GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK - It is one of the most popular events at the Grand Canyon and brings in large crowds made up of both tourists and locals who live in and around the national park. The second annual Paint in Parks event will begin at Grand Canyon this year, according to Helen Ranney with the Grand Canyon Association, and will feature 100 full-size paintings depicting one of the nation's 390 national parks. Fifty "mini" paintings will also be on hand for the cross-country tour. The paintings will go on display Aug. 1.
"Grand Canyon is going to get the tour first, except for the purchase awards that were done," Ranney said, adding that all of the art on display at the exhibit will be available for purchase. Proceeds from the sale of the paintings will go toward to the National Park Foundation and the Paint America Scholarship Fund - the group in charge of curating and circulating the art. The Grand Canyon Association and the Grand Canyon National Park sponsored the Kolb Studio exhibit.
This year marks the second annual Paint the Parks event at Kolb Studio, Ranney said. She said the event is part of the Grand Canyon Association's Kolb Studio Exhibit program, which offers exhibits year round.
"Last year it was very popular with the community and the visitors, because it represents the national parks system," Ranney said, adding that artwork on display will represent more than just Grand Canyon.
"Some of these will be boats. Last year there was some civil war recreation, so there was a painting of some of the union soldiers. They do wildlife. It's very diverse," Ranney said.
Due to Kolb Studio's size, not every painting will be on display at the same, though Ranney said the paintings would be changed out periodically. Officials plan an opening reception for the event Aug. 4 from 7-9 p.m. Paintings will be on display through Sept. 7. More on the Paint America program can be found online at www.paintamerica.org.
One hundred artists were chosen for the competition, out of thousands who entered, and includes the work of Flagstaff artist Arline Tinus, who said she plans to attend the opening reception. Eileen Nistler's painting "Cactus Flower" was chosen as the mascot painting, appearing in the event's postcards and other promotional items. Tinus said she never used to feel a need to paint the Canyon, as she thought the location felt complete without any interpretation, but eventually the Canyon finally appealed to her "painting soul."
"I do paint mostly the Canyon," Tinus said. "We moved here in 1982. I would go up and look at the Canyon and take a lot of pictures. I think I looked at it for about 20 years before I started painting it. My husband died eight years ago and I started traveling more. I went to the North Rim. Painting a landscape is just completely different. If you are going to paint a landscape, there are certain rules," Tinus said. "It's a totally different kind of genre."
One of her favorite subjects, she said, is the colors and shifting light upon stone.
"And of course that's what the Canyon is," Tinus said. "I like rocks. I don't like to paint mushy stuff."
Besides her work at the Canyon, Tinus also enjoys painting the Grand Teton National Park.
"I mainly paint the Canyon, but I also love the Teton's. I love Moose, so I usually go up in late May," Tinus said.
Known for her beautiful compositions, Tinus has also received attention for her paintings of human subjects. Roughly four years ago she did a series of paintings on the struggles in Bosnia.
"I've really painted just about everything, but now I've just settled on the Canyon," Tinus said. "All I do is paint now. I'm a hermit."
To learn more about Tinus, visit her Web site at www.arlinetinusoilpaintings.com