Selected Artists - South Rim - 2012-2013

Archive of Past Artist - for reference only

At the close of the 2017 Season, Both North Rim and South Rim AiR Programs will be been suspended indefinitely.

You may check this webpage periodically for updated information. If you have further questions, you may email us at


Click HERE for south and north rim News Release announcing selected artists for our upcoming Artist-in-Residence season!

2012-2013 South Rim Jury Panel
photo by Rene Westbrook

left to right: Kim Buchheit, John Stark, Patricia Watts and Kerrie Bellisario

Meet the Jurors!

Kim Buchheit - Grand Canyon, Arizona; graphic designer, studio artist, arts administrator/educator and curator

John Stark- Flagstaff, Arizona; KNAU Public Radio award-winning General Manager

Patricia Watts -Los Angeles, California; founder and director of EcoArtSpace

Kerrie Bellisario- Oyster Bay, New York; arts educator, studio artist, art consultant and administrator

Native Boats; mixed media painting by Tay Lee
detail: Native Boats; mixed media on rice paper, 2011

Painting by Tay Lee

Los Angeles, California painter Tay Lee will be in-residence October 8 - 28, 2012.

Tay's large-scale, yet intimate Grand Canyon paintings are both beautifully executed and charmingly witty, featuring tableaus of park visitors and other intimate flora and fauna details in the vast landscape. His on-going, south rim scroll painting project is complete from Hermit's Rest to Grand Canyon Village, and is an impressive 15 inches wide x 72 feet long. While in-residence, Tay plans on sketching and photographing the Kolb Studio to Grand View section of the south rim, in preparation of the next stretch of his scroll painting.

Tay will present two public plein air demonstrations on the rim on October 9th and 10th, 2012. He will be set-up along the Trail of Time, just east of Verkamp's Visitor Center from 1:00 pm - 3:00 p.m. A small exhibit of Tay's work will be hung in Park Headquarters lobby from October 8th - 26th , open daily from 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Throughout the month of October, watch for Tay along the south rim, creating sketches, taking reference photos and working on his ambitious scroll project.

Mare and Nomad perform as folk duo Mare Wakefield
folk duo musicians Mare and Nomad - aka Mare Wakefield

The south rim Artist-in-Residence program is honored to present folk duo Mare Wakefield as special guest performers on October 28th, 2012, at 7:00 p.m. at Shrine of the Ages.

Mare Wakefield is on cross-country tour from their home-base in Nashville and have a two-day layover at Grand Canyon National Park, where they'll perform a set of their original folk Americana music as a gift to the south rim park visitors and locals. Singer/Songwriter and guitarist Mare is joined by her husband, pianist Nomad in this one-night special event. This concert is free and family friendly.

Camping Structure; illustration and design by Edward Ford
Hypothetical Proposal for an overnight camping shelter
Location: Yosemite NP

photo credit - Edward Ford

Writer and architect Edward Ford from Charlottesville, Virginia will be in-residence as a special guest to the program December 14th - 21st, 2012.

Edward teaches at the School of Architecture at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. He's a well-respected writer whose work includes design projects for both commercial and residential use inspired by the architecture of the National Parks.

Edward is currently developing a book which addresses contemporary architectural concerns such as sustainability and the use of changing natural building materials, based on a classic architectural study and guide by the National Park Service, Park and Recreation Structures, published in 1938. Edward will be working on the south rim portion of this survey while in-residence.

While in-residence, Edward will present a special program about his National Park structures studies, on the evening of December 15, 2012, 6:30 at Shrine of the Ages.

Plume; mixed media sculpture by Loren Schwerd
Plume; mixed media sculpture; 2012

photo credit: Loren Schwerd

New Orleans, Louisiana mixed-media artist Loren Schwerd will be in-residence January 6th - 31st, 2013.

Loren's wonderfully experimental, mixed-media sculptures are both poignant and powerful; her Hurricane Katrina-inspired wall sculptures used objects found in New Orleans after the waters receded, infusing her work with a conceptual and actual history of the devastation. Her newest body of work explores human-made environmental devastation specific to the Gulf Coast where she lives.

While in-residence Loren will continue her new body of mixed-media sculptural work: Concurrence. This is a series of dimensional textiles that examine the shapes and textures in her immediate landscape and will be specific to her explorations and discoveries of the Grand Canyon landscape. From January 7th - 28th, an exhibit of Loren's work will be hung in Park Headquarters, open daily from 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Loren will serve as the juror for the 10th Annual Student Art Exhibit (hung in Park Headquarters for the month of March) and will present an evening program artist talk on January 18th, 7:00 p.m. at Shrine of the Ages.

author Naseem Rakha
author Naseem Rakha

Writer Naseem Rakha from Silverton, Oregon, will be in-residence for the month of February, 2013.

Naseem is an award-winning author and journalist whose stories have been heard on NPR's All Things Considered, Morning Edition, Marketplace Radio, Christian Science Monitor, and Living on Earth.

The human capacity to forgive the unforgivable has long intrigued Naseem. She has witnessed it in her work as a teacher and consultant for Native American tribes, as a mediator in the clean-up of the nuclear sites that created the Nagasaki bomb, and as a reporter covering state-run executions. Naseem describes Grand Canyon National Park as her "soul spot", and during her three weeks at the south rim will continue a Canyon-inspired poetry project she started in the summer of 2012, as well as further development of her second novel.

While in-residence, Naseem will present two formal evening programs that will include photos, music, her knowledge and love of Grand Canyon geology, stories of her rafting and hiking adventures and readings from her work.

Cutting Out; mixed media art by Camelia Caton-Garcia
Cutting Out the Cattle; stori viewer and film; 2009

Camelia Caton-Garcia

Conceptual visual and media artist Camelia Caton-Garciafrom Portland Oregon will be in-residence from March 1st - 24th, 2013.

Camelia's experimental work combines video, photography and mixed-media art that explores the myth of the great American West, historically characterized by violence, uncertainty, cultural suppression and resistance, and unimaginable natural wonders. Her work explores these things in relationship with the landscape, and asks how these truths and myths affect the very real situations of land, culture and nation-building through our fractured and distorted collective memory of the West.

While in-residence Camelia will be creating installations that express and explore these ideas, and will offer artist talks and discussions about her discoveries. For dates, locations and times of these artist-led conversations please call our south rim Art Hotline during the month of March - 928-638-7616.

Reflection, Boulder Creek; oil painting by Elizabeth Black
Reflections, Boulder Creek; oil painting; 2000

Elizabeth Black

Painter Elizabeth Black and photographer Chris Brown from Boulder, Colorado will share a residency from March 25th - April 16th, 2013

Elizabeth's photo-realistic watercolor and oil landscape paintings follow the tradition of the great Grand Canyon painter Gunnar Widforss (1879-1934), whose iconic work defined the public's perception of the fantastic landscapes of the American Southwest. Her crystal-clear and gorgeous paintings capture both a historic and contemporary aesthetic, as she deliberately follows in the footsteps of this most influential art mentor.

Soft Rocks Hard Water; photography by Chris Brown
Soft Rocks Hard Water; photography; 2010

Chris Brown

Chris's photography encompasses both the tremendous expanse of Grand Canyon landscape and the remarkable details of this harsh and extravagantly dramatic ecosystem. His remarkable eye for the colors, contrasts and textures of the landscape reflect the diversity that the Grand Canyon holds.

Elizabeth and Chris shared a three week residency on the north rim of the Grand Canyon during the summer of 2012, and this south rim opportunity will continue their life-time of explorations of the landscape that is the greatest artistic influence for both of them.

Elizabeth and Chris will present collaborative and solo artist talks and demos during the course of their residency. For dates, locations and times of their public programs please call our south rim Art Hotline during the dates of their residency.

Folk Duo Mare Wakefield
photo by Rick Russell

Mare Wakefield returns!

May 3rd, 7:30 p.m. McKee Amphitheater

Nashville, Tennessee musical duo - singer-songwriter and guitarist Mare Wakefield and pianist Nomad Ovunc perform an evening of original and traditional Americana folk music, in this one night special event. They will be joined on a few tunes by fellow traveler, UK musician Phil Danter. Join us for this fun and informal performance under the stars.

All artist programs are free and family friendly.

Regard; haiku sign installation project; 2010
REGARD; poetry sign installation; West Hollywood, CA; 2010

Rebecca Lowry

Conceptual visual artist Rebecca Lowry from Los Angeles, California, will be in-residence from April 17th through May, 2012.

Rebecca's work explores the relationships between texts and objects, exploring such themes as time continuity and discontinuity, meaning and hidden meaning, scale and proportion, and how juxtapositions can stimulate thought and new understanding. Her work is idea-driven and presented in interesting and exciting new formats, such as public installations of every-day objects such as street signs. Her work focuses in part on issues of western exploration, geology, and technology, with a subtext of preservation.

While in-residence, Rebecca will pursue her text and object driven work, influenced by the history of explorations of the Canyon, one of the greatest stories of the mapping of the American west. She'll present a public reading of the journals of Grand Canyon explorer John Wesley Powell juxtaposed with accounts of the Apollo 11 moon landing, with the goal of bringing park visitors' attention to the similarities between the discovery of the American west and the Canyon, and the contemporary on-going explorations of space. An installation and exhibit of her work will also be on display. For dates, locations and times of these public programs please call our south rim Art Hotline (928-638-7616) during the dates of their residency.

writer Rick Kempa
Writer Rick Kempa

Poet and essayist Rick Kempa will be a special guest of the south rim Artist-in-Residence program from June 11th - 18th, 2013, just ahead of a full three week residency on the north rim.

Rick is from Rock Springs, Wyoming has been hiking in and writing about the Grand Canyon since 1974. Rick has published two collections of poetry, Ten Thousand Voices (Oakland: Littoral Press, 2013) and Keeping the Quiet (Shoreline, WA: Bellowing Ark Press, 2008). A letter-press broadside "What the Canyon Teaches," featuring one of his poems and artwork by Sharon Dolan, was published by Littoral Press in 2011. He is currently editing two anthologies of Grand Canyon writing, one of poetry with colleague Peter Anderson, the other of essays about hiking in the Canyon, which will be published by Vishnu Temple Press. Rick served as Artist-in-Residence at the South Rim in August 2010 and at Hubbell Trading Post in Ganado, AZ in July 2011. He teaches writing and philosophy and directs the Honors Program at Western Wyoming College.

While a guest of the south rim program, Rick will present one evening program reading of his Grand Canyon-inspired essays, 8:00 p.m. at McKee Amphitheater on June 16th.

A Different Way to Climb a Mountain; acrylic on linen; Elisabeth Condon
A Different Way to Climb a Mountain; acrylic on linen; 2011

Elisabeth Condon

Painter Elisabeth Condon from Tampa, Florida, is in-residence from June 23rd - July 21st, 2013.

Elisabeth's work follows the T'ang Dynasty precept that landscape can be expressed through a studio art that synthesizes experiences and memory. Landscapes are neither fixed nor unchanging; territories, borders and cultures are constantly redefined. Elisabeth's paintings explore the evolution of changing natural, cultural and manmade landscapes over time. She spends hours in quiet observation with the goal of understanding places as they are revealed to her through hiking, exploring and sketching, which leads to finished studio paintings as she gets to know a new landscape. Elisabeth's three weeks at the south rim will be engaged in exploring and getting to know this most astounding of southwest landscapes. Her process of gradually knowing a landscape and the people who inhabit it both historically and now helps her expand her art beyond the purely visual and into expressing a deeper understanding of place.

While in-residence Elisabeth will offer an artist talk and invite people to meet and visit with her during her on-the-rim plein air sessions. For dates, locations and times of her public programs please call our south rim Art Hotline (928-638-7616) during the dates of her residency.

I Will; reclaimed bed sheets, each 60" x 86"; 2011.
I Will; reclaimed bed sheets - each 60" x 86"; 2011.

Kevin Curry

Conceptual sculptor, mixed media and new forms artist Kevin Curry from Tallahassee, Florida will be in-residence from July 22nd - August 10th, 2013.

Kevin's work uses explores issues about contemporary society through the appropriation of every day found objects. His work is a sort of multidisciplinary mapping of history and storytelling that reflects on the looked-over, passed-over, hidden and forgotten parts of our culture and lives. He has worked on both large-scale public art and smaller pieces that address the tendency of our contemporary society to create a large volume of disposable items. His recent work addresses urban issues, and the Grand Canyon residency will give him the opportunity to step out of the alleys and thrift stores, wood shops and computer labs where he typically finds his materials, to immerse himself in more traditional oil paint and woodblock printing. This body of work will focus on his experiences while hiking and exploring the south rim, creating a visual diary that reflects on his topics of interest: the intersection of geography, geology, biology, history and society.

While in-residence, Kevin will offer hands-on printing workshops that start with teaching participants observational skills, and instructing them on how to translate their experiences into art that creates their own visual diary of their time at the Grand Canyon. For dates, locations and times of his public programs please call our south rim Art Hotline (928-638-7616) during the dates of his residency.

Powwow; photography by Jeremy Heflin
Powwow; photography

Jeremy Heflin

Home-made book artists and collaborators Johanna Finnegan-Topitzer and Jeremy Heflin from Merrimac, Massachusetts will be in-residence from August 11th - 31st, 2013.

Jeremy is a photographer who worked for the US Army covering events from hometown life to the first war in Iraq. After leaving the military he studied photography at the University of San Francisco and Academy of art, and has since been a professional photographer. His work is varied - from studio portraiture to architectural and nature photography. Through both his commercial and fine art work, Jeremy strives to capture rare and spontaneous images.

Dreamfly; home made book by Johanna Tinnegan-Topitzer
Dreamfly; home made book; 2009

Johanna Tinnegan-Topitzer

Johanna is a mixed-media artist who creates narrative and sculptural home-made books. The stories she is interested in telling focus on environmental and preservation issues, with the goal of inspiring others. Her books include drawings and writing which combine to describe the awe she feels when exploring the National Parks and their varied landscapes. The playful juxtaposition of serious content and experimental and whimsical forms conveys her interest in wilderness and our need to work together to protect these vital places.

While in-residence, Johanna and Jeremy will conduct collaborative hands-on bookmaking workshops and a collaborative artist talk. For dates, locations and times of their public programs please call our south rim Art Hotline (928-638-7616) during the dates of their residency.

Temple Bowls by Susan Zalkind and Paul Hawkins
Temple Bowls; White Arizona Alabaster bowls, rims inlaid with orange and agate red alabasters; largest bowl 10" X 12"; 2010

Susan Zalkind and Paul Hawkins

Stone carvers and collaborators Susan Zalkind and Paul Hawkins from Camp Verde, Arizona will be in-residence September 1 - 21, 2013.

Paul and Susan have been artistically adventurous collaborators for over 37 years. Quarrying their own translucent American Alabaster from sites in the southwest, they carve their stone vessels and sculptural pieces, creating elegant and evocative stone work. American Alabaster offers a full palette of colors; deep reds, light pinks, yellows, greens, purples, and black and white, which they marry into astoundingly exquisite forms. Their work process starts in the hand gathering of the materials; an arduous task of digging and hauling each uncut rock over rubble piles and down steep canyons. Susan and Paul find this physically satisfying labor, allowing them to connect intimately with each piece of stone, creating a dialogue with the materials that helps define the direction of the final work. They carve their pieces with both hand tools and small grinders, yielding the thinnest possible stone pieces, creating the illusion of movement, life and delicacy in spite of the weight and strength of the stone itself. Susan and Paul collect the very "bones of the earth" for their art pieces, and each original work reflects the subtly rich landscape of the deserts.

In addition to their shared studio work, Paul creates hand-made, stone carving tools and kits for beginners, which allows the couple to share this unusual subtractive (as opposed to additive) art form in the public schools. This profoundly powerful experience teaches students how to be both courageous and decisive in their own creative processes; carving stone is not for the faint of heart. Susan and Paul have been on the high-end art and craft show circuits, traveling around the country selling their work, and are now full-time studio and gallery artists. This is their first Artists-in-Residence experience.

While in-residence, Susan and Paul will present a collaborative Evening Program artist talk, discussing their process and sharing images of their work. They will also be conducting carving workshops with the local Grand Canyon public school kids. A small exhibit of their work will be shown in Park Headquarters for the length of their residency. For dates and times of their public program, please visit our south rim Artist-in-Residence program art hotline (928-638-7616).


Last updated: March 31, 2022

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