Show Preview | Chasing Light

Cedar City, UT
Various locations, July 2-August 19

Royden Card, Chinle Trailhead Dream, acrylic, 10 x 20.

Royden Card, Chinle Trailhead Dream, acrylic, 10 x 20.

This story was featured in the July 2017 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art  July 2017 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

Red rocks, wildflower meadows, and archeological sites offer a range of subject matter for plein-air painters at the third annual Chasing Light Plein Air Festival, hosted by the Southern Utah Museum of Art and Cedar Breaks National Monument. Artists begin painting on Sunday, July 2, at various locations within 40 miles of Cedar City. Pieces created during the event are exhibited for sale at the museum beginning on Friday, July 7, with the Wet Paint Gala and Sale that evening.

The late plein-air painter Jimmie Jones inspired the festival, which has grown over the past three years. “Jones was the reason the museum got built,” says Shannon Eberhard, interpretive ranger at Cedar Breaks National Monument. “When he was living here in the 1930s, there wasn’t much art or culture, and it inspired and changed his life.” After Jones died, his home and final paintings were donated to help fund the creation of the museum. Eberhard says the festival grew out of a desire to continue Jones’ legacy of encouraging young plein-air artists while celebrating the area’s landscape.

Subject matter often includes sprawling landscapes and images of wildflowers in full bloom. However, Eberhard says this year the organizers are asking artists to also focus on the history of the area by opening local historical buildings and archeological sites featuring petroglyphs and dinosaur tracks. “We also have a rich pastoral culture here that showcases that old-school western lifestyle,” Eberhard says. “We want it to be more than just a landscape show; we want it to be about culture, history, and tradition as well.”

Several of the 15 participating artists return for their third time this year, while many newcomers were juried in. Artists work in oil, pastel, acrylic, and watercolor, and their styles vary from traditional landscape artists like Brad Holt to contemporary painters like Royden Card and Michelle Condrat. The festival hosts daily artist demonstrations at the museum during the week of July 3-7. Many artists work together during the demonstrations, which are held at Cedar Breaks at 10 a.m. and at SUMA at 1 p.m. Work created during the festival and the demonstrations is on sale through
August 19. —Mackenzie McCreary

contact information
435.586.5432
www.suu.edu/suma

This story was featured in the July 2017 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art  July 2017 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

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