Art

See HCN’s best illustrations from 2021

Artists helped us visualize the complex subjects our journalists explored.

 

Sometimes a good picture really is worth a thousand words, especially when it comes to illuminating complex stories about history and community, or topics like isolation and health. This year, HCN’s illustrators helped us tackle some of the more complex subjects our journalists explored.

Amando Veve/High Country News

Amando Veve’s intricate, whimsical illustrations have accompanied Heard Around the West all year long. His approach to this book review was no less stunning.

Lauren Crow/High Country News

Lauren Crow’s finely drawn portraits accompany most of our magazine Q&As, including this conversation between Kyle T. Mays and Alaina E. Roberts, in which the two scholars dig into the complex relationship between Black and Native people.

Hokyoung Kim/High Country News

Hokyoung Kim’s moody, atmospheric illustrations underscored the depth of the hostility and isolation that Western public health officers have faced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Steph Littlebird/High Country News

Camas root springs to life from the charred ground in Jessica Douglas’ essay on conducting a cultural burn on ancestral land. The artist, Steph Littlebird (Grande Ronde, Kalapuya), is a Siletz tribal member and Kalapuya descendant.

Cristiana Couceiro/High Country News

The puzzling jumble of figures in Cristiana Couceiro’s photo illustrations exemplify the tangled plot behind the “Ghost-Cattle Scam,” or “Cattlegate,” which describes how a desperate cattle rancher tricked Tyson into lending him millions of dollars.

Krystal Quiles/High Country News

Rahsaan “New York” Thomas wrote to us from the inside of California’s San Quentin State Prison, revealing the miserable overcrowding there that has proven at least as dangerous as COVID-19. Illustrator Krystal Quiles takes us deep into the prison’s claustrophobic (and deadly) close quarters.

Abbey Andersen/High Country News

Suzanne Simard turned Western science upside-down when she confirmed what traditional Indigenous knowledge has known for eons: that trees can, and do, communicate with each other. Abbey Andersen illustrates this with her own upside-down composition, which shows how trees of different species share resources through an intricate network of mycorrhizal fungi.

Greg A. Robinson

Greg A. Robinson, a member of the Chinook Indian Nation, works primarily in natural materials such as wood and stone and bone, but his striking graphic paintings captured the enduring soul of his nation, which has been pushing for federal tribal recognition for over 120 years.

Jolene Yazzie/High Country News

The acclaimed series Reservation Dogs helped bring Indigenous filmmaking to the masses, inspiring Jason Asenap (Comanche and Muscogee Creek) to urge his fellow Indigenous critics “to claim this space for ourselves, to express honest, thoughtful opinions on the work.” Jolene Yazzie (Diné) captured the duality that Asenap faces, with a spin on the old cartoon cliché of having both angels and devils whispering into one’s ears.

Daryn Ray/High Country News

Daryn Ray’s thoughtful illustration reminds us that gender and identity originate from within, an idea that critic Claire Rudy Foster argues is passed over in Martin J. Smith’s Going to Trinidad, a book about the pioneering surgeon in rural Colorado who performed thousands of gender-affirming surgeries.

Sally Deng/High Country News

Sally Deng’s lively and colorful style echoes the work of many Depression-era Works Progress Administration artists in our review of a history of the Conservation Corps, from its origins as a New Deal outdoor-employment agency for out-of-work white men to today’s new vision of a more inclusive corps focused on clean energy and climate resiliency.

Luna Anna Archey is HCN’s associate photo editor. She lives in Paonia, Colorado. 

We welcome reader letters. Email Luna at [email protected]  or submit a letter to the editor. See our letters to the editor policy.

High Country News Classifieds
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Executive Director Position Announcement POSITION TITLE: Executive Director ORGANIZATION: Friends of Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument REPORTING TO: Board of Directors EMPLOYMENT TYPE: Part-time - Full-time, based...
  • HEALTHY CITIES PROGRAM DIRECTOR
    The Healthy Cities Program Director leads and manages the Healthy Cities Program for the Arizona Chapter and is responsible for developing and implementing innovative, high...
  • CONSERVATION PROGRAM MANAGER
    Grand Staircase Escalante Partners (GSEP) Conservation Programs Manager Job Opening Our Mission: Honoring the past and safeguarding the future of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument through...
  • ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR
    Grand Staircase Escalante Partners (GSEP) Associate Director Job Posting Our Mission: Honoring the past and safeguarding the future of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument through science,...
  • UNIQUE, ENERGY-EFFICIENT HOME ON ACREAGE NEAR MOSCOW, IDAHO
    Custom-built energy-efficient 3000 sqft two-story 3BR home, 900 sqft 1 BR accessory cottage above 2-car garage and large shop. Large horse barn. $1,200,000. See online...
  • OUTDOOR ADVENTURE BUSINESS FOR SALE
    Missoula Outdoor Learning Adventures (MOLA) - established and profitable outdoor adventure & education business in Missoula, Montana. Summer camp, raft & climb guide, teen travel,...
  • OJO SARCO FARM/HOME
    A wonderful country setting for a farm/work 1350s.f. frame home plus 1000 studio/workshop. 5 acres w fruit trees, an irrigation well, pasture and a small...
  • STEWARDSHIP COORDINATOR
    Join Skagit Land Trust (the Trust), a not-for-profit conservation organization based in Mount Vernon, Washington, and help protect land for people and wildlife. Skagit Land...
  • 2022 SEASONAL SCIENCE EDUCATOR
    The Mount St. Helens Institute Science Educator supports our science education and rental programs including day and overnight programs for youth ages 6-18, their families...
  • POLICY DIRECTOR
    Heart of the Rockies Initiative is seeking a Policy Director to lead and define policy efforts to advance our mission to keep working lands and...
  • CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
    Self-Help Enterprises seeks an experienced and strategic CFO
  • CONSERVATION SPECIALIST - LAND PROTECTION FOCUS
    View full job description and how to apply at
  • RIVER EDUCATOR & GUIDE
    River Educator & Guide River Educator & Guide (Trip Leader) Non-exempt, Seasonal Position: Full-time OR part-time (early April through October; may be flexible with start/end...
  • LAND AND WATER CONSERVATION DIRECTOR
    The Land and Water Conservation Director is a full-time salaried position with the Mountain Area Land Trust in Evergreen, CO. The successful candidate will have...
  • FOOD SYSTEMS ENVIRONMENTAL FELLOWSHIP
    If you were to design a sustainable society from the ground up, it would look nothing like the contemporary United States. But what would it...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    The Rio Grande Headwaters Land Trust (RiGHT) is seeking an Executive Director who will lead RiGHT toward a future of continued high conservation impact, organizational...
  • COMMUNITY ORGANIZER
    Help protect Montana's water quality, family farms and ranches, & unique quality of life. Work hard, meet good people, make the world a better place!...
  • VERDE RIVER PROJECTS TECHNICIAN
    The Verde River Projects Technician (VRPT) provides technical assistance to Verde River Program staff in implementation of the Verde River Streamflow Monitoring Protocol. This consist...
  • 8 FIELD PROJECT SPECIALISTS (POSITION FORMERLY TITLED TRAIL CREW TECHNICAL ADVISOR)
    Are you passionate about environmental conservation and connecting people to the outdoors? The Pacific Crest Trail Association (PCTA) is looking for someone with outdoor leadership...
  • NEW BOOK:
    True Wildlife Tales From Boy to Man. Finding my voice to save wildlife in the Apache spirit. 365+ vivid colorful pictures. Buy on Amazon/John Wachholz