ST. GEORGE — Some of America’s finest artists and poets will gather in Southern Utah’s Mt. Carmel Friday and Saturday for the Maynard Dixon Country symposium, where special guest Hal Cannon, known for his music, cowboy poetry and folklore will lead discussions, share a bit of Dixon poetry and perform with his group Red Rock Rondo.
Maynard Dixon Country is an annual gathering that started in 1999 at the home of artist Maynard Dixon in Mt. Carmel. The gathering draws artists, collectors, community and friends who love art aiming to help American artists and ensure historic preservation of art. This year, a new, first class art exhibition space has been created at the Bingham Gallery to showcase some of the finest art being produced in the country.
The event is deeply connected to the art of Maynard Dixon (1875-1946) and his contributions to American art. Dixon created iconic images of the wide open, never ending vistas of skies, mesas, clouds, and native peoples of these desert lands.
“But rather than focusing solely on the beloved paintings of Maynard Dixon, we focus on the ‘art spirit’ and inten-tion of Maynard Dixon, the artist, poet, and whole person,” said the event’s news release. “In choosing to remember Dixon this way, we believe his legacy becomes even more meaningful when it is illuminated by the artists who are living and making art in 2015.”
The symposium carries on the tradition of painting that Dixon established, the release said, and the reverence he felt for this magnificent region and for the spirit of originality that he lived by.
This year’s event brings a multitude of guests (see flyer inset) and special guest Cannon, who will discuss western art with an emphasis on the poetry of Maynard Dixon.
Cannon is a resident of Virgin and the founding director of the Western Folklife Center and its famed cowboy poetry gathering in Elko, Nevada. He uses bits from his cultural reporting for NPR and illustrates his points with song and banjo. He will perform with Red Rock Rondo on two sets during Saturday night’s gala.
About Maynard Dixon
Harsh, dry, lonely, awesome in scope, the desert region inspired Dixon to develop a style that spoke about the land through exquisite, simplified compositions, expressing his interpretations of its power and spirit.
In 1904, 29-year-old Dixon wrote the following poem:
The mighty west looms vast before my sight,
Bright in the mystery of sun and sky;
Mesa and plain, the desert and the sown,
The scar-faced mountains and the blinding snows,
The deathless blue and soaring angel clouds;-
And on its farthest rim I see my soul
Arise, broad winged and free and beckon me.”
Beckon him it did, and for the next 20 or more years he made sojourns into the west he loved, creating drawings, paintings, illustrations and poems about the area that had captured his soul. In 1938 he left his home in San Francisco and was finally able to establish his home in Mt. Carmel, with his wife Edith Hamlin, also building a home in Tucson, Arizona, for the winter months.
Mt. Carmel sits in the high mountainous region of Southern Utah just 17 miles from Zion National Park, surrounded by lush green fields, the Virgin River and red mesas. Today, those acquainted with Dixon’s paintings who travel the area have dubbed it “Maynard Dixon Country,” especially the iconic stacked clouds that so often grace its skies.
Schedule of Events
- Friday, 5 p.m. | Art preview
- Saturday, 10 a.m. | Wet painting show and sale
- Saturday, 2 p.m. | Hal Cannon symposium
- Saturday, 3 p.m. | Symposium Jill Carver and Ralph Oberg
- Saturday, 5 p.m. | Dutch oven dinner
- Saturday, 6 p.m. | Hal Cannon and Red Rock Rondo
- Saturday, 7 p.m. | Awards
- Saturday, 9:30 p.m. | Campfire
- Sunday, all day | Open house
Tickets are $75 for all events and can be purchased online.
Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery.
- What: Maynard Dixon Country
- When: Aug. 21-23
- Where: Maynard Dixon home and studio, 2200 South State Street, Mt. Carmel
- Tickets: $75, purchase online
- For more information visit the Thunderbird Foundation website
- Children’s museum partners with global outreach to end childhood malnutrition, hunger
- ArtPlace America grant offers new life to Grand Canyon’s Desert View Point
- New food pantry opens at Switchpoint; more help for those in need
Email: [email protected]
Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2015, all rights reserved.