Meet Hopi sculptor at Grand Canyon’s Desert View Watchtower; free park entrance

Watchtower, Desert View, Grand Canyon National Park, undated | Photo courtesy of the National Park Service, St. George News

GRAND CANYON, Ariz. —Visitors to  Grand Canyon National Park this weekend are invited to visit the recently renovated Desert View Watchtower where they can interact with Hopi sculptor Evelyn Fredericks. Fredericks represents one of several artisans from Native American tribes presenting in an ongoing cultural series.

As an added appeal, Saturday is National Public Lands Day and that means the public is given free entrance to all national parks.

Hopi Sculptor Evelyn Fredericks, Arizona, undated | Photo courtesy of Evelyn Fredericks, St. George News
Hopi Sculptor Evelyn Fredericks, Arizona, undated | Photo courtesy of Evelyn Fredericks, St. George News

Artisans throughout the series will share their history and their craft, the park’s announcement said. Fredericks will be presenting at Desert View from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

For inspiration, Fredericks draws upon tribal mythology, Hopi culture and the direct experiences of Hopi life in a time less influenced by modern times, according to her website.

“Our home life revolved around women, children and all the work women do,” she said on her site.

Her mediums of stone and clay reveal the underlying commonalities we share as humans, her website said, and they convey in art the beauty and dignity inherent in native culture.

With a beautiful weekend coming and free entrance day, Fredericks said, she is looking forward to a good turnout.

There are 11 tribes traditionally associated with Grand Canyon National Park, according to a 2013 park profile. They include: The Havasupai Tribe, Hopi Tribe, Hualapai Tribe, Kaibab Band of Paiute Indians, Las Vegas Band of Paiute Indians, Moapa Band of Paiute Indians, Navajo Nation, Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah, San Juan Southern Paiute Tribe, Yavapai-Apache Nation and the Pueblo of Zuni.

From those tribes, jewelers, silversmiths, weavers, potters, sculptors and more are scheduled every weekend through Oct. 24, and beyond as staffing allows, the park’s announcement said. 

The demonstrations are free to park visitors.

The artisan demonstrations are possible with grants from Grand Canyon Association and ArtPlace America, the park’s announcement said, with ArtPlace helping to further arts and culture at the Grand Canyon by transforming Desert View into a place to celebrate, share and learn about intertribal cultural heritage.

Bronze sculpture work in progress by Hopi Sculptor Evelyn Fredericks, Arizona, undated | Photo courtesy of Evelyn Fredericks, St. George News
Bronze sculpture work in progress by Hopi Sculptor Evelyn Fredericks, Arizona, undated | Photo courtesy of Evelyn Fredericks, St. George News

Read more: ArtPlace America grant offers new life to Grand Canyon’s Desert View Point


As restoration of the watchtower continues, the park’s announcement said, visitors to Desert View Sept. 25-Oct. 8 may not be able to ascend to the top of the Watchtower, as conservators work to prevent further damage to historic murals painted on the walls. The ArtPlace America grant is also helping with this important step to preserve the paintings and the stories they tell.

Desert View is the eastern entrance into Grand Canyon National Park. It is located on the South Rim approximately 45 minutes east of Grand Canyon Village.

Designed in 1932 By Mary Colter and constructed by the Santa Fe Railroad, The Desert View Watchtower overlooks the eastern end of Grand Canyon National Park. The Colorado River is visible lower left. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, undated | Photo courtesy of National Park Service, St. George News
Designed in 1932 By Mary Colter and constructed by the Santa Fe Railroad, The Desert View Watchtower overlooks the eastern end of Grand Canyon National Park. The Colorado River is visible lower left. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, undated | Photo courtesy of National Park Service, St. George News
Bronze by Hopi Sculptor Evelyn Fredericks, Arizona, undated | Photo courtesy of Evelyn Fredericks, St. George News
Bronze by Hopi Sculptor Evelyn Fredericks, Arizona, undated | Photo courtesy of Evelyn Fredericks, St. George News

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