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Celebration of Art kicks off Sept. 12

Celebration of Art's 2014 Quick Draw. Photo/GCA

Celebration of Art's 2014 Quick Draw. Photo/GCA

GRAND CANYON, Ariz. - Grand Canyon Association (GCA) and Arizona Public Service (APS) are celebrating the seventh annual Grand Canyon Celebration of Art at Grand Canyon National Park Sept. 12 through Jan. 18, 2016.

The event features 26 artists from around the country who have created a studio piece for the exhibition. The artists will paint Plein Air (outdoor) during the week before the exhibit opens at Grand Canyon's North and South Rims.

Visitors will have the opportunity to watch the artists paint as they seek to represent the shifting light and shadow, landforms and vibrant colors of the Canyon's landscape. Artists will be at both the North and South Rims and, again this year, at Phantom Ranch and Indian Garden from Sept. 12-18.

"The artists will be painting all week and then we'll have the quick draw and auction on the 19th," Kathy Duley Grand Canyon Celebration of Art coordinator. "It's a really fun event, the artists have two hours, from 9 a.m. to 11, to complete a painting. They will be located along the rim...they pick a spot and do a painting in two hours and then we have an auction to auction them off."

An hour in between the Quick Draw and the auction is given to allow people to look at the artwork.

The Grand Opening reception and sale will be held from 12 to 2 p.m. at Kolb Studio on the South Rim.

A special evening program (free and open to the public) will be held on Sept. 18 at Shrine of the Ages auditorium at 7:30 p.m. featuring photographs of Mark Klett and Byron Wolfe and their work "Reconstructing the View: The Grand Canyon."

An exhibition and sale of the artist's work will be featured at Kolb Studio from Sept. 20 to Jan. 18.

Proceeds from the event will support the funding an art venue at the South Rim. The creation of a permanent home will ensure future generations of park visitors will be able to view the stunning art collection in the Park Museum and GCA collections.

"Fifty percent of the proceeds go to the artists and the other 50 percent go to the GCA," Duley said. "We've raised about a half a million dollars, we've had a total of a million dollars of sales in the last seven years."

According to GCA, long before color photography was offered, artists like Thomas Moran and Gunner Widfoss contributed to capturing the beauty and mystery of Grand Canyon through art.

In 2009, the GCA re-visited this idea and brought artists to the South Rim for a week of painting and appreciation of art in the canyon. Today, Celebration of Art exposes tens of thousands of people to live artist renderings at Grand Canyon. It has become the model for outdoor art events in National Parks.

"(The event) has grown in popularity and prestige among artists," Duley said. "They all love coming here and painting the Grand Canyon and it has also become very popular among collectors. We have people coming back every year to be involved"

Kolb Studio is located along the Rim Trail in Grand Canyon Village, 200 yards west of Bright Angel Lodge. More information about Celebration of Art can be found at

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