See artists capture the beauty of Zion during ‘Plein Air Invitational’

Artist Ellie Wilson, Zion National Park, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Zion Forever Project, St. George News

SPRINGDALE — The “Zion Plein Air Invitational” is celebrating its 10th anniversary with seven days of life-changing experiences and art events for all ages being held across Zion Canyon led by 24 nationally recognized and award-winning artists.

Artist Steve Stauffer, date and location not specified | Photo courtesy of Zion Forever Project, St. George News

The invitational runs Nov. 5-11 and will include 24 free artist demonstrations on the patio of the Zion Human History Museum; public lectures by the leading voices in art, conservation and history; interactive wet-paint exhibits and kids’ programs.

The participating artists are part of a group of enthusiasts who call themselves “plein air” painters. “En plein air” is a term attributed to the 19th century French impressionists whose desire to capture light drew the artists outdoors where they painted the landscape “in the open air.”

For a full schedule of artist appearances, bios and other events, click here.

Studio pieces from each artist are featured in the Zion Human History Museum, and renderings from a “Paint Out” event and silent auction will be featured Nov. 10 at the Zion Lodge. The plein air pieces painted during the week will be available for sale at the museum over the weekend.

“The Plein Air event provides an opportunity for visitors to appreciate the beauty of Zion in new ways through the impressions of these talented artists,” Zion National Park Superintendent Jeff Bradybaugh said. “Their work continues to enhance our perpetual stewardship of this wonderful sanctuary we recognize as Zion National Park.”

The invitational takes place when the weather is cool, the crowds are down and the bright reds and yellows of autumn decorate Zion Canyon. It has been described as a weeklong celebration for painters, park visitors and collectors who revel in the smorgasbord of free daily programs, including one-hour painting demonstrations from every artist, nightly seminars and a silent auction.

From dawn to dusk each day, artists can be seen painting throughout Zion, and they don’t mind park visitors stopping for a quick visit while they work. All paintings created on location during the invitational are offered for sale by the end of the week.

All proceeds of the event go towards the Zion Forever Project’s education initiative, sending park rangers to speak at schools and helping cover the cost of student field trips to the park, Mark Preiss, director of the Zion Forever Project, said.

The Zion Forever Project is hosting an “Evening with Bill Cramer,” the featured artist for the 2018 Zion Plein Air Invitational. This event is made possible through partnership with the SpringHill Suites Marriott in Springdale, where the lecture will take place Nov. 7 at 6:30 p.m.

Cramer’s featured painting, “Sentinel Rising,” was purchased two months prior to the event by Stephen and Marcia Wade of Stephen Wade Auto Center. They became the winners of the First Purchase Award by being the first to inquire about the painting and offer to buy it.

More than 150 framed paintings created during the week will be on sale to the public Nov. 10-11 in the auditorium of the Zion Human History Museum. There’s also the “Saturday Paint Out” Nov. 10, a timed event where all the invited artists paint together in one outdoor location and have just a few hours to complete a painting. Collectors hustle around to view all the paintings in progress in an attempt to be the first to buy a piece on the spot.

Art has a very firm place in the history of Zion Canyon and in the story that led to it becoming a national park,” said Lyman Hafen, executive director of the Zion National Park Forever Project. “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.”

Although the public art events are free, park entry fees still apply.

Event details

  • What: “Zion Plein Air Invitational.”
  • When: Nov. 5-11. For a full schedule of events, click here.
  • Where: Venues across Zion Canyon and Zion National Park.
  • Cost: Free and open to the public. Park entry fees still apply.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews

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  • Carpe Diem October 29, 2018 at 8:13 am

    Hope to see your piece, Roland Lee.

  • KR567 October 29, 2018 at 11:04 pm

    I sure hope the over sensitive socially challenged doesn’t get offended by this guys paintings ! … !
    Thanks for the article St George news

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