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Terri Bocklund

Isle Royale National Park Artist-in-Residence

July 2013

Terri Bocklund had no inkling of the opportunity that would unfold ahead of her when she visited Isle Royale National Park during the summer of 2011 for a week of backpacking, birding, and kayaking with her husband. Inspired by her experience, she has been composing guitar solos, guitar duets, and songs since that time. The suite of works is called “Of Lake and Isle.”

Based on her compositions and the way they interpret the island through music, she was chosen by jury as an Artist in Residence on the remote northwoods island, and Ms. Bocklund completed the suite during her Residency.

Terri and her husband were able to share a few hours with Rolf and Candy Peterson at Bangsund Cabin, which serves as the summer headquarters of the 55 year-old Isle Royale Wolf-Moose Study. Rolf served that study as lead scientist for over 40 years, and gave Terri and Curt a guided tour of the "bone yard," which is the largest collection of antlered moose skulls in the world.

Rolf Peterson is the author of many books, including The Wolves of Isle Royale: A Broken Balance. Candy Peterson's book, A View From the Wolf's Eye, is an honest and delightful account of being a wife, research assistant, mother, and philosopher-in-residence as she walked alongside her adventuring husband through their lifelong study of wolves and moose in Michigan and Alaska.

Isle Royale National Park is located in the northwestern section of Lake Superior. The park consists of one main island surrounded by over 400 smaller islands. The area has seen many changes since French fur traders named it in honor of their king in 1669. Today Isle Royale National Park remains an isolated wilderness, a roadless backcountry which is home to wolves, moose, second growth forests, refreshing lakes, and rugged scenic shorelines.

Isle Royale National Park’s Artist-in-Residence program provides professional artists with the opportunity to become a part of a long-established tradition of artists in the National Parks. Artists have had a long-standing influence on the formation, expansion, and direction of America’s National Parks. These artists translate the park’s purpose into creations that bring other people new insights, enjoyment, and understanding.

The Artist in Residence program at Isle Royale provided Ms. Bocklund and her husband, Curt Kowalski, with a three week immersion in Isle Royale’s wilderness environment. Their accomodations were a rustic cabin, an outhouse, and a canoe. The creative opportunity allowed time to connect to the many moods that only a Northwoods wilderness can provide. During the residency, Ms. Bocklund and her husband (also a guitarist), shared her original music in public concerts.

A jury composed of a park representative and professionals from various disciplines selected Ms. Bocklund’s work based on artistic integrity, her statement of purpose, ability to reside in a wilderness environment, willingness to donate a finished piece of work inspired on the island, and ability to relate to and interpret the park. Her work was chosen from nearly 80 other applications which were submitted by artists of all types from around the world.