An early season dusting of snow made the beginning of the annual Centennial Valley Celebration of the Arts cooler than usual, but provided the visiting artists spectacular light and a chance to use more blues and whites from their palettes.
A 15 Bytes co-sponsored event, the Celebration of the Arts occurs the last weekend of September at the University of Utah’s Environmental Humanities Education Center (EHEC) located in the remote Centennial Valley of southern Montana. During the summer the University holds a number of classes and workshops at the center for its students, but at the end of the season, artists of all sorts are invited to descend on the region to stretch their creativity in a unique natural setting.
This year, regular 15 Bytes columnist John Hughes was on hand to provide plein air painting instruction for those who wanted it. After a brief introduction on the principals of painting on Thursday night, he began the workshop Friday morning with a painting demonstration in the brisk morning air. As the day warmed up the team moved further east in the valley to take advantage of a grove of turning aspen trees, returning in the evening to meet the other Celebration participants for dinner, an informal presentation of the day’s results, and the official dedication of the Francis H. Zimbeaux Art Center, a studio space on the EHEC campus.
What is Artists of Utah, or the University of Utah for that matter, doing in southern Montana? The EHEC is a unique facility in a one-of-a-kind setting. The creation of John and Melodie Taft, who own a ranch nearby, the facility was created out of the ghostown of Lakeview Montana, an old stagecoach stop on the way to Yellowstone. It sits in the middle of Centennial Valley, much of which is protected from development, and which provides a number of different ecosystems for exploration. The property will eventually be owned and managed by the University of Utah, offering Utah students and professionals unique opportunities for creative explorations in a distinctive environment.
Categories: Artists of Utah News