GRAND CANYON, Ariz. - A number of great events is planned for the first Grand Canyon Celebration of Art. The event, the first in what organizers hope will be an annual affair, is shaping up to be an exciting time for art lovers and Canyon enthusiasts. Thirty artists are slated to participate in the event, which was made possible by the Grand Canyon Association.
"There are a total of 30 artists. There are 20 in the Modern Masters and 20 in the Plein Air, but 10 of the masters are doing the Plein Air," said Helen Ranney with the Grand Canyon Association. The Plein Air event is scheduled for Sept. 14-17 at a number of South Rim locations. An exhibit opening and public reception will be held Sept. 19 from 10 a.m. to noon at Kolb Studios, located near Bright Angel Lodge. A quick draw and auction will be held Sept. 18 beginning at 9 a.m. on the north lawn of the El Tovar.
"We're going to have an annual event and the idea is to celebrate art and the importance of art in our national park system," Ranney said. "The event is a fundraising event to raise money toward a permanent art venue at Grand Canyon National Park on the south rim."
The permanent art museum, she said, would feature artwork that is currently not available for regular viewing. The National Park Service and the Grand Canyon Association own a number of the historic paintings.
"In our collections there are some very significant pieces of art that are not available to the public. You can make an appointment and see it, but it's not on display," Ranney said.
An art museum, she said, would create a permanent venue for public viewings of the historic art. Proceeds from the Celebration of Art will go toward the goal of a museum, she said, with the rest of the proceeds going to the participating artists,
"We got some of the best artists to participate," Ranney said, adding that the event will feature two primary components: the Plein Air on the Rim and Modern Masters Invitational. The Plein Air event will also feature two days of Plein Air demonstrations at a number of Canyon locations, Ranney said. An interpreter will accompany each artist to represent the park, while the artists discuss the Plein Air style.
"We wanted to give something for the visitors and our community to let them watch Plein Air in action," she said, adding that art in both categories was created specifically for the Celebration of Art.
"The modern masters are studio painters. They're artists that have created these works of art in the studio. They are some of the top landscape artists in the country," Ranney said. "We have had a lot of contact with these artists. Every single one of them is excited about helping us with the goal and are excited to come to Grand Canyon National Park."
Prices in the Modern Masters Invitational will range from $1,800 to $36,000.
Artwork from the show will remain on display at Kolb Studio. Besides art, the historical landmark is known for hosting a variety of exhibits, including cultural, archaeological, botanical and other displays
A Celebration of Art catalog will be available for purchase at Kolb Studio Sept. 19.
"It will be a collectors item. We only did a print run of 500," Ranney said.
More information on the Celebration of Art, including Web sites and information on all the participating artists, can be found on the Grand Canyon Association's Web site at www.grandcanyon.org.