Kindergartener Riley Harshbarger proudly puts his first-place ribbon on his mixed media work entitled “Canyon Photo” with the help of his equally-proud dad, Curt Harshbarger.
The genesis for Arts for Our Parks was in a conversation Grand Canyon School superintendent Sheila Breen had with Carol Lawler last August, when Breen was visiting Kolb Studio. Soon after, Breen met with Pam Frazier of the Grand Canyon Association to discuss the possibility of having a student art show during the traditional holiday gap in Kolb’s exhibition schedule. In September, a committee was formed, made up of Breen, McBroom, Frazier, Lawler and interpretive ranger Jacob Fillion.
The committee outlined the scope of the show, said Breen.
“We first determined that our purpose was to have the students explore what it means to live at the Grand Canyon, to explore this unique place and the unique vision of each student as they contemplate the park and their place in it,” she said.
They consolidated the show’s themes around Grand Canyon National Park’s six interpretive themes – arts and inspiration, water, erosional forces, ecology and natural history, Native Americans and conservation and preservation.
To capture the spirit of the competition, the committee decided that a student artist should design the poster and they turned to senior Brian Skeet. He not only crafted the image of Havasu Falls that became the symbol for the show; he also spent many hours matting and framing artwork to prepare it for display. Though he didn’t compete, several of his works were on display at the reception and he received a special achievement award from the judging committee.
There were 170 submission into the show, with finalists selected by a panel of five judges – Todd Berger, Kim Buchheit, Gary Ladd, Beth Seely and Rene Westbrook. Three of those judges – Buchheit, Seely and Westbrook – narrowed that field down to select the winners. Eighteen area businesses and organizations also judged from the finalists’ entries for their own awards.
The judges described the entries as “a cohesive group of work, done with joy, by the kids who live here at the canyon. What we, the jurors, saw in this process is the enormous breadth of the talents and approaches that one small community holds.”
The following businesses who sponsored winners were Albright Training Center Employees Association, APS, Bruce Aiken Fine Art, Café Tusayan, Delaware North Parks Services, Grand Canyon Association, Grand Canyon Community Church, Grand Canyon National Park, Grand Canyon PTA, Grand Canyon Rotary Club, Grand Canyon Squire Inn, Happy Trails, IMAX, Monarch Gifts, Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters, Rodeway Inn Red Feather, Verkamp’s Curios and Xanterra Parks and Resorts
Those winners will be named in the Jan. 31 issue.
The Arts for Our Parks exhibit will be on display at Kolb Studio through Jan. 7.