Art Blog

Thoughts on a Creative New Year from Eric Holowacz, Executive Director

In 1958, in the small town that was then Sedona, some very visionary people decided that our community needed a creative hub. They were artists, sculptors, civic leaders, educators, business owners and—whether they knew it or not—our town’s pioneers in cultural development.

A few years later, they turned an apple packing warehouse into the Art Barn, and set the pace for community arts programming in Northern Arizona. Decade by decade, Sedona Arts Center blossomed beneath the ubiquitous red rocks and quiet canyon trails. Thousands of artists, educators, friends and neighbors began investing in the idea of a more creative community. And then they built one.

With the fruits of their labor, Sedona learned how to express itself, how to reflect its sense of place, and how to support the creative process. Ideas were shared, and film, music, theatre, and revelry found a regular home at the Art Barn. New facilities and organizations followed, taking Sedona from the prosaic to the poetic. Cultural elements from near and far began to shape our town, and define Sedona as an extraordinary point on the map. Artists, pilgrims, thinkers, and energy seekers took refuge in this growing creative community—and they continue to migrate to this day.

Then and now, the active ingredient has always been people—friends and neighbors in the Verde Valley who support the arts, explore the creative process, and make our unique culture come alive around us. For almost 60 years Sedona Arts Center has been activated by people—proceeding from a legacy of fearless programming, diverse arts education activities, community investment, and cultural gatherings. With a nod to our founders, and an eye to the future, Sedona Arts Center’s board and staff have a few favors to ask in this brand new year:

First, help us continue building this unique creative community. Bring your ideas and projects for the coming year and beyond. Propose an event or new collaboration. Consider our organization as your creative platform, a resource, a laboratory, a place to kindle your creative spark. Because we are.

Next, help us expand partnerships and programming in unimagined ways. Tell us what you’d like to see, or do, or experience. Give us feedback on workshops, exhibitions, and cultural activities. Sponsor a great idea for Sedona. Connect our organization—and our shared community—with other forces and new cultural elements from around the world.

And finally, invite everybody in town to get creative with us. Bring a friend to the ceramics studio. Tell your neighbors about upcoming art classes. Direct a tourist to our front door. Bring a potluck meal to the Sedona Summer Colony. Join us as a new annual member. Encourage colleagues to attend a First Friday gallery reception, our Sedona Plein Air Festival, a life drawing session, or a Red Earth Theatre production.   

Come visit us in the Art Barn and find your path in painting, music, theatre, or ceramics. Help our nonprofit organization continue its evolution from simple orchard warehouse to diverse cultural facility at the heart of the American West. Join Sedona Arts Center in 2017, and we promise a bold and wildly creative New Year. After all, our visionary founders—and the many cultural pioneers who follow in their footsteps—wouldn’t want it any other way.

–Written by Eric Holowacz