Monday, August 17, 2009

Escalante Canyons Art Festival / Everett Ruess Days

Everett Ruess was was 20 years old when he vanished in 1934, a lone wanderer, poet and artist who loved the Sierras and the Red Rock Country of Arizona and Utah. He was a friend of Edward Weston, Ansel Adams, Maynard Dixon and his wife Dorothea Lange. The mystery of his disappearance, the poignancy of his letters, journals and poems, and the power of his artwork have made him into a legend.

Since 2004, there has been an Art Festival in his honor near the place where he was last seen. This year it will be held from September 20-27 in Escalante, Utah. Events include a plein air paint-out, a fine arts and crafts exhibit and sale, lectures, poetry and discussions about Everett Ruess, exhibits, workshops, gallery open houses, walking tours of nearby historic buildings, and performances by cowboy poets, dance groups and musicians.

There will be an all-day free workshop on Wednesday, September 23rd with several professional painters demonstrating throughout the day. A four-day workshop with Linda Feltner from September 26-29 will also be offered ($780).

W.L. Rusho's book Everett Ruess: A Vagabond for Beauty explores his life and the mysteries surrounding him. Recently, his body was found and a story has been revealed about how he was murdered (with robbery as the motive, which seems a terrible shame, given the small value of his possessions and the huge value of his potential as an artist).

"I prefer the saddle to the streetcar and star-sprinkled sky to a roof, the obscure and difficult trail, leading into the unknown, to any paved highway, and the deep peace of the wild to the discontent bread by cities. . . it is enough that i am surrounded by beauty."
- Everett Ruess

1 comment:

Judsons Art Outfitters said...

According to a story on NPR yesterday, a second DNA test has been completed, and it seems that the remains are more likely those of a young Navajo.
"We go back to where we were a year and a half ago, where we hoped that someday he will be found," Ruess' nephew, Brian, said, having received the results. "You continue to live with the assumption that the mystery will never be solved — but the hope that it will."