Show Preview | Zion Plein Air Invitational

Zion National Park, UT
Zion Human History Museum, November 2-8

Roland Lee, Joy in the Morning, watercolor, 10 x 14.

Roland Lee, Joy in the Morning, watercolor, 10 x 14.

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

Steep red cliffs, lush forests, and flowing rivers amidst the stunning colors of autumn create a picturesque backdrop for the seventh annual Zion Plein Air Invitational, which runs from Monday, November 2, to Sunday, November 8. The event brings 24 artists to Zion National Park for a full week of plein-air painting and demonstrations, culminating in an exhibit and sale of works completed during the week.

With an emphasis on visitor interaction, the invitational presents one-hour demonstrations by each participating artist during the week on the Zion Human History Museum patio, allowing visitors to meet the artists and witness their creative process. “We designed this event to be for the Zion National Park visitor,” says Lyman Hafen, executive director of the Zion National Park Foundation. “[The demonstration series] is one of the aspects of this event that we’re most proud of, and it really ties to our mission of telling the story of art in Zion.” The demonstrations take place from Monday through Thursday throughout the day, along with lectures by Zion Canyon Artist in Residence Earnest Ward and others.

The event continues in the tradition of Thomas Moran and his first sketches of Zion National Park in the late 19th century, which helped designate the land for preservation. “Original art is not only something that captures the park’s beauty but it also played a role in Zion becoming a national park,” Hafen says. “We try to tell that story and show how fine art still plays a role in helping people understand and appreciate the park and why it’s so special.” With a plethora of media and styles represented, the art created gives both the seasoned and the budding art enthusiast a variety to experience. Participating artists this year include Bill Cramer, Susiehyer, John Cogan, Suze Woolf, Jim Wodark, Nancy Lewis, Michelle Condrat, James McGrew, and more.

The week ends with a silent auction of the week’s demonstration pieces, a paint-out with all 24 artists, and the exhibit and sale, which takes place on Saturday and Sunday with proceeds benefiting youth education and art programs in the park. —Joe Kovack

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