Rims to Ruins: Celebrated artists to paint the wonders of Mesa Verde in inaugural plein air event

A select group of 28 nationally recognized artists will capture the light and magic of Mesa Verde National Park this May in the first Rims to Ruins plein air paint-out event.

Their paintings, depicting the ruins of the Ancestral Puebloans and the spectacular Southwestern landscapes, will be displayed and sold in later fundraising events to benefit the national park.

"It is an honor to be invited to this exclusive event with so many other talented artists," Jim Wilcox, a recognized Western Artist, said. "The landscape of the park is ideal subject matter for plein air artists."

Mesa Verde Foundation (MVF), in conjunction with Mesa Verde National Park, is holding the inaugural Rims to Ruins event May 20, 21 and 22, 2013.

The national park will grant the artists access to exclusive areas to work, including at Wetherill Mesa, home to the famed the Long House ruin, the wild Piņon-Juniper woodlands, and overlooks of spectacular archeological sites in cliff-side alcoves.

Mesa Verde Superintendent Cliff Spencer, the guardian of this ancient treasure, has enthusiastically supported the plein air paint-out.

"One of my goals is to make the park more accessible to visitors and enhance the visitor experience," Superintendent Spencer said. "The ruins and the natural beauty of the park is interpreted uniquely by each visitor, and we are excited to see the visions captured by this stellar group of artists."

The event was created by MVF, the non-profit fundraising partner for the national park.

"We've always wanted to develop an event based in the park that highlights both the natural beauty and ancestral history," Marilyn Alkire, chairwoman of the Rims to Ruins event and MVF board member.

The artwork will be for sale during two events. The first happens on May 22 after a 'quick draw' at Wetherill Mesa. Guests can enjoy brunch during an auction of the framed artwork. You can buy tickets for the quick draw, brunch and auction through the Goodnight Trail Gallery in Mancos, Colo., 970-533-1177, by email at jamie@goodnighttrailgallery.com or through MVF, 303-321-3120 or at ben@mesaverdefoundation.org.

The second sale occurs during a special gala reception at the Denver Public Library's Vida Ellison Gallery on Oct. 22, 2013. The paintings created on May 20 and 21 will be offered for sale at that time and then remain on display for two weeks.

Both events, sponsored in part by Greenberg Traurig, LLP, are rare opportunities to view and purchase art created by some of America's most noted Western artists. All proceeds will benefit the Mesa Verde Foundation and Mesa Verde National Park.

Participating artists:

William Acheff

Joe Anna Arnett

James Asher

Joe Bohler

John Burton

G. Russell Case

Lorenzo Chavez

Doug Dawson

John DeMott

Mike Desatnick

David Drummond

Barry Eisenach

Gerald Fritzler

Veryl Goodnight

George Hallmark

Jay Moore

Gary Niblett

Ralph Oberg

Andrew Peters

Robert Peters

John Poon

Jesse Powell

Jim Rey

Laura Robb

Elizabeth Robbins

Mian Situ

Curt Walters

Jim Wilcox

About the Mesa Verde Foundation: MVF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, philanthropic partner to Mesa Verde National Park, located near the southwestern corner of Colorado. The foundation promotes an understanding and appreciation of the park, and develops the financial resources necessary to help the park protect the cultural, natural, aesthetic, and wilderness values of Mesa Verde. Learn more at www.MesaVerdeFoundation.org and https://www.facebook.com/MesaVerdeFoundation.

Mesa Verde National Park: On June 29, 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt established Mesa Verde National Park to "preserve the works of man," the first national park of its kind. Mesa Verde National Park contains a rich diversity of cultural and natural resources that contribute to its being named one of the 12 original UNESCO World Heritage sites. It is home to thousands of ancient treasures, artifacts and remnants of Ancestral Puebloan people. Learn more at http://www.nps.gov/meve/index.htm.