The 2023 Celebration of Art exhibition is on view at Kolb Studio through January 15, 2024.

From the organizers: Founded in 2009, CoA invites participating artists to paint en plein air for a week at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Artists are tasked with capturing the ever-changing colors and light as the sun moves across the intricate layers of the canyon.

Celebration of Art (CoA) is a wonderful tradition at Grand Canyon National Park, providing a vibrant experience for visitors, a venue for artists inspired by the canyon, and a successful fundraiser to benefit a dedicated art venue at the park.

The 15th Annual Celebration of Art was a grand success. This year featured 24 plein air artists who spent a week painting at the Grand Canyon.

Congratulations to our 2023 Award Winners:

Best of Show: Dawn Sutherland
People’s Choice Award: Michelle Condrat
Artist’s Choice Award: John Lasater

Dawn Sutherland, "Heavy Traffic on the Outbound," oil on canvas, 24 x 30 in., sold
Best of Show: Dawn Sutherland, “Heavy Traffic on the Outbound,” oil on canvas, 24 x 30 in., sold

About “Heavy Traffic on the Outbound,” 2023 Best of Show

By Dawn Sutherland

Just below O’Neill Saddle as the S. Kaibab Trail descends like a twisting artery into the Canyon’s heart, rises a plume of red dust from a switchback far below. Supai dust – once a muddy shoreline, hardened by passing eons, now ground to powder and liberated into the warm morning air by the passing of iron-clad hooves.

Hikers step aside as this parade of Canyon veterans passes by. First one, then two, then three strings of sure-footed mules approach, leaning hard into the grade, focused on their task, rhythmically making their way upward through Watahogomii, Manakacha, and Wescogame. Leather creaking, trickles of sweat seeping from under their heavy cargo load, the dusty air filled with their signature equine scent.

Mules care not for names ascribed by geologists, nor for the number of miles on their shoes. What they know are the towering rock walls on one side of the trail and the abyss on the other. Their hooves find the sweet spot in between. And they know they have a purpose. Just one more uphill trudge to the corral, where they’ll be relieved of their heavy load, and rewarded with a fine supper and a good night’s rest.

View the CoA Flickr album to see amazing moments from this year’s event, and learn more about the exhibition at


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