I am here & beginning my artist residency at Zion National Park… it is stunningly beautiful. And those words do not even really do justice to describe where I am privileged enough to be living during the entire month of September.
My journey north to Zion from Tucson began with an overnight stop in Flagstaff in the Monte Vista Hotel, a lovely, quirky, & historic lodging. Thanks to a tip from the bartender, the next morning I experienced the most massively delicious vegan breakfast I have ever eaten in any restaurant at Martanne’s.
It was also just plain massive. The “Emmett” is their only vegan dish, but I would gladly pig this baby down at least a couple times a month if I lived here.
I decided to overnight in “Flag” as it nicely breaks the eight hour drive to Zion National Park roughly in half, but the other reason for stopping was to hand deliver my tapestry, canyon night, to the Coconino Center for the Arts for their upcoming exhibit Night Visions V. When I return home in October, again overnighting in Flag, I will be able to go visit the exhibit!
The past week since my arrival has been one of settling in, developing the feeling of a sense of place, & decompressing from the city vibe to canyon time.
After a small (& a little embarrassing) glitch of locking myself out of the cabin while I was unloading my temporary household from the car, which allowed me to meet a few of the very nice Park employees, I have been settling into my sandstone nest—The Grotto House—quite nicely.
I have become quite attached to a little unnamed riverside path that is just steps away from the cabin,
have come to recognize some of the resident fauna that tiptoe by in the mornings & evenings,
& am growing used to the fishbowl feeling that comes from living on a path used by large number of Park visitors on their way to & from the nearby Grotto shuttle stop.
I welcomed Dennis, who arrived a couple days ago to share the Grotto with me for the next week, & have set up my “studio”.
After a few rounds of sketching & simple photography down on the riverside path, I surprised myself in developing a design that is in some ways quite unlike my previous work, using two of my photographic images to create a transparent collage--
--from which I will attempt to weave a sample section.
While I was still at home preparing for this residency, I had developed the desire to examine & depict Zion in a different way than most people experience or perhaps interpret it. When one does not have much time to spend in places like Grand Canyon or Zion, the impressive geology & terrain command all senses.
However, if one is lucky enough to have more time or is more observant of smaller environments, the hidden life becomes apparent. I have become intrigued with focusing on the microcosms of Zion, placing the massive towers, cliffs, & temples in the background like a spoiled child who is used to getting all of the attention & is in need of a “time out”.
The weaving is underway (well, at least the header!) & this week I am looking forward to:
hosting my first open studio at Grotto House;
a trip to nearby Cedar City to give a presentation at Southern Utah University’s Art insights, a program run for the art department’s teaching staff, students, & general public;
& setting up to demo in a local coffee house just outside the Park for the town of Springdale’s Second Saturday Art Walk.
And, of course, soaking in more of everything Zion has for me to discover!...