Southern Utah News Articles
What is Maynard Dixon Country?
In 1904, 29-year old Maynard Dixon wrote the following poem:
The mighty west looms vast before my sight,
Bright in the mystery of sun and sky;
Mesa and plain, the desert and the sown,
The scar-faced mountains and the blinding snows,
The deathless blue and soaring angel clouds;
And on its farthest rim I see my soul
Arise, broad winged and free and beckon me.
Beckon him it did, and for the next 20 or more years, he made sojourns into the west he loved, creating drawings, paintings, illustrations and poems about the area that had captured his soul.
So what is Maynard Dixon Country as we refer to it today? Maynard Dixon Country is two things: First, it is an area of the American southwest where the famed artist Maynard Dixon (1875-1946) created the iconic images of the wide open, never ending vistas of skies, mesas, clouds and native peoples of these desert lands. Harsh, dry, lonely, awesome in scope, this area inspired him to develop a style that spoke about these lands through his exquisite, simplified compositions, expressing his interpretations of its power and spirit.
In 1938, he left his home in San Francisco and was finally able to establish his home in Mt. Carmel, Utah, with his wife Edith Hamlin, also building a home in Tucson, Arizona, for the winter months. Today, those traveling through these areas and are acquainted with Dixon’s paintings have dubbed this area as “Maynard Dixon Country,” especially the iconic, stacked clouds that so often grace its skies.
Second, Maynard Dixon Country is an art show that was established in 1999 at the Mt. Carmel home and property of the artist. The show was established to carry on the tradition of painting Dixon had established, the reverence he felt for this magnificent region, and for the spirit of originality he lived by.
Today, some of the finest artists living and working in the United States gather each August at Dixon’s restored home to share their work. Patrons from across the country gather as well to revel in the beauty, add to their collections and enjoy the symposiums and camaraderie of meeting artists they admire. A new, first class art exhibition space has been established here to showcase some of the finest art being produced in the country today by well-known artists.
Mt. Carmel sits in the high mountainous region of southern Utah, just 17 miles from Zion National Park. Surrounded by lush green fields, the Virgin River and Red Mesas, it is no wonder Dixon established his home here.
For more information on the event, visit www.thunderbirdfoundation.com Maynard Dixon Country August 21-23, 2015.