artist, my work has a close affinity to the land. I currently live and work in Salt Lake City, Utah and am inspired by the incredible, rugged and sublime landscape around Great Salt Lake and the Great Basin. My art echoes the geography of my place; a type of knitting “terroir” that brings my home into the forefront of my life. Many of my works focus on interpreting the science, geography, and biology of an ecosystem within the traditional craft of knitting. And because of this study and practice, I have come to hone my thinking about environmentalism, conservation, and preservation of the land. 

In 2016 I was the Artist-In-Residence for Great Basin National Park where I was able to continue my exploration of the land through my art. The opportunity to live and work in Great Basin National Park and be surrounded by the natural beauty of the area, to be granted solitude and time for thought, was certainly the most significant part of the experience for me. Within the term of residency, I was able to design and knit completely new works that are uniquely inspired by the Great Basin; whether it be from the smallest animal to the most sweeping landscape. But for a knitting artist, the incredible inspiration was accompanied by opportunities to teach and knit with the community. Being able to talk with visitors and residents, learn their experiences and viewpoints while creating art and knitting only added to the artistic endeavor. I was able to host workshops for visitors and school classes, not only to teach knitting and craft but to also teach about inspiration of the land and how to translate that into any medium of art. 
Many artworks and designs flourished during my Artist-In-Residency. I was able to create more than a dozen artworks that all tell a visual story of Great Basin National Park utilizing indigenous natural motifs and patterns that emphasized the diversity of nature and people of the Park. To inform the works, I spent copious amounts of time hiking, sketching, and learning from the amazing flora and fauna of the area. 

The final piece donated to Great Basin National Park was inspired by the dark night sky. “Great Basin Sky” is a knitted art piece that is also a utilitarian object; a wearable art cowl. A pattern is available for the Park to published for other visitors to be able to knit their own version of the artwork. And in knitting a work inspired by the area, it is hoped that the knitter/crafter will learn, appreciate, and come to understand one element of a complex ecosystem.

The act of creating something so entwined with the land itself sparks a stewardship and urge to conserve that land. I hope that others will be inspired to enjoy, conserve, and steward the Park. In addition, I aspire to help visitors think about the traditional medium of knitting in a new way through not only viewing my art and craft but through making their own work of art–made possible through a published knitting pattern. Through craft and art, I hope to engender an appreciation, love, and wonder of the ecology and history of Great Basin National Park for all visitors.


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