Mesa Verde Park welcomes Gary Johnson

Nationally acclaimed painter takes over as Artist-in-Residence

Mesa Verde National Park is pleased to welcome Gary Johnson to their Artist-in-Residence program.

Johnson is a nationally known wildlife and landscape painter who paints the beauty and inspiration of the natural world. His artwork has been juried into the prestigious, Arts For The Parks Top 100 competition (1996, 1998, 2000, 2002 and 2005), winning the Grand Prize Gold Medal Miniature Top 100 in 2005. He has also been juried into Art and the Animals at the Bennington Center for the Arts in Vermont and the Pastel Society of America exhibition.

On Friday, Sept. 21, at 5 p.m., Johnson will have a presentation at the Cortez Cultural Center of his artwork, how paintings are made, and a brief history of how American art has been influenced by the National Parks System. Johnson will have some original paintings and limited edition prints on view and for sale. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Cortez Cultural Center.

Johnsonís paintings have received awards at the San Dimas Festival of Western Arts and the Phippen Museum of Western Art. He has exhibited at a number of top wildlife and western art shows in the nation and his artwork is included in numerous museum collections. In 2005, Johnson was selected as the Artist in Residence for Rocky Mountain National Park. Johnsonís artwork has been featured in Western Art Collector magazine, Wildlife Art magazine, Southwest Art, Sporting Classics, Art of the West, Western Art & Architecture and Safari Times magazines as well as the Charlie M. Russell Museum Auction and the Sothebyís of London auction house. He is represented by the following fine art galleries: Fredericksburg Art Gallery in Texas, Plainsmen Gallery in Florida, Glacier Gallery in Montana, Manitou Gallery in New Mexico, Art For Wildlife Gallery in California and Journeys West Gallery in California.

The Artist-in-Residence program provides accomplished writers, composers, and visual and performing artists the opportunity to pursue their particular art form while being surrounded by the inspiring ancient architecture of the Ancestral Pueblo People and the sweeping natural landscape of the park. The park provides a historic, rustic residence to selected participants for 4 two-week periods each year.

For additional information about the Mesa Verde AIR program, go to the parkís Artist-In-Residence webpage at www.nps.gov/meve/supportyourpark/artists_in_residence.htm or call AIR Coordinator, Frank Cope at 970-529-4607.