Zion National Park brings 24 artists to paint in the canyon for 7 days

ZION NATIONAL PARK —  Zion National Park Foundation is hosting 24 artists for a week of creativity and inspiration Nov. 7-13 during its eighth annual “Zion National Park Plein Air Art Invitational,” an event with many opportunities for the public to watch the artists at work, purchase art and learn about the history of art in Zion Canyon.

Painting by Royden Card | Photo courtesy of the Zion Natural History Association, Zion National Park, St. George News
Painting by Royden Card | Photo courtesy of the Zion Natural History Association, Zion National Park, St. George News

This year’s invitational features seven new artists along with 17 who have participated in previous years.

“We have artists painting in oil, water color, pastel and acrylic,”  foundation Director of Operations and Development Jill Burt said. “They are wonderful artists who are known not only for their tremendous work, but for their ability to teach and to engage with the public.”

The 2016 invitational is being billed the “Centennial Edition” consistent with the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. Each invited artist has included at least one painting featuring a national park other than Zion. These and other samples of the artists’ works are on display in the Zion Human History Museum through Nov. 27

Plein-air art is a style stemming from 19th century French impressionism. Its centers on painting outdoors with a strong sense of open air, characteristics Zion National Park easily fulfills.

Click the play arrow above to watch the video. 

The video above, included courtesy of the park, was created by the Zion National Park Foundation in 2013 and published on YouTube in 2014. Viewers can see what the plein-art invitation offers artists and vistors, its history and its inspiration.

In keeping with the genre, the plein-air artists will be painting at several locations throughout the park many of those sites being the same locations iconic artists such as Frederick Dellenbaugh and Thomas Moran painted when Zion Canyon’s landscape was first exposed to the American public.

Artists will also give demonstrations on the patio of the Zion Human History Museum in the park. Invited artists can be seen painting along the park’s trails and roadsides during the week.

There will also be several lectures and chances for visitors to purchase the artists’ original works. Proceeds will support Zion National Park’s Youth Education Initiative and arts programs.

Scheduled public events

  • Nov. 7-10 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m, artists will be leading demonstrations on the hour every hour at  the at the Zion Human History Museum.
  • Nov. 8 and 9 at 7 p.m., lectures will be given in the Zion Lodge Auditorium.
  • Nov. 10 at 7 p.m., a lecture will be given at 7 p.m. in the Canyon Community Center, 126 Lion Blvd., Springdale.
  • Nov. 11 at 11 a.m., Michael Plyler will deliver a culminating lecture titled “The Role of Art in our National Parks” in the patio area of the Zion Human History Museum.
  • Nov. 12 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. a lively “paint out” event will be held on the lawn in front of Zion Lodge inviting visitors to purchase the artists’ works as they are being painted.
  • Nov. 12 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., a silent auction of demonstration pieces produced during the week will be held in the Zion Lodge Auditorium.
  • Nov. 12, 13 and continuing after the invitational through Nov. 28, a wet paint exhibit and sale will be held at the Zion Human History Museum, featuring more than 150 paintings.
  • Nov. 13 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m., all the artists will be painting around the Zion Human History Museum.

More details on events and artists is available on the Zion National Park Plein Air Art Invitational webpage or by telephoning 435-772-3264.

Plein-art events during the invitational are free for visitors but national park entrance fees will apply.

"Waters of Evening" painting by John Cogan | Photo courtesy of the Zion Natural History Association, Zion National Park, St. George News
“Waters of Evening” painting by John Cogan | Photo courtesy of the Zion Natural History Association, Zion National Park, St. George News

Zion National Park Foundation is the park’s official fundraising partner. Proceeds from the event support Zion National Park’s art and educational programming including, the foundation’s news release said, the Zion Youth Education Initiative, which makes it possible for children throughout the area to visit the park and have a potentially life-changing educational experience. The foundation also supports the park’s junior ranger program, other youth outreach projects and the park’s artist-in-residence program.

“Art has a very firm place in the history of Zion Canyon and in the story that led to it becoming a National Park,” foundation Executive Director Lyman Hafen said, according to its news release. “Today, artists, donors, sponsors and visitors continue that rich tradition, preserving the wonder that is Zion National Park for future generations, and enhancing the experience of everyone who comes here.”

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

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