Wilderness as Canvas

If you are one of those people who makes the decision to go out into the world and follow your passion, follow your heart, you’re probably an artist, whether you know it or not.  -Kevin Abstract

Many folks say leadership is an art, not a science. And thus, whether you realize it or not, you’re at art school.

Like other artists going to their studio, we go to the wilderness. But this thing isn’t about paint, clay, bronze, or canvas, we are the medium. This thing we call a NOLS course is a walking breathing sweating crying temporary piece of art. The individuals are the shapes and colors. Our language is how the shapes relate. The wilderness is the canvas and the bus in and out the frame.

This thing we call a NOLS course is a space to play and create the social dynamic and culture we want for the duration. What comes of this experience is entirely up to us. We have agency. We are the artists and the art.

The point of this course, like some art, is to discover what is possible in this world. The point is to play, create and find out what is socially possible of us as individuals, us as a group, and us interacting with the canvas itself, the wilderness. It is also, more importantly, about enjoying the process of creation itself. About having fun and playing during this incredibly short time.

The future of our world depends on us first knowing what is possible and then having the courage to create the world we want. To be the change we want to see.

If painters are creators of paintings, and sculptors are creators of sculptures, then leaders are creators of cultures.

Again, this is an art school.
Welcome to NOLS.