Show Preview | Celebration of Art

Grand Canyon, AZ
Grand Canyon National Park, September 12-January 18, 2016

Mitch Baird, A Grand View, oil, 24 x 30.

Mitch Baird, A Grand View, oil, 24 x 30.

This story was featured in the September 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art September 2015 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story!

The Grand Canyon, the geological jewel of Arizona, is the focal point of the Grand Canyon Association’s annual Celebration of Art, which opens this month in Kolb Studio at the canyon’s South Rim. Twenty-six invited and juried artists from around the country—including Bill Cramer, David Haskell, Marcia Molnar, Arturo Chávez, and Dawn Sutherland—participate in this year’s show, which features the canyon’s magnificent sunrises, sunsets, stormy weather, and sunny days in oil, watercolor, pastel, and acrylic paintings.

“As we enter the seventh year of this event, it’s interesting to see the different interpretations of the Grand Canyon from our talented artists,” says the association’s executive director, Susan Schroeder. The events begin with Plein Air at Grand Canyon from September 12 through 18. During this time, artists set up their easels at various places along the South Rim—though some also make the trek to the North Rim, Indian Garden, and Phantom Ranch—to paint en plein
“I definitely have my favorite spots,” says New Mexico artist John D. Cogan, who has been painting the Grand Canyon since 1978 and participating in the show since its inception. “But it’s always fun to discover new places.”

The Grand Canyon Association communicates with artists daily to find out where they will be painting so visitors can watch them work. The more than 200 paintings created during this seven-day paint-out, as well as one previously completed studio work by each artist, are available for sale during the Buyer’s Preview and Reception from 5 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, September 19. The Buyer’s Brunch from 10 a.m. to noon on September 20 offers collectors another opportunity to view and purchase paintings prior to the public opening reception, which begins at noon the same day.

Other weekend events include a talk by special guest photographer Mark Klett at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, September 18, at Shrine of the Ages. Klett also signs copies of his book Reconstructing the View, featuring photos of the Grand Canyon. The show’s very popular Quick Draw and Auction, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on September 19, offers visitors a chance to observe the artists’ spontaneous responses to the canyon and buy their completed works.

Arizona painter Linda Glover Gooch, who has been participating in the show since its inception, has been painting at the Grand Canyon for a decade. “It’s such a magical place, with unmatch-
able views,” she says. “I love those big massive walls. This particular show is such a wonderful experience, not only for the artists but for visitors and the residents of the area.”

A portion of the proceeds from the show go toward the establishment of an art museum at the South Rim that will display paintings owned by the Grand Canyon Association and the National Park Service. —Emily Van Cleve

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Featured in the September 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
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