Stevenson’s commitment to new experiences has introduced her to the saltwater marshes of Savannah, Georgia, life in an Atco trailer on the North Slope of Alaska and solitude in the woods of Ester, Alaska. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in foundry arts from the University of Minnesota-Minneapolis in 2002, and a Master of Fine Arts from UAF in 2008. She was immediately drawn to “The Art of Fire” project in part because of her long-time fascination with fire.
“Every year my family would volunteer to help with a controlled burn of prairie ecosystems in southern Wisconsin. Fire is a necessary chemical reaction for the existence of life on Earth,” she said.
Stevenson has often turned to nature and human interaction with nature as inspiration for her work: In Georgia she turned to “a whole new ecosystem of saltwater marshes, blue crabs and sand dunes” and her graduate studies at UAF focused on Native arts. She had no trouble finding beauty in the process of fire management.
“I enjoyed watching the training exercises of the smoke jumping firefighting crews,” she said. “I watched planes drop people, tools and even a four-wheeler out of planes in coordinated sky dances.”