Young artists benefit from a grand inspiration

Photographer Michael Buchheit, artist Sarah Hooker and park ranger Juliet Oakes mentor young artists on seven-day river trip in Grand Canyon

NPS photo<br>
Youth participants and one of their river guides hone their artistic skills on the shore of the Colorado River in Grand Canyon National Park.

NPS photo<br> Youth participants and one of their river guides hone their artistic skills on the shore of the Colorado River in Grand Canyon National Park.

GRAND CANYON, Ariz. - Grand Canyon National Park and partner Grand Canyon Youth invite you to enjoy an evening program and exhibit presented by 15 young artists.

The young artists spent seven days on a river trip being mentored by photographer Michael Buchheit, artist Sarah Hooker and park ranger Juliet Oakes as part of a program called Grand Inspiration. In between riding the rapids and taking remote day hikes, the youth developed a collection of paintings, creative writing and photographs that will be on display at Grand Canyon National Park Headquarters from July 8 - August 8.

The grand opening of the exhibit will be at 7 p.m. July 8. Afterwards, the youth will join Buchheit, known for his exceptional Grand Canyon photography, in presenting a special evening program at 8:30 p.m. in the McKee Amphitheater behind Park Headquarters.

The young artists applied for the program by submitting an application and a piece of artwork with the theme "Nature's Boundaries."Although many youth had an individual specialty, each participated in workshops for painting, photography, and creative writing.

Artists have a longstanding history of advocating for people and places. The original idea of preserving the wild, unique lands of the West as National Parks is often attributed to painter, George Catlin. Other artists and writers like Thomas Moran, John Muir, George Masa and Ansel Adams offered politicians and the American public their first glimpses of the natural wonders of the American West. Their work became a catalyst for the protection of the land. Come enjoy the newest artistic voices to bring the rugged inner Canyon to visitors on the South Rim.

The Grand Inspiration program is a partnership between Grand Canyon Youth and the Environmental Education branch of Grand Canyon National Park. Together, the two organizations strive to provide inspirational backcountry experiences for diverse youth, connecting them to place through experiential and service learning.

For more on this special exhibit and evening program, please call Program Manager Megan Kohli at (928) 638-7683. For more on Grand Inspiration, please visit the Grand Canyon Youth web site at www.gcyouth.org/destinations_grand-canyon_gi.php, or call Grand Canyon Youth Executive Director Emma Wharton at (928) 773-7921.

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