Celebration of Art boasts most successful year to date

Interpretations of Grand Canyon by 26 artists on display at historic Kolb Studio through Nov. 25

The 2012 Grand Canyon Celebration of Art artists take a moment for a group shot after completing their quick draw paintings. Artists at this year’s event included Joshua Been, Shonto Begay,  Elizabeth Black, Amery Bohling, John D. Cogan, Bill Cramer, Robert Dalegowski, Cody DeLong, Jake Gaedtke, Linda Glover Gooch, Gregory Hull, Michael Chesley Johnson, Sam Jones, Becky Joy, Paul Kratter, Joella Jean Mahoney, Larry Moore, P.A. Nisbet, Erin O’Connor, Glen Renell, Dave Santillanes, Dan Schultz, Julia Seelos, Williamson Tapia,  Rick Wheeler and Jim Wodark. Ryan Williams/WGCN

The 2012 Grand Canyon Celebration of Art artists take a moment for a group shot after completing their quick draw paintings. Artists at this year’s event included Joshua Been, Shonto Begay, Elizabeth Black, Amery Bohling, John D. Cogan, Bill Cramer, Robert Dalegowski, Cody DeLong, Jake Gaedtke, Linda Glover Gooch, Gregory Hull, Michael Chesley Johnson, Sam Jones, Becky Joy, Paul Kratter, Joella Jean Mahoney, Larry Moore, P.A. Nisbet, Erin O’Connor, Glen Renell, Dave Santillanes, Dan Schultz, Julia Seelos, Williamson Tapia, Rick Wheeler and Jim Wodark. Ryan Williams/WGCN

GRAND CANYON, Ariz. - The Grand Canyon Association (GCA) wrapped up the 4th Annual Celebration of Art Sept. 14 with 26 artists painting plein-air and capturing the awe-inspiring views the South and North Rim offer and, for the first time, at Indian Garden and Phantom Ranch.

"One of our goals as an agency is to help park visitors connect to parks and the resources they protect," said Grand Canyon National Park Superintendent Dave Uberuaga. "At Grand Canyon National Park, where our visitors speak many different languages, the universal, wordless language of art allows people to connect to the Grand Canyon in new ways without saying a word."

In addition to the 26 studio pieces the artists had submitted in advance of the event, the artists painted a total of 278 pieces for sale and display at Kolb Studio. In the first weekend, art sales resulted in over 25 percent more than opening weekend last year. Proceeds from this event will support the goal of funding an art venue, location to be determined, at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.

"For about four years they've been seriously raising money for it," Kathy Duley, head organizer of the Celebration of Art, said. "Right now the money is going toward feasibility studies. We still have a long way to go, but it's moving forward."

This permanent home, which Duley estimates will cost around five or six million dollars, will ensure that future generations of park visitors will be able to view the art collection in the Grand Canyon National Park Museum and Grand Canyon Association Collections.

"It is exciting to see so many people interested in the fine arts at Grand Canyon," said Susan Schroeder, executive director of Grand Canyon Association. "We love to see the enthusiasm grow each year and look forward to the day when there is a permanent place to house a permanent collection."

The week provided some challenging rainy weather, but included many opportunities to watch artists paint in the open air and afternoon artist's demonstrations. Friday morning featured a two-hour quick draw event followed by an auction of those paintings.

The following awards were presented to artists: Grand Canyon Association and Jack Dudley Purchase Award to John Cogan of Farmington, NM for his painting Out of the Depths; People's Choice Award to Williamson Tapia of Sedona and Artists' Choice to Bill Cramer of Prescott. The exhibit and sale opened at historic Kolb Studio on Sept. 15 and will remain open to the public until Nov. 25.

Visit www.grandcanyon.org for more information and updates.

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