Plein Air Art Invitational • Zion National Park

Cache Valley UtahPlein Air Art Invitational: November 6-12, 2017

Every week is a magnificent week in Zion National Park. But one stands above them all each year as 24 of the country’s finest landscape artists are invited to paint and interact with visitors in Zion Canyon. During the week of November 6-12, 2017, painters and visitors will celebrate the historic role art played in the creation of the park. This year’s ninth annual Plein Air Art Invitational in Zion National Park is hosted by the park’s long-standing non-profit partner now known as the Zion Natl Park Forever Project. The event is designed to inspire and educate visitors, as well as raise significant funds for the future of the park.

Among this year’s selected artists are several long-standing favorites, a few who have been away for a while, as well as seven brand new artists to the event. There are 17 oil painters on this year’s slate, three watercolor artists, one who works in acrylic, and three pastel artists. This year’s featured artist, selected as last year’s Foundation Award Winner, is James McGrew, from California. McGrew’s painting, “Eternal Majesty” appears in all of this year’s promotional materials, as well as an exclusive event t-shirt and poster.

Each artist submits two studio paintings which will hang in the Zion Human History Museum beginning September 1 through the end of Plein Air Week in November. The studio paintings are on sale as soon as they are hung. The plein air paintings produced onsite during the week will go on sale Friday evening, November 10, at an invitation only preview event for art buyers. Then, beginning Saturday morning at 9 am, the show and sale opens to the public and will remain open, 9 am to 5 pm through November 12, 2017.

As has become tradition, each artist will give a free one-hour painting demonstration during the week. The Monday and Tuesday demonstration will be on the patio of the Zion Human History Museum. The Wednesday and Thursday demonstrations will be up-canyon at The Grotto. Visitors may also interact with artists throughout the week as they paint at various locations in the canyon.

Saturday of Plein Air Week has become one of the most fascinating days of the year in the park as all 24 artists participate in a Paint Out and sale which is held up-canyon on the lawn of the Zion Lodge. Between 11 am and 2 pm, visitors may watch each of the artists paint in fairly close proximity and if their heart settles on a particular painting, they can put their name on it and claim it for purchase, even before it is completed. In the meantime, a silent auction of the paintings produced for the demonstrations during the week will be ongoing in the Lodge Auditorium. When the bell rings, each painting will go to the highest bidder on the bid sheet.

This year’s event will also feature a special slate of free lectures on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings.

If you can only spend a few days, or even one day, in Zion National Park this year, make plans for that visit in early November when the air is crisp, the leaves are golden, and the artists are at work.

  • Zion Natl Park Forever Project
  • Springdale, Utah
  • 435-772-3264

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