Art Blog

As Sedona Arts Center looks to its 60th Anniversary year in 2018, the nonprofit cultural organization is planning a series of exhibitions and events that celebrate our creative community and diverse artistic heritage. To warm up the Diamond Anniversary, the Arts Center will present Sedona’s Legacy Artists: A Retrospective Exhibition in two parts beginning in June.   

From June 7 to 18, the Art Barn Special Exhibition Gallery will showcase the works of Sedona artists Luminous Antonio, Dee Durkee, Mary Heyborne, Alok Hsu Kwang-han, Dennis Ott, Jan Sitts, Robert Siracusa, Firuse Stalcup, John and Ruth Waddell, Janise Witt and Susan Zalkind. Sedona’s Legacy Artists continues with part two of the exhibition, June 21 to July 2, featuring works by Aya (Jean-Marie Schiff), Barbara Brown, Nancy Robb Dunst, Paul and Cathy Gazda, Theodosia Greene, Bonnie Hartenstein, Liam Herbert, Ellen Kamerling, James Muir, Jessica Sierra and John Soderberg.

“Our board and staff began thinking about all the incredible creative people and artistic contributions that have built this community over the past six decades,” explains Executive Director Eric Holowacz. “These exhibitions reconnect with the founding vision and invite the community to do the same—while celebrating the artistic visionaries responsible for the modern-day creative identity of Sedona."  

Long before he landed in Sedona, Arts Center Founder Nassan Gobran had tirelessly chased the vision of a place where artists and creativity would be profoundly nurtured. The Egyptian artist arrived in Sedona in 1950, as the head of the Art Department of the Verde Valley School, after an illustrious career that included exhibitions in Paris, London and New York. From the beginning, he was mesmerized by Sedona’s breathtaking scenery and felt that his search had finally ended. In 1958, with a group of 12 others—including Tony and Marguerite Staude, builders of the Chapel of the Holy Cross, and the Hamilton Warrens, founders of Verde Valley School—Gobran established what would become the Sedona Arts Center. 

Opening the Art Barn with a bang in 1961, the first celebration featured the work of Sedona residents and Surrealist icons Max Ernst and Dorothea Tanning, as well as the town’s first orchestra performance. Opera, film screenings, dance classes, language instruction, masquerade parties, and just about every other form of creativity and learning followed. Today the Sedona Arts Center remains at the epicenter of Sedona’s acclaimed artistic community. SLA banner

“The upcoming Sedona Legacy exhibitions highlight the diverse nature of visual artwork that has been made here—from oils and pastels to bronze and alabaster objects—shaping our creative identity over the past fifty years,” describes project coordinator and curator Pam Frazier. "Each of these artists tells you who they are through their evocative artwork, essentially sharing a visual biography and inspirations in Sedona.” 

Sedona’s Legacy Artists: A Retrospective Exhibition is free and open to the public. The community is invited to the opening reception in the historic Art Barn on Wednesday June 7 from 5 to 7:30pm. 

Sedona Arts Center is one of Northern Arizona’s most well-established cultural organizations and serves as the creative heart of Sedona. Founded in 1958, the nonprofit organization is based at the Art Barn in Uptown and offers year-round classes, exhibitions, festivals, and cultural events that enhance the creative life of the Verde Valley. The Center’s Fine Art Gallery, open daily from 10am to 5pm, promotes the original works of over 100 local artists and regularly offers special assistance for collectors and art buyers, arranges private studio visits and fosters hundreds of arts education opportunities each year. For more information about Sedona’s Legacy Artists: A Retrospective Exhibition please call Pam Frazier at 928-606-3998.  For information regarding opportunities at Sedona Arts Center, contact 928-282-3809 or visit