‘Rims to Ruins’ links art, fundraising

Artist Curt Walters of Arizona is one of 26 artists that will be creating art for the Mesa Verde Foundation. Enlargephoto

Courtesy Photo

Artist Curt Walters of Arizona is one of 26 artists that will be creating art for the Mesa Verde Foundation.

To help preserve the ancient ruins in Mesa Verde National Park, 26 artists are dedicating their time and talent during the inaugural Rims to Ruins plein air art project.

Artist Curt Walters of Arizona is recognized worldwide as a plein air impressionist. Fine art painter George Hallmark was voted the official Texas state artist. As a “master artist of artists,” Joe Anna Arnett teaches art nationwide on television. These are three of the 26 artists participating in the plein air “paint-out” and exclusive auction.

“I’m pleased to be able to help out. Mesa Verde is an important national park,” Walters said. “I think it’s a great thing when communities and artists come together. I’m pleased to do it. It’s really great.”

On May 20 and 21, the high-caliber painters will work without interruption in exclusive areas of Mesa Verde National Park.

“The secrets of Mesa Verde reveal themselves very slowly. To feel these secrets, one must be alone, not standing in an overlook with tourists all around,” said Veryl Goodnight, a celebrated Western sculptor and painter. “In silence, you can absorb and feel what is surrounding you. In the hands of a capable artist, that feeling can be transmitted.”

During a “quick draw” on May 22, the painters will work while art lovers watch them draw or paint for three hours. The artwork created that day will be immediately for sale during an auction and elegant brunch at noon.

The artists each will produce two or three Mesa Verde studio paintings that will be displayed and offered for sale during a gala reception at the Denver Public Library’s Vida Ellison Gallery on Oct. 22, 2013. Proceeds from the sale will go to the Mesa Verde Foundation, which, in turn, uses it to support capital projects in the park. The paint-out was created by the Mesa Verde Foundation, a nonprofit partner for the park.

The first plein air event inside Mesa Verde is expected to be like no other for the public and the artists, who will be working side-by-side with their peers.

“I think painting with friends and our peers is good. You always learn something important,” Walters said. “We talk to each other. You get to know the artists, their quirks and personalities and you ultimately end up learning a great deal.”

Tickets for the quick draw, brunch and auction are available through the Goodnight Trail Gallery in Mancos, (970) 533-1177, by email at jamie@goodnighttrailgallery.com, or through the Mesa Verde Foundation at www.MesaVerdeFoundation.org, (303) 321-3120 or by emailing ben@mesaverdefoundation.org.