The Art of Zion National Park
This collection includes all of the Museum's historical and contemporary Zion National Park Art. Much of it was acquired for or as a result of the landmark exhibit "A Century of Sanctuary: the Art of Zion National Park." In 2009 Zion National Park celebrated its 100th anniversary. To mark this historic event, the St. George Art Museum partnered with Zion Natural History Association, Zion National Park, and the St. George Area Convention and Visitors Bureau to launch the exhibit.
This three-part exhibit was on display at the St. George Art Museum from August 25, 2008 to January 31, 2009. An abridged version of the exhibit continued in the Mezzanine Gallery through May 30, 2009. In all over 10,000 visitors, including almost 4,000 children on school tours, experienced Zion Canyon through the eyes of artists from across the country and over more than a century.
The first part of the exhibit explored the history of art in Zion National Park, and included seventy-four paintings and photographs progressing through time decade by decade. The exhibit also featured a contemporary installation of Zion, created by Kathy Clement Cieslewicz, Lindsy Stewart Cieslewicz, and Dan Whalen. A dance filmed in the park, choreographed to Olivier Messiaen's Des Canyons aux Etoiles (From the Canyons to the Stars), and projected onto a sheet of gypsum, brought together materials, music, and motion to create a multi-sensual interpretation of the park.
An integral part of the exhibit was a juried competition. A call went out to artists all over the country seeking best of contemporary artwork that showcased the landscape, flora, and fauna of Zion National Park. The resulting exhibit featured sixty-eight works, selected for exhibit from a pool of more than 500 entries, by Peter Hassrick, distinguished American art scholar and Director of the Petrie Institute of Western American Art at the Denver Art Museum.. This sampling, ranging from sweeping panoramas to intimate details, provided a contemporary vision of the Park after 100 years under the protection of the National Park Service.
At the close of the exhibit, 25 of the juried artists donated their paintings to the St. George Art Museum. Two others paintings were purchased and two were acquired through purchase awards. Thus increasing our collection of Zion National Park art and of National Park art in general.