Looking east toward Coronado National Forest

Looking east toward Coronado National Forest

Our Story

What was to become the Genius Loci Foundation started with a "for sale" sign posted on a piece of land in the path of development along the Sutherland Wash near Oro Valley, Arizona. Now, Genius Loci Foundation is a not for profit 501c3, who is prepared to expand our mission to restore not only our riparian habitat but to go further.

When David Christiana and Kristie Atwood discovered that the 7.48 parcel was zoned for up to 9 houses they pooled their resources (a.k.a. begged and borrowed) and purchased the property with stewardship as their motivation rather than profit. Now, more than a decade later, the land is paid off and the next phase of work has begun. Under the management of the GLF this small but critical piece of riparian habitat is seen as a keystone step toward a protected wildlife corridor connecting Catalina State Park and Coronado National Forest.

Wash Nest, Decemeber 2012

Wash Nest, Decemeber 2012

Then there's the other half of the equation.  David is a professor at the University of Arizona, School of Art and Kristie is an award winning Book Artist. Both of them consider art, nature, and education to be symbiotic forces at play in the realms of beauty and awe, respectful inquiry and wonder. Something David only half jokingly calls "awe-wakening."

From the cat claw, looking south down the path, toward Pusche Ridge

From the cat claw, looking south down the path, toward Pusche Ridge

However, it was their friend and architect, Brian Andrews, who first envisioned the simple yet inspired GLF Museum of Art. Why not a small, logical building set next to David's favorite cat claw? No cars crossing the wash, just the walking path that's already here and a few selective sculptures in sync with the spirit of the place. Brian's vision lead to drawings, which fueled the dream.

 

Wash Nest, August 2013

Wash Nest, August 2013

Wash Nest, February 2013

Wash Nest, February 2013