Photo by Tabitha Graves, USGS - Glacier Field Station

  Huckleberry-hunting, my boy! Would you like to study compostion with Mozart? Painting with Michelangelo? Study huckleberry-hunting with Thoreau, it's the same thing! 

The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail,  Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee


I was born in Mt. Pleasant, Utah, and grew up in the small logging village of McCall, Idaho, surrounded by the mountainous Payette lake watershed. My fondest childhood memories were picking huckleberries in the forest. This childhood love of collecting continues with me to this day. The landscapes I live in become my studio, but rarely do I use them as subject matter nor do I draw or paint in them. Instead, I wander in and observe, spending years collecting indigenous natural materials to create "new landscapes" and new forms. 

I attended Utah State University, graduating in 1987 with a BFA in Drawing. I also received the University’s Robins Award for Achievement of the Year, and an anonymous gift of $500 to further my education in art. To this end, I attended graduate school at the University of Iowa, and earned both an MA and an MFA (1990) in Drawing/Painting. 

Since 1993, I have maintained an active exhibition schedule, showing drawings, sculptures, and numerous large-scale, site-specific, place-based installations at venues throughout the U.S. 



Home: 928.213.8505 

Cell: 928.525.4919

Address: 310 W. Pine Ave, Flagstaff, AZ. 86001


Solo Exhibitions

Collaborative Projects

  • 2018         The Edge Effect: re-Imagining the East Jemez Landscape, collaborative installation with  Kathleen Brennan, inside the historic fire tower, East Jemez Mountains, Bandelier National Monument, NM
  • 2016        Composition for Forests, Collaborative installation & performance with Janice ChenJu  Chiang, Ashurst Recital Hall, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff
  • 2012        The River Floweth On, Collaborative Installation with Tiffany Carbonneau, Greiner Art  Gallery, Hanover College, Hanover, IN
  • 2007        Wandering Headless Through Eternity, Collaborative installation with Erica Damman, Cochise College, Douglas, AZ
  • 2006        Coaxing the Waters, Pocket Gallery, Art Museum, Northern Arizona University,  Flagstaff

Invitational Group Shows

  • 2018        Intimate Expanse: Voices for the Colorado Plateau, Installation shown: The Horizon becomes a Line, Museum of Northern Arizona, Flagstaff
  • 2015        Stem City Arts, one installation shown: Overburden, Coconino Center for the Arts, Flagstaff, AZ 
  • 2014        16 + 16, two diptych drawings shown, WSG gallery, Ann Arbor, MI
  • 2013        Banned Books: Artistic Reflections, installation shown: Land of Reclamation, The 410  Project, Mankato, MN
  • 2007         Reflections, two drawings shown, Brigham City Museum of Art & History, UT
  • 2007        Animal Nature: Works on a Theme, one drawing shown, The 410 Project, Mankato, MN
  • 2006        Dangerous Liaisons: Mining the Colorado Plateau, sculpture shown: Seasons,  Coconino Community College, Flagstaff, AZ
  • 2005        20th Anniversary Sculpture Show, installation shown: Conversing with Coyote,  Buckham Gallery, Flint, MI
  • 2001        The Saint Francis Art Exhibit, installation shown: Institution of the Crib, Coconino Center for the Arts, Flagstaff, AZ
  • 2000        Windows in Art, one drawing shown, Brigham City Museum of Art & History, Brigham City, UT
  • 1999        Enclave & Precinct, Two-person show with Deanna Sperka, one installation shown,   Buckham Gallery, Flint, MI 
  • 1998         In the Dark, one installation shown, Buckham Gallery, Flint, MI
  • 1998         Art and the Natural World, one installation shown, Slusser Gallery, University of  Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • 1997         University of Michigan Art Faculty Exhibit, one installation shown, University of     Michigan Art Museum, Ann Arbor
  • 1996         Group Consequences, two installations shown, Matrix Gallery, Ann Arbor

Juried Group Shows

  • 2017       Breaking the Barrier, performance/installation shown: You eat horse through my carrots, Coconino Center for the Arts, Flagstaff, AZ
  • 2013-14  SculptEVV 2013-14 Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition, outdoor sculpture shown: NAFTA's Gift, Evansville, IN
  • 2011        Border Art Biennial 2010, installation shown: Land of Reclamation, Museo de Arte  Juarez, Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, MX
  • 2010        Border Art Biennial 2010, installation shown: Arizona Miner, El Paso Museum of Art, TX
  • 2010        Boomtown: Redefining the Southwest, installation shown: Conversing with Coyote, Gallery 100, Arizona State University, Tempe
  • 2009        Of the Earth, Installation shown: Land of Reclamation, Foundry Art Centre, St. Charles, MO
  • 2008        22nd Annual Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition, outdoor sculpture shown: Brassing Out, Turchin Center for the Visual Arts, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC
  • 2007         Being Open: 30 Years, 30 Artists, 30 Careers, installation shown: Conversing with Coyote, Urban Institute for Contemporary Art, Grand Rapids, MI
  • 2005         Art Exhibition for the 2004 Artists Grant Winners, one installation shown, Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, AZ
  • 2000          Draw the Line V  Exhibition, two drawings shown, Phoenix Center for Community Arts,  Phoenix, AZ
  • 2000          Autobiography Exhibition, one drawing shown, Appleton Art Center, Appleton, WI
  • 1997          Installments IV, Exhibition at Rochester Municipal Park, one outdoor sculpture shown, Paint Creek Center for the Arts, Rochester, MI
  • 1996          Toward the Millennium:  Art, Technology, and the Transformation of                   Community Art Exhibition, one installation shown: A New World Burial, Michigan State University and East Lansing
  • 1996          Artists Listen to the Earth Exhibition, one drawing shown, Marsh Art Gallery, University of Richmond, VA
  • 1996          Flora '96 Exhibition, one installation shown, Chicago Botanic Gardens, Chicago, IL
  • 1994          Installments I, Exhibition at Rochester Municipal Park, one outdoor sculpture shown, Paint Creek Center for the Arts, Rochester, MI


  • 1990                 MFA in Drawing/Painting, University of Iowa, Iowa City
  • 1989                 MA in Drawing/Painting, University of Iowa, Iowa City
  • 1987                 BFA in Drawing, Utah State University, Logan

Awards and Honors

  • 2018                 Viola Award, Excellence in the Innovation for the Arts, with Ann Collier, Davona Blackhorse and Travis Iurato for Hope & Trauma in a Poisoned Land, also a Finalist for Excellence in the Visual Arts for You eat horse through my carrots, Flagstaff Arts Council, Flagstaff, AZ
  • 2017                 Viola Award, Excellence in the Performing Arts, Composition for Forests, also a Finalist for Excellence in the Visual Arts for Composition for Forests, Flagstaff Arts Council, Flagstaff,  AZ
  • 2016                 Artist Research and Development Grant, for Composition for Forests, Arizona  Commission on the Arts, $5000
  • 2015                 Puffin Foundation LTD, for Composition for Forests, $1000
  • 2014                 Viola Award, Excellence in the Visual Arts, Virga: the Hunt for Water, Flagstaff Cultural Partners, Flagstaff,  AZ
  • 2013                 3rd Place for NAFTA's Gift, SculptEVV 2013-14 Outdoor Sculpture Competition  &  Exhibition, Evansville, IN, $1000, (Juror, Lisa Freiman, Curator/Chair of the  Contemporary Art Department, Indianapolis Museum of Art)
  • 2011                 Money for Topics in Art: Ecological/Cultural Genocide in Arizona, sponsored  by the Martin-Springer Institute, $2000, and the Dean's Office of the College  of Arts & Letters, $5000, Northern Arizona University
  • 2008                 Martin & Doris Rosen Patron's Award for Brassing Out, 22nd Rosen Outdoor  Sculpture Competition & Exhibition, Turchin Center for the Visual Arts, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC, $5000, (Juror, Sarah Clark-Langager,  Director of Western Gallery, Western Washington University, Bellingham,  WA
  • 2007                 Collaborator/Faculty Advisor for Erica Damman's Hooper Undergraduate Research Grant, Northern Arizona University, $3800
  • 2006                  Teaching Grant for Topics in Art:  Site-Specific Installation Art: Water in the  Southwest, College of Arts and Letters, Northern Arizona University, $6000
  • 2006                  Best of Show, “No War!” 8th Annual CSP Earth Day Exhibition, Bisbee, AZ
  • 2004                  Artist Grant, Contemporary Forum/Phoenix Art Museum, $1500
  • 2003                  Artist Projects Grant, Arizona Commission on the Arts, $5000
  • 2000                  Best of Show, Draw the Line V, Phoenix Center for Community Arts, Phoenix,      
  • 1999                  William & Dorothy Yeck Award for Temple of the Sybil, Miami University Outdoor  Sculpture Competition, $4000
  • 1996                 Creative Artist's Grant, Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs, and the Arts   Foundation of Michigan for A Path, that Joins and Divides, $7000
  • 1992                  Artist Mini-Grant, Iowa Arts Council
  • 1990                  Artist Grant, University of Iowa Fine Arts Council
  • 1987                  Anonymous Gift for Continuing Studies in Art, Utah State University
  • 1987                  Robins Award, Achievement of the Year, Utah State University
  • 1987                  Student of the Year, Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, Utah State University


  • 2018                 Artist in Residence, BoxoPROJECTS, Joshua Tree, CA
  • 2017                 Artist in Residence, The Volland Store, Alma, KS
  • 2017                 Artist Retreat, Kane Ranch, Grand Canyon Trust, House Rock Valley, North Rim of  Grand Canyon
  • 2017                 Artist in Residence, Taft-Nicholson Environmental Humanities Education Center, Centennial Valley, Lakeview, MT
  • 2017                 Artist in Residence, East Jemez Landscape Future, Bandelier National Monument, East Jemez Mountains, NM
  • 2016                 Artist in Residence, Wrangell Mountains Center, AK
  • 2014-16           Artist-in-Residence, Flagstaff Arboretum in conjunction with the Southwest   Experimental Garden Array (SEGA), Flagstaff, AZ
  • 2015                 Artist in Residence, Bandelier National Monument, NM
  • 2012-14           Artist in Residence, Department of Biological Sciences, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ
  • 2011                 Artist in Residence, Grand Canyon National Park, South Rim
  • 2008                 Artist in Residence, Flagstaff Arts and Leadership Academy, Flagstaff, AZ

Curatorial & Other Professional Service

  • 2016-17           Exhibition Curator and Project Committee member, Hope & Trauma in a Poisoned Land, Coconino Center for the Arts, Flagstaff, (Sponsored by the Flagstaff Arts Council, Navajo Chapter House, National Endowment for the Arts)
  • 2013-15           Exhibition Curator and Project Committee member, Fires of Change, Coconino Center for the Arts, Flagstaff, (Sponsored by the Southwest Fire Science Consortium, Landscape Conservation Initiative, National Endowment for the Arts)
  • 2012                 Exhibition Curator, Beyond the Border: the Wall, the People and the Land, Coconino Center for the Arts, Flagstaff, AZ
  • 2010                 Exhibition Curator, Touching at a Distance, Coconino Center for the Arts, Flagstaff
  • 2010-17            Exhibitions Committee member, Flagstaff Cultural Partners/Coconino Center for the Arts, Flagstaff, AZ
  • 2005                 Exhibition Curator/Coordinator, This Could Be Huge (self-portraits by Flagstaff Artists), Beasley Art Gallery, Northern Arizona University
  • 2002                 Visual Arts Grant Advisory Panelist, Arizona Commission on the Arts, Phoenix
  • 2001                 Exhibition Curator, Third International Conference of Art Culture Nature, Northern Arizona University, Coconino Center for the Arts, Flagstaff, AZ
  • 1997                 Visual Arts Grant Advisory Panelist, Arts Foundation of Michigan, Detroit
  • 1988/1989       Intern/Coordinator, GRACE (Grass Roots Art and Community Effort), West Glover, VT

Related Teaching Experience

  • 2017                 Guest Lecturer in Bjorn Krondorfer's "Border, Identities, Social Repair" class, Martin-Springer Institute's cultural encounter program with students from Ben Gurion University in the Negev and Northern Arizona University
  • 2012-17           Guest Lecturer each semester in Stefan Sommer's "Global Sustainability" class, Northern Arizona University                        
  • 2014/16           Guest Lecturer, Grand Canyon Semester, Northern Arizona University
  • 2015                Semester-long visiting artist for Dr. Kimberly Curtis’ "Just Food" class, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ. Designed and directed Your Salad Undressed, an art action on the NAU campus exploring migrant farm labor and food justice issues
  • 2014                Semester-long visiting artist for Dr. Nora Timmerman’s "Art-Making, Place-Shaping" class, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ. Designed and directed Anita Station, an art action along the Grand Canyon Railway exploring uranium mining within Grand Canyon 
  • 2012                 Visiting Artist at Hanover College, Hanover, IN 
  • 2012                 Guest Lecturer, Presented eleven lectures at Hanover College, Hanover, IN; Indiana University Southeast, New Albany, IN; Bellarmine University, Louisville, KY; West Street Art Center, Madison, IN
  • 2009                 Visiting Artist, Department of Art, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC
  • 2008                 Visiting Artist, Eastern Oregon University, LaGrande, OR
  • 2007                 Visiting Artist, South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, Rapid City
  • 2004                 Visiting Artist, Minnesota State University Mankato, MN
  • 2004                 Visiting Artist, Franciscan University, Clinton, IA
  • 2004                 Visiting Artist, Kendall College of Art & Design, Grand Rapids, MI
  • 2003                 Visiting Artist, Department of Art, Adams State College, Alamosa, CO
  • 2002                 Inaugural Lecturer for Happenings in Humanities Series, Sponsored by Dept. of Humanities and Philosophy, Utah Valley State College, Orem, UT
  • 2002                 Guest Lecturer in Christine Weigel’s “Art and Activism” Class, Dept. of Humanities and Philosophy, Utah Valley State College, Orem, UT
  • 2002                 Visiting Artist, Department of Art, Indiana State University, Terre Haute, IN
  • 2001                 Guest Lecturer, Alaska Design Forum Visiting Lecture Series, sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts, Lectured in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Homer, and Juneau
  • 1999                 Visiting Artist, Department of Art, Miami University, Oxford, OH
  • 1999                 Visiting Artist, Department of Art, University of Alaska Anchorage
  • 1998                 Guest Lecturer in Professor Sandra Lubarsky’s Master of Liberal Studies “Sustainable Communities” Class, Dept. of Humanities, Arts, and Religion, Northern Arizona University
  • 1998                 Visiting Artist, Dept. of Art and Art History, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI
  • 1997                 Guest Lecturer, School of Landscape Architecture, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg
  • 1997                 Visiting Artist, Dept. of Art and Art History, Virginia Tech University, Blacksburg
  • 1997                 Visiting Artist, Dept. of Art and Art History, St. Mary's College, Notre Dame, IN
  • 1996                 Visiting Artist, University of Michigan Biological Research Station, Douglas Lake
  • 1995                 Visiting Artist, Dept. of Art, Cornell College, Mt. Vernon, IA
  • 1991                 Visiting Artist, Dept. of Art, Whitworth College, Spokane, WA

Teaching Experience

  • 2014-               Figure Drawing Instructor, Coconino Center for the Arts, Flagstaff, AZ
  • 2004-11           Lecturer, School of Fine Art, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff
  • 2001-02           Artist-Teacher, San Francisco Art Institute’s Summer MFA Program
  • 2001-02           Artist-Teacher, MFA in Visual Art Program, Vermont College of Norwich University, Montpelier, VT
  • 1996                 Visiting Art teacher (Site-specific Installation), Community High School, Ann Arbor, MI
  • 1995-98            Adjunct Assistant Professor, School of Art and Design, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 
  • 1989                  Basic Drawing Instructor, School of Art and Art History, University of Iowa
  • 1988-90            Teaching Assistant, School of Art and Art History, University of Iowa


  •    -                     Nadja Sayej, "'A time for guerrilla DIY': how the Mexico-US border became a hub for protest art," The Guardian, Feb 13, 2017                   
  •    -                     Corina Vanek, "FALA students decorate border wall with butterflies," Arizona Daily Sun, Feb 4, 2017, pages A1, A6                    
  •    -                     Diandra Markgraf, "Nature, fire, love and death: Art Installation over four concerts explores environmental themes," Arizona Daily Sun, Sept. 18, 2016, pages B1, B6 
  •                          Diandra Markgraf, "Burn is Beautiful: Fires of Change Observes the forest for the trees," Flagstaff Live!, Sept. 17-23, 2015, pages 14-17
  •    -                     Andrea Luque Karam, "Artist Shawn Skabelund comments on society through his artwork," The Lumberjack, Apr. 30-May 6, page 26
  •    -                     Seth Muller, "The weight of culpability: Martin-Springer Institute welcomes new art installation on immigration and a visiting author on the Holocaust," Arizona Daily Sun, January 25, 2015, pages B1-2
  •    -                     Diandra Markgraf, "Fires of Change: Art and Science join forces on the North Rim," Arizona Daily Sun, Oct 12, 2014, pages A1, A8
  •    -                     Diandra Markgraf, "Drawing Fire: Flagstaff Arts Council organizes in-depth artistic study of wildland blazes, Arizona Daily Sun, July 6, 2014
  •    -                     Sarah Gianelli, "CEREBRALLY-CHARGED," the Noise, April 2014, page 17 
  •    -                     Betsey Bruner, "Interconnected Truth," Flaglive!, Oct. 17-23, 2013
  •    -                     Betsey Bruner, "Landscape as art studio," Arizona Daily Sun, Sept. 15, 2013, pages B1, B7  
  •    -                     Roger McBain, "Irony ingrained in artist's commentary on Whirlpool, NAFTA, imported refrigerators," Evansville Courier & Press,, June 13, 2013
  •    -                     Constance DeVereaux, "Grand Canyon Installation," KUYI-Hopi Radio, August 2012
  •     -                    Rene Westbrook, "Installation art on exhibit at Park Headquarters, Grand Canyon News, Sept. 4, 2012 
  •     -                    Ryan Williams, "Park Headquarters hosts art installation," Grand Canyon News, June 13, 2012, pages 1, 4B
  •     -                    Rene Westbrook, "Artist tackles uranium mining, Grand Canyon News, May 18, 2011, pages 1, 3B
  •     -                    Nicole Osinski, "Two artists collaborate on exhibit at Hanover College," RoundAbout, Febrauary, 2012, pages 20-21
  •      Gregory Byard, "Excavating Destiny, A Conversation with Shawn Skabelund," Sculpture, May 2009, pages 48-53 
  •       Betsey Bruner, "Branching out," Arizona Daily Sun, April 25, 2009
  •      -                   Troy Farah, "Professor's art challenges people's perceptions," The Lumberjack, April 23, 2009
  •       - Abena Songbird, "Stigmata at Wounded Knee", Dakota/Lakota Journal, Oct. 12-19, 2007, pages 1-2
  •       - Michael Gray Frick, "Shawn of a new era," Flagstaff Live!, April 15-21, 2004
  •       - Virginia Rose Kane, “Drawn to It,” On the town, March 2004, page 26
  •       - Michael Gray Frick, “Shawn Skabelund, The Great Unknown,” Flagstaff Live!, January 8-14, 2004
  •       - Libby Casey, “Ecological Art,” Alaska Edition, KUAC-FM, Fairbanks, AK, June 4, 2001
  •       - Theresa Bierar, "Artist Shawn Skabelund," Interview with Shawn Skabelund, WebCast - Inside NAU, The TV Show, April 20, 2001
  •       - Sonia Yanez, “Skabelund Wins National Art Competition,” NAU Today, September 6, 1999
  •       - Michael Conti, “State of disgrace: Artist sends message about Alaska's environment,” The Northern Light, March 30- April 5, 1999
  •       - Paulette Manson, “Show explores human-nature bonds,” Anchorage Daily News, March 28, 1999
  •       - Martha Keller, “Review,” Sculpture, 1999, pages 63-64
  •       - Tamar R. Charney, “Art With Corn,” KUOM-FM, Ann Arbor, MI, August, 1997
  •       - Martha Keller, “Remnants:  The Glove as Icon,” The Ann Arbor Observer, November, 1996
  •       - Alisha Hamilton, “Local Art Exhibit Questions Over Development: Rape of Nature Subject of New Installation,” The Daily Universe, September 3, 1996
  •       - Kurt Germundson, “An Art of Origins and Recycling,” Tractor, Vol. 3 (1995), pages 48-49


Conference Papers and Talks

  • 2018                 Fires of Change at the Law, Planning and Wildfire in the Wildland-Urban Interface: The Future of Government and Governance of Disaster in the West Symposium, College of Law, University of Idaho, Boise
  • 2015                 Panel Moderator of Border Interventions, 25th International Sculpture Conference: New Frontiers in Sculpture, Phoenix, AZ
  • 1999                 Environmental Place-Specific Installations: Art Which Questions Our Mark on Locale, Its History, and Its Use, The Second International Conference of Art Culture Nature, University of Washington, Seattle