Monday, February 14, 2011

Art Venues- Grand Canyon, Flagstaff, Sedona, & Scottsdale

Happy Valentine's Day from warm, sunny Scottsdale, AZ.  A. Paul & I just took a tour of Scottsdale with our longtime friend and Scottsdale resident Tony Cataffo.  Central within the Scottsdale sprawl is a historic district with a well defined arts district along Main & Marshall Streets.  Along Marshall Street, there were several unoccupied gallery spaces which indicates that Scottsdale is not untouched by the nation's economic woes, although one of the gallery managers stated that there is positive movement in the market of late.  Unlike Provincetown's mid summer season, the main bustle of the art season in Scottsdale occurs between January and March.  The Scottsdale Art Walk, incorporating over 100 galleries, takes place every Thursday between 7-9pm.  Sprayed painted signs stating"  the ArtWalk Line" are scattered every few feet on the sidewalks to help guide visitors along the way.  You can check out the participating galleries as well as special events at  (Thanks, Tony & Betty for your hospitality and for showing us around.)  Now to catch up a little bit on our day from yesterday

Grand Canyon Celebration of the Arts
image courtesy of the National Park

Kolb Studio
Grand Canyon National Park
Along the South Rim of the Grand Canyon sits the Kolb Studio upon the brink of the canyon walls.  The studio house currently stretches the height of five stories down the length of the canyon wall.  Prior to the house being built, the photographic studio established by the Kolb brothers in 1901, started in a simple cave at the head of Bright Angel Trail, before the Grand Canyon became a national park. It is here where the Kolb brothers established their claim to fame by photographing visitors riding donkeys down the trail to the canyon basin. One such image that was shown to me was Roosevelt on a donkey, now there was a sight.  The Kolbs also created the first movie video of the their trip down the Colorado River which was used as a promotional film at the Grand Canyon up until the death of Emery, the last living Kolb brother, in1976.  Over the years, the studio was expanded.  First in 1904 then three additional floors added in 1915 and the last addition of an auditorium in 1926.   Today, the studio houses a bookstore, exhibit rooms of rotating art exhibits and a permanent collection of original works purchased by the National Park in addition to the audtiorium.  The Kolb Studio is today on the National Historic Registry. It was the first venue of art in the Grand Canyon but certainly was not the last.  For the past three years , the Grand Canyon National Park hosts  its fundraiser "Celebration of the Arts" during the fall.  Proceeds from the event is used to "preserve and showcase" historic & contemporary art depicting the park. 

Virginia Martin
Manager Kolb Studio Bookstore
Each year at the event, six to seven artists are invited to set up and paint in the park where at the end of the venue the works are auctioned off, with the park purchasing one piece for its permanent collection.  The works are judged and awarded placement in several distinct categories. The event is opened to the public and several artists offer demonstrations to their viewers as they paint . In addition to the Celebration of the Arts venue,  the park also offers an Artist in Residence Program, whereby artists are selected through a juried process to spend three weeks on site at the Canyon to complete an artistic undertaking.  You can learn more about the art venues and about the park in general by viisting  

Tomorrow we travel to Palm Springs, CA.  When we land, I will catch you up with the arts scene in Flagstaff & Sedona, AZ, with a host of special artists that we met in Flagstaff.  Tonight, our dear friends Tony & Betty are whisking us off for an evening Valentines affair to say adieu to Scottsdale, Arizona.  Hope you all have a wonderful Valetine's night.

Grand Canyon to Scottsdale, AZ via Flagstaff & Sedona

After a restful and invigorating overnight stay at the Grand Canyon Maswik Lodge, I woke early to catch the morning light on the canyon landscape and to check out the Kolb Studio located along the canyon wall before A. Paul & I headed out to Flagstaff, Sedona, & finally Scottsdale.  It was an incredible day to share with you. However, given the very late hour, I must reserve writing about all the wonderful views, art stops, and  special artists we met along our way until tomorrow's blog.   I will leave you instead with a slideshow of the spectacular scenery we encountered throughout our drive. Tomorrow, I will have so much to share with you. Until then,  A. Paul & I bid you a pleasant journey through the images.