Mid-march it seemed like spring was about to be completely ignored for a mad rush to the heat of the summer, but then the traditional late season snowstorm blew in and the temps dropped by thirty points in a matter of days. But as we all know, these late season storms are temporary exceptions. We still have a few weeks of beautiful spring weather in store, when the hills of our mountains will take on a rich verdant hue before being burned out by the inevitable heat. With the return of the warmer weather it is time again to return to our page 3 coverage of the state’s arts festivals.
As it does every year, St. George kicks off the festival season, with a number of activities this month. With the St. George Art Museum’s 10-year anniversary in the Pioneer Center for the Arts, and a variety of exhibitions in the Dixie Area (see page 11), there are plenty of reasons to visit this part of our state. But the widest draw to the area this month will be the large art events, the St. George Arts Festival, this weekend (April 6 and 7), and the Z-ArtsOpen Studio Tour at the end of the month. While in town, you can also see the newest installation of the City’s Art Around the Corner, an annual exhibition of sculpture in public settings. Twenty new sculptures were recently installed around the city.
This year marks the 28th anniversary of the annual festival held every spring in St. George. Because of its location in the southwest corner of the state, St. George’s art festival may not be familiar to everyone in the colder north, but to make up for any lost visitors from other parts of the state, St. George draws visitors from other parts of the southwest, including Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico.
All this for a town of only 50,000 inhabitants. But St. George’s location rather than its numbers are the festival’s draw. The color country — yellow sands, red rocks and blue mountains — is an inspiration to artists and a thrilling setting for visitors. The festival’s timing is also important. Easter weekend is one of the busiest tourist times. By the time you read this, you’ll only have a few days to make plans so you’ll want to be sure to check for accommodations, or to bring a tent.
If you can’t find accommodations in Dixie for this weekend, you might try for the end of the month, when there will be less tourists but no less an opportunity. The Zion Canyon Arts and Humanities Council (Z-Arts) will hold their 5th annual Open Studio & Gallery Tour April 27 – 29.
The Studio and Gallery tour has over 25 participating artists, from Springdale to Toquerville. A free, self-guided tour weekend will kick-off with an artist reception in the new Canyon Community Center on Friday evening, April 27, 2007. The Friday night fund-raiser for Z-Arts will include works from each participating artist, a silent auction, and an exhibit from the Canyon Figure Drawing group.
The remaining weekend’s Open Studio & Gallery Tour is free and self-guided on Saturday and Sunday, April 28 & 29. Maps will be available from participating artists and galleries, locations throughout Southern Utah and may be downloaded from the website, www.zarts.org. For tickets and information, contact 435-772-0770. And, new this year, there will be three docent-led tours on Saturday: Open air Jeep Tour, Van tour and the “Champagne” Elite limo tour. For more information go to our message board.
Elizabeth Matthews , a native of Salt Lake City, Utah, graduated from Brigham Young University in 2006 with a BFA in Painting and an English minor.