Engagement Activities Surrounding this Documentary
This PBS Utah Documentary Premieres Winter/Spring 2022 | Learn More
Meet three artists who have spent their careers creating artwork inspired by Zion National Park.
Watch 360 videos of the artists creating in Zion National Park! To best enjoy your experience, please:
1) Use headphones, 2) click "Full Screen", 3) use mouse (or finger, if on a touch screen) to navigate around in the video, and 3) make sure volume is on!
I am an oil painter who lives and works in the canyons of southern Utah.
Having earned a degree in geology, I spent years working outside as a geologist and National Park ranger. After formal academic art training from 1988 - 1995 I devoted my work to painting the landscape. Educated in the importance of painting directly from observation, I spent years painting outside, learning the way light plays on the land. Now I split my time between the roadways and trails surrounding my home and the studio.
My paintings portray the natural world and focus on communicating a sense of place, atmosphere and sunlight, retaining the immediacy of the painting experience. The landscape in a particular light triggers a strength of emotion in and I strive to paint in such a way that memory and emotion are triggered in the people who see my work.
Zion, whoa - ZION whoa
It’s still the place that turns my head
I give my soul -to it.
Zion, whoa – Zion whoa
The ravens call to something grand,
— to something bigger than us all
Won’t you carry me back
Long time, I’ve been away
Take some time to sort it out now
Stop at Zion on my way
No more fences to mend
No more false hearted friends
Zion, When you take me back again
I’m gonna make amends
Zion, You never judge me
Virgin River gives me water from her hand
When everything turns crazy
Zion — back home again
Lyrics by Hal Cannon
Watch 3hattrio perform this song on YouTube
For the past 40 years, Zion National Park has not only been my playground but also my laboratory and my art studio. I came to Zion with brush and pencil to record my discoveries. Many artists before me have also attempted to share the vision of this geologic wonderland. Names like Thomas Moran, Gunnar Wildforss, Maynard Dixon, and Jimmie Jones. Along with a host of other artists and photographers, they helped shape our country’s perception of the grandeur of the West.
Each landscape artist makes his or her own statement about the land based on their personal experiences and perceptions. It is more about feelings than images. And since those individual experiences are unique, we have to assume that their paintings will also be unique and different. They are like fingerprints – each different, but each as valid as the next.
My art is a personal reflection of my interaction with the land. The viewer may respond to my art because they are familiar with the place, or had an experience there, but a good painting should evoke a strong emotional response regardless of the viewer’s familiarity with the subject matter.
Other Ways to Engage with this Exciting Project!
Download your own coloring page inspired by the travel posters from the National Park Service.
This image is modified from an original illustration by David Meikle.
PBS Utah will be traveling an art exhibition called A Century of Views: Zion National Park. Click here to learn more about the exhibition and the locations it will travel to during the next two years.