The guiding principles of the event are twofold: we want to help artists in America, and we want to ensure the viability of historic preservation. We are deeply connected to the art of Maynard Dixon and his contributions to American art. But rather than focusing solely on the beloved paintings of Maynard Dixon, we focus on the “art spirit” and intention of Maynard Dixon, the artist, poet and whole person. In choosing to remember Dixon this way, we believe his legacy becomes even more meaningful when it is illuminated by the artists who are living and making art in 2018.

Maynard Dixon Country is our major annual fundraising event to support the Thunderbird Foundation for the Arts. In bringing collectors to this event, we help the artists on the forefront of American art continue to thrive, and we fulfill our mission for historic preservation. All art sales from Maynard Dixon Country directly fund the artists, as well as the annual operating budget of the Thunderbird Foundation for the Arts and the Maynard Dixon Living History Museum.

This year, 50 artists will join us from Maine to California, each making artwork that defines the magnificent landscape that makes the region iconic. As a measure of support for the local community of Mt. Carmel, each artist will create their own interpretation of “Sugar Knoll” as a gesture and a statement of all of the famous artists that have come to this region to make fine art. Sugar Knoll was a favorite subject of Maynard Dixon, Conrad Buff, Milford Zornes and American photographers Ansel Adams and Dorothea Lange.

The reason for this effort is the pending auction of Sugar Knoll to a private entity.

A public meeting will be held at the Thunderbird Foundation Headquarters in Mt. Carmel on September 6, at 7 p.m. A representative of the Trust Lands Auction from Richfield will be here to discuss and answer questions regarding the upcoming October 24 land auction where our beloved Sugar Knoll and 500 acres of land will be auctioned off to a private entity!

We may have options to prevent this from happening! Please come with your concerns and questions so that we may all understand exactly what this is all about, and so that we may have the facts rather than a lot of speculation, which is now circulating in the community. It may be helpful to read up on SITLA and on the Trust Lands history and objectives before attending.

Artwork made during Maynard Dixon Country will include a competitive approach with voting by their peers of the best painting of Sugar Knoll. A private individual has agreed to underwrite the purchase of that painting, which will be used for further publicity.