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Chamber News: October an opportunity to celebrate the arts

Michelle Kostecki

Michelle Kostecki

October is National Arts & Humanities Month, which recognizes the importance of culture nationwide. It was established to focus on the arts at the local, state and national levels and encourages individuals, organizations and diverse communities to participate in the arts while raising public awareness.

Art connects us. It connects people of a culture to their past, emphasizes diversity and suggests new ideas and insights in a public forum.

Sedona’s arts and culture scene is a magnet for all types of creative people. With over 80 galleries and shops, the Sedona Ballet, the Sedona International Film Festival, Chamber Music Sedona, the Sedona Arts Center and other fabulous organizations that focus on the visual, literary and performing arts have made our town an incredible arts destination.

The month kicks off with First Friday at the Galleries on Oct. 6 from 5–8 p.m. Many of the galleries go all out and present artist demonstrations, meet and greets, poetry readings and other events that celebrate the arts.

On Saturday, Oct. 7 and 8, attend the 32nd Sedona Arts Festival, which showcases over 100 juried artists from across the country. It is always a crowd-pleaser, with an eclectic mix of art, music and food.

The Sedona Arts Center is celebrating its 65th anniversary. During the late 1950s, Egyptian sculptor, Nassan Gobran was inspired by Sedona’s natural beauty. He 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.

Also in 1958, Art Barn’s first exhibition featured renowned Surrealists Max Ernst and Dorothea Tanning, who moved here in the mid-1940s. They built a tiny three-room home on Brewer Road which Tanning affectionately named Capricorn Hill. Much of their body of work was inspired by the red rocks, desert terrain and culture of the Indigenous people. You can even get a tour of Capricorn Hill which is included in Sedona’s Secret 7 Program.  For details visit,

Just last week, Ernst’s granddaughter Amy Ernst visited Sedona and exhibited her artwork “Elements of Collage,” at the city of Sedona’s Artist Rotation Program created by the city’s Arts and Culture Specialist, Nancy Lattanzi. The exhibit runs through Jan. 3, 2024.

On Oct. 20 – 28, Sedona Arts Center celebrates its 19th annual Sedona Plein Air Festival with a meet and greet reception, Main Street Paint Out and artist demonstrations with world-renowned artists, unique workshops and free events.

We are so fortunate to have the caliber of artists, musicians, performers and talent who live and work in Sedona.

I would encourage you to support the arts by visiting the galleries, attend events or even participate in an art class. Now’s your chance to unleash your inner artist!

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