Artist will present project to preserve natural places at Sierra Club meeting March 1

Photo courtesy of Scott Varn
Photo courtesy of Scott Varn

Press release from artist Scott Varn:

Official launch of organization dedicated to preserving natural and historic places in the American landscape

“Preserving A Picturesque America”, a special project begun by artist Scott Varn of Asheville, NC has spent the past several years retracing the steps of artists and writers who created a series of travel logs from the 1870’s entitled “Picturesque America”. These travel logs were written and illustrated to rekindle national pride by sharing with post Civil War America the many amazing natural and historic treasures in our country. Varn discovered these long forgotten travel logs while searching for wood engravings and prints of Western North Carolina and discovered The French Broad River was one of their favorite picturesque destinations, noting, at that time, “what will become of these irreplaceable natural spaces”. With his love for art, history, and literature, this sparked an idea for an ambitious and powerful project. With further research into the creation of Picturesque America, it was realized that these played a special role in promoting the importance of conservation and preservation in the mindset of the American people at a time when it was desperately needed. Inspired by these early adventure artists and writers, Scott Varn and his family began to travel to these same destinations from over 140 years ago, documenting these landscapes and their current level of preservation through illustration, photography, and writing. They have discovered that many places have some level of protection, while others are in a state of peril or no longer in existence.

With hundreds of locations found so far, PAPA plans to recreate this travel log series in the spirit of the original, to illustrate the present state of places deemed picturesque so many years ago. Eventually the serials will become a series of books. Art and literature speaks to the soul – and it is their hope that recreating these travel logs will rekindle efforts to forever protect our significant natural and cultural treasures.

Join Scott on March 1st at 7:00 for a special presentation at the monthly Sierra Club meeting being held at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 1 Edwin Place, Asheville, NC as he shares what has been discovered so far with stories, photography, art, and more. See how this has inspired Scott Varn, his family, and others to answer a call to action to join efforts to save these natural and cultural treasures to forever remain on the American landscape.

To learn more about Preserving A Picturesque America, visit their website at

About Virginia Daffron
Managing editor, lover of mountains, native of WNC. Follow me @virginiadaffron

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