We are happy to announce that Jay T. Conrad has joined the Dept of Bioregion as Seasquatch of Communications. A seasquatch is a mythological, sasquatch-related marine creature of the Cascadia bioregion and is an excellent symbol of Jay’s multidimensional role within the organization, which ranges from administrative tasks to creating resources and leading projects.
Although born in the bioregion, Jay did not truly consider themselves a Cascadian until 2016, when they started actively participating in Cascadian events and learning about bioregionalism. Since then, they’ve incorporated Cascadian ideals into many facets of their life and art. Now, whether creating videos or DIY art, Jay approaches art with a unique Cascadian viewpoint.
As a photographer and videographer, Jay has had the chance to document various locations and events across Cascadia. Recanting one such story, Jay says, “I had an awesome experience about a year ago when I was down near Mt. Tahoma for some snowshoeing. We stopped in many small towns - one every 15 minutes or so. In each town, I took video of the snow falling. It was nice to stop in places that you would usually drive through and, instead, stop there and see this snow-clad landscape and to document it along with the details of each tiny town. Some of them were no bigger than a couple of buildings. It was really fun!”
Jay’s art has moved in a direction that specifically focuses on upcycling, re-use and sustainability, but these efforts extend beyond their art. They’ve taken major steps in their life to reduce their impact by avoiding plastics and going vegan. When asked what excites them about sustainability, Jay says, “I love sustainability because it engenders so much creativity. You start to look at materials in new ways; they become something beautiful and reusable instead of just “trash.” Coming up with interesting ways to reduce waste that I haven’t thought of before makes me feel excited and creative.”
Whatever project they are working on, Jay has a strong focus on empowering associated communities, saying: “I’m a part of a wide variety of communities. To list a few, I’m a part of the speculative writer community, art-centric communities, the music community, the photography community and the non-binary community. I work hard to make these communities stronger by participating in and promoting events and by maintaining trans-positive ideals within those communities.” Jay emphasizes, “I want each community I am a part of to be a safe space for anyone who wants to participate, and I work hard to cultivate that vibe in each of those spaces.”
We’re excited to have Jay join our team of passionate bioregionalists. If you’d like to connect with Jay directly, reach out to them through their Diplomat Biography.