Local art showcasing the wildlife, landscapes and traditional geometric Native American designs found in the areas surrounding Moab, including Canyonlands and Arches National Parks, will be featured in an artist’s studio tour this weekend in Moab.
The 11th annual event will be a celebration of 16 local artists working across a wide spectrum of media, including watercolors, pastels, acrylics, oils, woodworking, leaf castings, photography, costume-design and more. New to the Moab Artists’ Studio Tour this year is the use of the just six-month-old Gallery Moab as an information hub for the tour.
Gallery Moab was formed in March after the space on 87 N. Main St. was used to display art for Plein Air Moab last October. The art showing was so well-received that the space was subsequently offered free to the artists for the winter months. After managing to sell paintings out of the storefront during the slow season, a handful of artists got together and decided to create a cooperative and start a business. More artists were recruited after all the details were hammered out, bringing the total to nearly 20, and Gallery Moab opened its doors for its first year of business.
While most artists in the tour will be showing art from their home studios, a handful will be showing art in Gallery Moab while passing out maps to the other stops on the tour and explaining the purpose of the tour to those who are curious.
The tour serves several purposes, providing exposure for local artists while creating an event the entire community can participate in, as well as educating both the artists and the audience. The artists get to learn what the audience enjoys most, while the audience gets to learn a bit more about the nuances of creating artwork, while putting a face and a personality behind their favorite artwork, local acrylic painter Jacci Weller said.
Former river guide turned artist Serena Supplee fell in love with Moab after visiting with her father as a child and four-wheeling through the Needles and Maze sections of Canyonlands National Park, and has been “expressing her heart-felt feeling of this country for 34 years.”
“I have new paintings of Arches and Canyonlands National Parks and of Natural Bridges and Hovenweep National Monuments after being the Community Artist in the Parks this year,” Supplee said.
Moab’s rich surrounding of seemingly never-ending natural beauty brings out the artists’ eye in many people.
“The longer I live in Moab, the more inspiring it is,” local pastel painter Peggy Harty said. “The colors of the desert, the red rocks and vegetation along with the La Sal Mountains as a backdrop are breathtakingly beautiful, especially in the morning and evening when the sun sits low in the sky.”
“I find inspiration all around me locally, even as local as stepping out the front door to watch the clouds or how the evening light hits the rim,” local pastel painter Sarah Hamingson said. “I am continually intrigued and inspired by the contrast of seemingly unchanging solid landforms and the ephemeral nature of the weather around them. The colors of canyon country, the vast vistas, and spectacular clouds all figure into my work.”
Bob Ridges grows gourds at his home and transforms them into bowls painted with Native American-themed geometric patterns. Gourd-growing and painting first garnered his interest around 15 years ago, and his main inspiration for designs has been the petroglyphs and pictographs which abound in this area, Ridges said.
After an artists’ reception before and during the intermission of the Moab Music Festival’s Aug. 29 concert at Star Hall, the tour will be open on Saturday, Aug. 30 and Sunday, Aug. 31 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The tour will have stops all over Moab, with maps and guidance provided at Gallery Moab at 87 N. Main St. There is no charge for the tour. For more information visit www.moabstudiotour.com and www.gallerymoab.com.
Gallery Moab’s downtown location serves as hub for 11th annual event
“I am continually intrigued and inspired by the contrast of seemingly unchanging solid landforms and the ephemeral nature of the weather around them,”
When: Saturday, Aug. 30 and Sunday, Aug. 31 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: Various stops at artists’ studios around Moab; maps and directions offered at Gallery Moab, 87 N. Main St.