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Fawn Douglas, Starry Night Gold Butte, acrylic, 18” x 24”, 2018.

Gold Butte National Monument is Southern Paiute ancestral land. I was an activist in the fight to protect Gold Butte and was one of many who helped it gain national monument status back in December of 2016. Our petroglyph sites and sacred places hidden within are now protected. Gold Butte is stunning and because it is far from city lights, the sky lights up with billions of shining stars. I was inspired to create this art piece when I camped there with my friends from the Sierra Club and the Gwich'in Tribe of Alaska. The Gwich'in were visiting to share their stories of fighting to keep their Arctic Refuge from being destroyed by the fossil fuel industry. We shared our stories, hopes and dreams for the future of our people. When I was resting in my tent, I was awakened by what I thought was the sunrise. It was actually a crescent moon that illuminated the entire desert a deep blue. Shadows of Joshua trees in sharp silhouette as the stars danced in and out of time. That moment was a gift and would later become Starry Night Gold Butte.

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