Good Morning Sunshine!
BEEP BEEP! sounded my iPhone alarm in the dark at 5:00 am this morning, I wasn’t ready to rise. My son Connor and I had attended the premier of Growing Bolder’s documentary film Conquering Kilimanjaro at Full Sail University last night, we didn’t get home until late. In my typical fashion, I had not yet packed for the trip, however I’m always ready for the Journey.
As it approached midnight I was throwing random mismatched clothing (which I actually prefer) into a suitcase half filled with art supplies (including paint tubes, yikes), trying to keep in mind that my Sedona friends had advised me “it’s defintately long sleeve weather.” Hmm, where are my long sleeves anyway?
This reminds me of a conversation I had with my brother in Massachusetts some years ago. “I’m freezing.” I said “Put a sweater on.” was his repsonse. “This IS a sweater.” I exclaimed. “THAT’s a long sleeved shirt.” he replied. New Englanders…. doesn’t he understand I can only wear an actual “sweater” in Florida for about two days in January?
Soon I was up from the warmth of my bed, figuring I could make up for lost time sleeping on the plane.
My bags are heavy with art supplies and Florida sweaters… so I chose to take advantage of Southwest’s curb side check in which allowed me to meander through the airport with only my laptop and my purse. I had to find a fun colored neck pillow so that I could catch up on my sleep–mission number one. Mission number two is always coffee and oatmeal.
I have been teaching for the Sedona Art Center for at least four years now. It all started when Doug and I visited Sedona and fell in love with this art vacation destination. Galleries lined the streets of Uptown, red rocks made for 360º of spectacular views, and the Art Center itself was wonderful. I said to Doug, “I have to figure out a way to be able to come back here on business.” “What are you thinking?” he asked “I’ll get a gallery to represent me here.” Was my reply, and that’s where I started. Not long after securing gallery representation, I approached the Sedona Art Center about teaching my workshop there and they were all-in. The president told me he just so happened to be in need of another mixed media teacher on their roster. Since then I’ve been invited back every six months. You can catch my class and the amazing town of Sedona next April or November, 2015
The SAC’s Mission Statement: Sedona Arts Center is a nonprofit educational institution dedicated to nurturing creative discovery, learning and sharing through arts education and artistic development.
How it Came About
Inspired by the natural beauty of Sedona, Egyptian sculptor, Nassan Gobran and a group of local visionaries recognized the need for a place where artists could work, teach, and learn together. In 1958, they established Sedona’s first art center, “Canyon Kiva.” They purchased the old Jordan Apple Packing Barn, now known as the Art Barn, which quickly became the community’s creative and social hub.
During the early 60s Sedona was rich with artists, city refugees, and entrepreneurs who foresaw the area’s potential and participated in its development. Through all the dramatic growth and demographic changes, the Arts Center remained one of the cultural constants, even though it experienced its own series of changes.
In 1961, the name was changed to the Sedona Arts Center and officially re-opened with a celebration attended by 300 guests. 1994 was the year of expansion with the addition of a new building to house an art gallery, classroom space, and the community theatre, which was founded in 1970. In 2001 the mission was redefined to focus primarily on education through the School of the Arts and gallery exhibitions of the visual arts. The School of the Arts has become a catalyst for creative development for students of all ages, from the very young through the golden years of life.
Today the Sedona Arts Center is a rich legacy of the founders’ vision. As one of Northern Arizona’s oldest 501(c) 3 nonprofit organizations it continues to be a gathering place where artists and those who love art can explore, teach and exhibit. The Arts Center has grown into an educational institution dedicated to nurturing creative discovery, learning and sharing through arts education and artistic development with an international presence. – courtesy SAC Website
An hour layover in Atlanta where the plane stops but we can’t get out… proved to make for more good napping time on my new memory foam neck pillow. Once we were in the air again for the leg to Phoenix, I was feeling rejuvenated. I decided not to paint in flight this time because I couldn’t carry the travel bag. I’ve had both shoulders operated on in the last eight weeks I just couldn’t do it. I pulled out my computer and decided to share the story of my Journey to Sedona, past and present.
I recall with a smile the first time I taught there, they handed me the keys to the building and the alarm code. “Good luck and have a great class!” Debby said to me. “And my cell phone is on the paper in case you set off the alarm.” Yikes. Talk about having faith in me. But, I managed. I didn’t set off the alarm (or lose the keys), and they even asked me to return to teach the following year.
These days I’m welcomed with open arms by the staff at SAC when I arrive on Thursday to pickup the key and the code. They are always happy to see me and that just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Not to mention I am still jaw dropped in amazement (every time) at the natural beauty of the red rocks and this very special and artistic town. It’s my favorite place.
Doug and I have returned to Sedona as well, we have visited twice on our own and once more with the kids. We took them on a hot air balloon ride which was amazing and something they will probably never forget.
Past and Present
Today I write this as we begin descending on the Phoenix airport. Once we land I’ll rent a car and drive about two hours through the desert. The elevation will climb (to 5000 ft) and the temperature will drop (10-15º cooler than Phoenix) as I move toward that magical outcropping of red rocks. If I’m lucky, I’ll catch it just right and the golden light of dusk will be settling on the side of the red rocks, illuminating them and casting amazing shadows. Sedona.
I’ve made this trip so many times now that I feel confident and calm, not worried about driving directions or distances. There’s something welcoming in that feeling, something that reminds you of coming home.
This weekend’s workshop has 12 students, both local and out of town visitors. I’ll have photos and comments on my Facebook page. You can follow along and be inspired, maybe you’ll even decide to join me next April or January in my favorite place.
For more information on my workshops visit Facebook page for a complete listing of classes. No Facebook account required.