A decade of Artist-in-Residence now on display
KANAB, Utah (Sept. 9, 2022) – Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (GSENM) visitors are encouraged to stop by the Escalante Interagency Visitor Center to see 10 years of plein air paintings created by the Monument's Artists-in-Residence (AiR) throughout the past decade. The exhibit will be on display from Sept. 12 through Sept. 25, 2022, at 755 West Main St., Escalante, Utah.
“The Monument was one of the first Conservation Lands units to develop an Artist-in-Residence program,” said GSENM Artist-in-Residence Coordinator Allysia Angus. “It is hard to believe that it has been 10 years now that we have been hosting artists to come and paint the incredible landscapes here. It is always a pleasure and treat to see how the artists interpret this special place and share their passion for art and public lands with others.”
The program is a partnership-based model because the residency is co-sponsored with the local Escalante Canyons Art Festival and with Glen Canyon Conservancy, the non-profit that supports the monument in a host of ways, including running visitor center bookstores. Together, sponsors select one artist resident annually to live and work in and around Escalante, Utah, while serving as an ambassador for GSENM.
“The majesty of rocky formations and fragile foliage highlighted by the azure horizon turned my AiR at Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument into an earthly gift from heaven,” said 2019 Artist-in-Residence and Mt. Pleasant, Utah, resident Carol Johansen.
On Aug. 30, 2022, the Bureau of Land Management announced the arrival of this year’s Artist-in-Residence, Claire Giordano. To learn more about this year’s artist, see below.
2022 Artist in Residence Program
The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument Artist in Residence Program is a partnership effort of between the Monument, Escalante Canyons Art Festival, and Glen Canyon Conservancy to promote awareness through the arts of the exceptional natural and cultural treasures within the Monument.
The Artist in Residence program provides artistic and educational opportunities to foster a deeper understanding and dialogue of the natural, cultural, and historic resources within the Monument. The program promotes the value of National Conservation Lands and their connections to the local communities. Residencies allow artists to pursue their work in stimulating environments and share it with the public.
Meet the 2022 Artist in Residence
Artist-in-Residence Claire Giordano has a special relationship with Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.
"I am an environmental artist, writer, and educator following the interwoven patterns of people, place, and climate change, said Giordano. "Through visual art, writing, and teaching I strive to help others feel connected to our changing world, because I believe that a personal connection to and awareness of what is happening is the foundation for stewardship and positive action."
Having first visited the Colorado Plateau during a family road trip when she was six years-old, Giordano has fallen in love with the southwestern Utah landscape.
"I first visited the region when I was six years old on a family road trip. We stopped in the usual National Parks – Bryce, Zion, and the Grand Canyon –
and I was absolutely enthralled by the landscape. I still remember the awe of seeing an arch for the first time and hiking down into a canyon and seeing geology in a new way. These memories inspired a return trip as an adult in 2014, and I have gone back every year since," said Giordano. "Visiting this incredible area as an adult allowed me to expand my range from the most popular attractions to other public lands. Escalante became a favorite immediately; it has a particular feeling of expansiveness an intimacy. It is the feeling of seeing light roll across a valley of stone and noticing the colors change. It is the smell of sagebrush with a hint of storm clouds carried on a warm breeze into a shady canyon. It is noticing how fast my watercolor paint dries in the sun and the patterns this creates on the page. It is a growing love for a place that has lodged in my heart and mind like a sliver of old juniper wood. Every time I visit Escalante, I leave wishing I had more time."
To learn more about Claire Giordano and her art, visit here. Artist-in-Residence photos are available at 2022 Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument Artist-in-Residence | Flickr.