Hidden Villa

Artist Statement

These photographs are of Hidden Villa, an organic teaching farm located in Los Altos, California. My early childhood was spent in rural Iowa and Ohio, which formed a lifelong respect for farms and wildlife alike. Farms have a very special place in my heart and is something that I want to share with my godson and the world. I photographed the buildings and animals as portraits, showing the character and personality of each one.

Hidden Villa is more than just a farm. It has a very long history in activism and preservation. Frank and Josephine Duveneck purchased the land in 1924 and used it not only as their home for their family but also to preserve the land including its watershed. It was also a center for social justice work, and environmental education. The Duvenecks housed refugees from the Nazis and Japanese-American families during and after WWII. They also established the first residential multicultural and racially integrated summer camp in the country as well as opening  their home to  United Farm Workers movement meetings in the 1960s, and establishing the Hidden Villa Environmental Education Program in the 1970s.

Today Hidden Villa is a non-profit organization which embodies the values of the Duvenecks through preservation of the land including sustainable buildings, sustainable agriculture, summer camps, environmental education programs for children and interns, as well as a wide range of events and classes for the general public. They also work with local schools teaching gardening and agriculture.

The history and the living legacy is what drew me to Hidden Villa, and it is what keeps me coming back time and time again.

Rachel Wooster ~ Wildflower

For more information about Hidden Villa, please visit their website at: www.HiddenVilla.org