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a land and environmental art pathway.

An exploratory trail of contemporary and ephemeral art through the Parque Natural Sierra María-Los Vélez & El Altiplano


Joya: arte + ecología intends to invite as many as 20 international artists to make permanent or ephemeral art works to be installed at various points upon a trail through the lesser known areas of the natural park.

Each art work would have it’s own GPS location along the trail registered on the ‘SENDA’ web page. During a set ‘event’ the public are encouraged to take the trail and using either their eyes, a map or a GPS device they are invited to discover the art work and engage with that work in the location it is installed.

Senda 2

Proposed date:

 An annual event, dates to be discussed.


This is intended to be an annual event taking place in different parts of the natural park each year.

Key ideas:

  • In public spaces the art work will be ephemeral so consequently  impermanent and organic. The works manifestation is temporary and designed to dissapear via natural couses leaving no trace of it’s existance.
  • In private spaces or with permissions the art can be temporary subject to evaluation.
  • A group of international artists will be invited to submit works to the trail adhering to a set theoretical agenda established by Joya: arte + ecología.

Senda 3


  • Raising the profile of Parque Natural Sierra María-Los Vélez as a cultural destination in Spain.
  • Raising the profile of participating artist / using the existing high profile of the artists to draw public attention to the region.
  • Raising awareness to Joya: arte + ecología and our activities.
  • Enhancing a broader community awareness to the human and environmental culture that surrounds them.
  • Contribution to the transformation of this community using the natural park as a local asset for the production of art and culture.
  • Promotion of interaction with the natural park in the region.
  • Increase civic participation through ‘celebration’ during the SENDA ‘event’.
  • Promote engagement with community youth through participation and dissemination of creative ideas employed by participating artists.
  • Promote power and preservation of place i.e. create a vested interest and a sense of ownership of the place.
  • Broaden participation in the natural parks agenda.


Technical requirements:

  • Establishing trails
  • Using existing trails
  • Creating new trails
  • Web page and Google map


The Parquet Natural Sierra María – Los Vélez:


Joya: arte + ecología is based at Cortijada Los Gázquez is in the heart of the 22,562 hectare (56,000 acre) ‘Parque Natural Sierra María-Los Vélez’, in the north of the province of Almería, in Andalucía, Spain.

Altitudes cover a range from 700 meters (2297 feet) to it’s peak, the Sierra María, at 2045 meters (6709 feet).

The natural park is straddled by the four towns and villages that make up the ‘Comarca de Los Vélez’. María, Chirivel, Vélez Rubio and the beautiful Vélez Blanco, crowned with the 16th Century ‘Castillo de Los Fajardo’.

Rainfall is an annual average of 400mm, and receiving over 3100 hours of sunshine a year it is Andalucía’s sunniest province. As a consequence it is a landscape of extreme contrasts. The arid plains of the ‘alto plano’ give way to snow capped and heavily forested northerly slopes of pine, whilst the southerly slopes are dry rocky outcrops of limestone.

There are approximately one hundred species of bird here including seventeen species of bird of prey, and you have the opportunity to see a plethora of other flora and fauna.

The natural park is also home to two UNESCO world heritage sites. ‘La Cueva de los Letreros’ is a cave of prehistoric drawings dating back to 4000 BC, including Almeria’s Neolithic provincial symbol, ‘Indalo Man’.‘La Cueva del Gabar’ also contains prehistoric paintings and can be visited with the aid of a guide.

Cortijada Los Gázquez represents twenty hectares of the natural park and resides in a place called ‘La Hoya de Carrascal’. Hoya being bowl or basin and Carrascal is a plural of Carrasca, the Kermes Oak (Quercus coccifera). It is more of a shrub than a tree and it’s leaves are small, shaped like a holly, and the cups for it’s acorns bristle with spines.

As an arid zone Joya: arte + ecología are keen for artists to celebrate the dry nature of this landscape and also to address the challenges this landscape faces in the light of changing rainfall patterns, land usage and climate change.

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