Dancing Birdsongs by James McGrew
30 x 24 in.
Oil on linen on board

In honor of the 100 year anniversary of Grand Canyon National Park, this year’s Grand Canyon Celebration of Art will recognize the achievements of 27 artists who have successfully interpreted the canyon, both in plein air and studio work.

During Plein Air at Grand Canyon from September 7th through September 14th, visitors can watch the artists at work, painting along the South Rim of Grand Canyon. Their work will be exhibited at Kolb Studio at the South Rim September 15th, 2019 through January 20th, 2020.

James McGrew, an Oregon artist who spends his summers working as a park ranger in Yosemite National Park, always brings a unique perspective with his
Grand Canyon paintings. His studio painting for this year’s event celebrates the Native American heritage and influences at Grand Canyon.

McGrew says of his painting:
Dancing Birdsongs honors a century of protecting natural and cultural history in Grand Canyon National Park. It depicts Garrick Yazzie, a Diné (Navajo) dancer, on the rim of the canyon as a monsoonal storm approaches. Garrick has shared his people’s history with thousands of Grand Canyon visitors for about 25 years, frequently dancing with his brother, Woodvin, as their uncle, Brent Chase, teaches, tells stories, sings and drums for the dances. Here, Garrick wears a regalia style used for Pow Wow where tribes come together in celebration of life and friendship. This particular outfit honors all bird life as his people believe that all bird songs are healing songs. The shield represents and honors Yazzie’s late grandfather, a WW-II Navajo Code Talker. Since 2014, each year I have been fortunate to observe Garrick dancing at the Grand Canyon and paint his dances direct from life. Also, each year at the quick draw, I have been fortunate to observe and often paint various special birds during the Celebration of Art’s quick draw event. I titled my resulting paintings according to whichever species presented itself, including California condors, peregrine falcons, red-tailed hawks, and common ravens, each with a unique story interwoven with Grand Canyon’s preservation and human interrelationships.”

On Saturday September 14th from 8:00 am to 10:00 am the CoA artists will be participating in a Quick Draw along the South Rim from Verkamp’s to Trailview
Overlook, with an auction of their work starting at 11:00 a.m. at Bright Angel Trailhead.

The Celebration of Art exhibit and sale opens at 11:00 a.m. on September 15th, 2019 and will be open daily through January 20th, 2020 at the historic Kolb
Studio at the South Rim of Grand Canyon. Admission is free and open to the public.

Please visit https://www.grandcanyon.org/events/celebration-of-art-2019/
or contact Kathy Duley at kduley@grandcanyon.org or 480.277.0458 for more information.