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Crowdsourcing Mornings: Zion NP: An Artist’s Adventure


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This is Crowdsourcing Mornings! This post takes place every weekday morning and highlights one crowdsourcing project I liked from Kickstarter, Indiegogo, or other crowdsourcing websites.

The Zion National Park Service has invited Earnest Ward to spend this autumn (Oct. 16 – Nov. 14) as Artist-in-Residence.  As Artist-in-Residence he will maintain a studio in the Grotto House — the oldest structure in the park, originally built in 1927 as the park’s first museum, and a perfect base for exploring both the canyon floor and high country.  He will spend most of his days hiking, sketching, painting, and filming his experience, and that of the other visitors and park staff he encounters.  He will create a record of his thoughts and experiences in his journals, and will share those thoughts and experiences through weekly blog posts and at least two live presentations — one for the Art Department at Southern Utah University in Cedar City, and one as a guest speaker at the annual Zion Plein Air Art Invitational lecture series.

And, after returning home, he will also produce a series of large-scale, Zion-inspired studio paintings, and publish a new media-rich ebook about his adventure. (This will mark his fifth ebook to date.)  For nearly 150 years artists have played a key role in conveying the immense scale and sublime beauty of this unique natural wonder to the world — from Thomas Moran’s visit to Zion Canyon as a member of the John Wesley Powell Expedition of 1873, to the brilliantly colored paintings of Franz Bischoff. And today the Zion National Park Service continues this tradition by inviting hundreds of artists to submit competitive proposals each year, then selecting just 4 to spend one month each exploring, discovering and capturing the spirit and nature of the park — through their own eyes, and with their own voices.

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The Park Service is prohibited from providing funding to Artists-in-Residence. So, your Kickstarter pledge could be vital to the success of this project. In fact, your support of his project will enable him to spend his residency exploring the park and surrounding environs, capturing the sights and sounds (by day and night) through sketches, paintings (en plein air), maps, films, sound recordings, journal entries, and blog posts. Creating an extensive body of work. And sharing that work and the excitement of this unique adventure with the public — during his stay and (through exhibitions, talks and publications) after his return home.

Examples of artwork created during/after his previous residency adventures can be seen at his website. Samples of his travel/nature journaling can also be found in Danny Gregory’s book “An Illustrated Journey”. His previous books can be found at the Apple iBooks Store (including “North Cascades: An Adventure in Two Seasons”.) And his preparatory field work for Zion can be followed on his blog. If you like what you see, and read, he invites you to take a moment to look at the rewards he is offering for your pledge and to choose a pledge level that works best for you. (And, please, don’t forget to tell your friends.)  Thank you for your generous support!

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As of August 11th, this project has raised around $100 of their $4,000 goal. This project only has 40 days left to raise the $4,000 or it will not be funded!  For a pledge of $10, you will get a handwritten postcard mailed from Zion National Park, and be acknowledged on both his Drawn to Life blog & his personal website.  For a pledge of $25, you will get a set of 4 original nature notecards (with 4 different images) and matching envelopes.  Plus everything in the $10 pledge level.  To learn more and to pledge money, go to:  https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/771542688/zion-np-an-artists-adventure-one-sketch

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