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Mon, July 06

Celebration of Art, music festival coming
Art show a first for Grand Canyon Association

Courtesy Grand Canyon Association
Famed artist Thomas Moran is featured on the poster for the first annual Grand Canyon Celebration of Art.

Courtesy Grand Canyon Association Famed artist Thomas Moran is featured on the poster for the first annual Grand Canyon Celebration of Art.

GRAND CANYON, Ariz. - September is shaping up to be an exciting month, for both art and music lovers, thanks to organizers with the Grand Canyon Association and the Grand Canyon Music Festival.

Officials with the Grand Canyon Association are sponsoring the first Grand Canyon Celebration of Art, scheduled for Sept. 14-19 at Kolb Studios, located within Grand Canyon Village.

According to Helen Ranney, public relations director with the Grand Canyon Association, the idea for the art show came from three individuals.

"It was the vision of Steve Martin, the park superintendent; Brad Wallis, he is Grand Canyon Association's former executive director, and David Haskell; he is the president of Arizona Plein Air Painters. It was their idea to create this kind of event so that we could fund the establishment of an art museum," Ranney said. "We've never had an event like it. This is the first time that we have had this kind of event that includes a Plein Air."

Proceeds from the event will be used to help create a permanent art museum at the Grand Canyon in an effort to preserve and showcase both historic and contemporary paintings that can be viewed by visitors to the Canyon. According to Ranney, nothing of its kind is currently available on the South Rim for public viewing.

"We have a collection and so does the park," Ranney said. "The park has some very old paintings. They have two Thomas Morans. The public doesn't get to see them. There's no venue for art (and) it was the artists who were able to convey the beauty of the landscape."

Celebration of Art events will feature a number of artists painting in the park. Called the Plein Air on the Rim of the Grand Canyon, the event will be held Sept. 14-17. Events on Sept. 18 will include a quick draw and auction at the El Tovar Hotel, Grand Canyon Modern Masters, a reception and awards ceremony. A Plein Air on the Rim award ceremony and public reception is scheduled for Sept. 19. Art will be available for viewing and purchase through Nov. 1.

"There will be several different mediums: oil, watercolor, acrylic and more," Ranney said. "To have a venue like Kolb Studio to see beautiful art and then to turn and look outside and see natural art outside those windows. There's not a better way to view art. You can't beat it."

The month of September will also feature the Grand Canyon Music Festival, running from Sept. 11-26. The 2009 Grand Canyon Music Festival will mark the 26th season of the popular musical event. Scheduled festival performers include ETHEL's Truck Stop, with Dean Osborne and James Bilagody Sept. 11-12, the Bonfiglio Group Sept. 18, and much more. Free community events are scheduled for Sept. 18, including a School of Rock student concert, a Navajo and Hopi reservation high school concert and other events. Performances are scheduled to be held at the Shrine of Ages, located on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon National Park.

For more information on the Grand Canyon Association and the Celebration of Art, visit their Web site at or call (928) 638-7033. More information on the Grand Canyon Music Festival can be found online at or by calling 1-800-997-8285.

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