Mesa Verde Welcomes Artist-In-Residence Roland Lee

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Date: October 4, 2011
Contact: Betty Lieurance, 970-529-4608

Saint George, Utah, artist Roland Lee has spent the past 30 years exploring the National Parks with sketchbook and paintbrush. Currently working at Mesa Verde National Park as Artist-in-Residence, Lee will present a free demonstration and talk at the Cortez Cultural Center Thursday, October 13 at 7:00 p.m. He will discuss his unique method of recording his experiences which employs all of the senses.

"If you merely snap a photo, you probably won't remember much about your experiences," said Lee. "But if you invest a few minutes and absorb the experience with all your senses, you will have almost total recall. Sometimes called sketchbook journaling, this technique works for anyone, at any artistic level." Lee explained.

In addition to using a hardbound sketchbook, Lee records his experiences with small watercolor paintings, which are used for larger studio paintings later.

From his cabin/studio on the east border of Zion National Park, Roland has intimately explored the peaks and canyons of Zion and has also enjoyed painting Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Yosemite, Yellowstone and many other national parks. His original paintings can be found in over 1,000 museum, bank, corporate, university, and private art collections.

Lee's watercolor paintings have been selected for exhibit by the National Watercolor Society, the Transparent Watercolor Society of America, Arts for the Parks Top 100, and Paint the Parks Top 100 shows which toured America. He is one of only a handful of living artists to be included in the historic component of the National Park Service centennial exhibit A Century of Sanctuary, The Art of Zion National Park which included such noted deceased artists as Thomas Moran, Maynard Dixon, Ansel Adams, and Gunnar Widforss.

Forty of Roland Lee's Zion Canyon landscape paintings are included in the book, Mukuntuweap, Landscape and Story of Zion Canyon and his essay, "Eye of the Beholder, 30 Years of Painting Zion," is included in the book, Century of Sanctuary, The Art of Zion National Park. He is also featured in the books, Painters of Utah's Deserts and Canyons, Contemporary Western Artists, Artists of Utah, and Utah Painting and Sculpture.

Lee currently serves as board chairman of the Zion Natural History Association and Zion National Park Foundation at Zion National Park.

Begun during Mesa Verde National Park's 2006 Centennial, the Artist-In-Residence (AIR) program provides accomplished writers, composers, and visual and performing artists the opportunity to pursue their particular art form while being surrounded by the inspiring ancient architecture of the Ancestral Pueblo People and the sweeping natural landscape of the park. The park provides a historic, rustic residence to selected participants for 4 two-week periods each year. For additional information, visit the park's Mesa Verde Artist-in-Residence webpage, or call AIR Coordinator, Frank Cope at 970-529-4607.


Last updated: September 12, 2015

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