Art Blog

Young artist Payton Hurley is a paper-maker and emerging cultural manager with huge aspirations. She will graduate from Florida State University this summer and is spending her July at the Sedona Summer Colony working as an artist-intern for the Peace Paper Project.  She is working closely with director Drew Matott and using the papermaking process as a form of social engagement, advocacy, therapy, and community building. Matott—who has shared his art form wiht communities in India, Germany, United Kingdom, France, Turkey, Spain, Kosovo, Ukraine, and Poland—has returned to Sedona and set up a studio as part of Sedona Summer Colony.

“The projects I work on build appreciation between artists, businesses and the community,” says Payton, “through events and creative experiences that encourage social interaction and new connections.”

Back home in Florida she works with Nick Matos, the founder of Qultur as the Managerial Assistant, to continue the same theme. Qultur is an arts-based nonprofit with a mission to decrease crime and revitalize neighborhoods through creative engagement. The grass roots organization proceeds from the belief that hosting socially engaging events of all kinds also fosters trust in the community, and can repair and reactivate neighborhoods. 

Payton is finishing a major in both Studio Art and Family Child Sciences. She is a mixed media artist and singer/songwriter who incorporates her art and studies into the community events she hosts back home. Hurley’s main goal in coming to the Sedona Summer Colony is to learn as much as she can through papermaking and the inspirational creative people participating in the inaugural program, and ultimately integrate those experiences into her nonprofit work. 

“Our first large gallery event was in early June,” Payton said, “with live painting, music, speakers and performance art, we were able to create an interactive experience that overwhelmed the senses and stimulated discussions. Rather than just displaying art on a wall or accepting a passive audience, we activated the participants through creativity.”papermaking 7 27

This is Payton’s first experience at an artists’ residency, and she said it wouldn’t be her last. She describes her time in Sedona as an opportunity for growth, connections, and newfound creative ideas. 

“As I begin my career as a cultural manager and continue my development as an artist, this residency has fed my soul in ways that will last forever."

To learn more about Qultur, visit or visit their Facebook page:

About the Sedona Summer Colony

From late June to early August, over 125 invited artists-in-residence will be guests at Verde Valley School—provided with housing, meals, excursions, and support for their creative projects. Some of America's most interesting creative producers will interact with Sedona and connect with our community and its undeniable sense of place. We bring them together knowing that other great ideas began in a small, local way. Places like MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, Chautauqua, and the Aspen Institutehave all inspired our vision—and our clever plan to position Sedona as a place for diverse, interesting, and significant 21st century cultural production. Eric Holowacz, Executive Director of Sedona Arts Center and Paul Amadio, Head of Verde Valley School are the co-founders of the Sedona Summer Colony.

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