Guest blog submission from Roger Naylor

Like all great works of art, Sedona takes your spirit hostage. It captures you softly and holds you in its red rock trail run

The visual drama of the landscape stirs something deep within everyone who visits or resides here. Sedona inspires and challenges, it thrills and mystifies, it haunts and energizes. It moves us in ways that we struggle to understand. Great art doesn’t provide answers. But it does show us which questions are the right ones to ask.

UH003-Uptown SedonaA fortunate few drawn to this place manage to capture the magic, carving art from the larger masterpiece of Sedona. Surrealist Max Ernst arrived in 1946 and created his most famous work here. In 1958, Egyptian sculptor Nassan Gobran and others established Sedona’s first art center. Joe Beeler and pards formed Cowboy Artists of America over cold beers in a local saloon in 1965. That kind of diversity continues to fuel Sedona’s vibrant art scene that ranges from traditional to contemporary, from Native American to cutting edge.

ACH016-Uptown ArtworkIt’s no wonder the town bristles with artistic showcases, events and festivals. Numerous sculptures and murals are part of the public space. Dozens of galleries, studios and shops populate every corner of the community. Take some time to prowl as many as you can. Explore the different mediums and styles. See how their interpretation of the spectacular scenery aligns with yours.

Del.norte.summerOn the first Friday of every month, many of Sedona’s prominent art galleries from Uptown to Gallery Row and beyond host an evening of openings, demonstrations and receptions. The Sedona Trolley offers free transportation during First Friday Art Walk, circulating from gallery to gallery where everything from fine art to funkier creations can be found. What a wonderful way to kick off your weekend in Sedona.

ACH011-Honanki Ruins

Guest submission by Chamber member: Sedona Visual Artists Coalition

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe arts are thriving in Sedona and the Verde Valley and the Sedona Visual Artists’ Coalition (SVAC) invites you to thrive along with them as they present the Open Studio Tour 2014 which will be held on April 25, 26 and 27. This annual celebration of the arts and artists includes Sedona, Cornville and Cottonwood and has been deemed a Signature Event in the Verde Valley by the Sedona Chamber of Commerce.  The weekend event is a free, self-guided tour allowing visitors the opportunity to meet and talk with artists in their daily workspaces. This non-profit, artist-run event provides thousands of visitors a unique opportunity to meet the artists and gain a firsthand view of their creative processes.



The diversity of style and medium among the participating artists is a testament to the vitality of the artistic community in theSVAC 2 Sedona area. Visitors will gain insight into artistic practices and techniques by seeing artists’ work at various stages of completion. A wide array of technical and artistic tools will be on display including; the various types of canvas, papers, surfaces and paints, as well as kilns for firing ceramics and glass. The event is designed to be an interactive and educational experience. To this end, the artists will conduct demonstrations during the tour and the public is encouraged to ask questions.



SVAC will distribute brochures with a complete list of the participating artists, and a map to all of the artists’ studios. These will be available at many locations throughout the valley. For more information visit

Summer may be winding down but the fun is just heating up in Sedona. Music, art and wine are all part of the September festivities.

Schnebly Hill Lovers of classical music and dance will rejoice as the Red Rocks Music Festival continues until September 8. Internationally acclaimed performers weave a beautiful tapestry of classical and jazz music and modern dance at a variety of venues. Even more importantly the festival provides outreach educational programs reconnecting students to the arts.

double rainbow by Snoopy Rock There is a siren song to the red rocks that proves irresistible to artistic types. Blame it on Sedona’s dramatic beauty and scandalous light. It moves, inspires and nurtures residents and visitors alike.

On the first Friday of every month, many of Sedona’s prominent art galleries host an evening of openings, demonstrations and receptions. The Sedona Trolley offers free transportation during First Friday Art Walk, circulating from Uptown to the world-class galleries clustered in small plazas like Hozho Center and Hillside Sedona. Crowds move through the delicious twilight that cradles Sedona, nibbling food and gazing at everything from fine art to funkier creations.

West Fork Canyon

West Fork Canyon

More music can be heard during the 40th Annual Fiesta del Tlaquepaque, a celebration of Mexican Independence Day, on September 14.  Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village houses a collection of restaurants, shops and galleries in Spanish-style buildings reminiscent of a Mexican hamlet. Cobblestone walkways meander beneath arched doorways and canopies of Arizona sycamores, providing the perfect setting for the rhythmic vitality of mariachi music and the lightning-fast footwork of flamenco dancers.

Sedona at Sunset

Sedona at Sunset

Finish the month at the Sedona Winefest, September 28-29. The two-day event celebrates the burgeoning wine growing industry across the state. It is a joyous gala of wine, food, music and a juried art show.

To learn about Sedona’s upcoming events, click here:

Are you planning a visit to Sedona in September? Check out these great events below!

September 7: SGA Hosts Exciting 1st Friday Tour 

Sedona’s finest art galleries invite you to enjoy an evening of openings, special guests and artists receptions at their monthly 1st Friday Gallery Tour on September 7, from 5:00 – 8:00 pm. All guests are welcome to attend free of charge and enjoy the Sedona Trolley, which does continuous loops to all locations. For more information on the SGA you can find them on Facebook or visit

September 7: Celebrate the Navajo Tradition at AZADI Fine Rugs

On Friday, September 7, from 00 – 8:00 pm during the 1st Friday Gallery Tour AZADI Fine Rugs will kick off their month long exhibition, with an opening reception for “Celebrating the Navajo Tradition.” Refreshing beverages will be served. AZADI FineRugs has two Sedona Locations Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village and the Hillside Shops in Sedona.  For more information please call (928) 203-0400 or

September 7: Goldenstein Gallery presents “The Current”

On Friday, September 7 Goldenstein Gallery in Uptown presents the opening reception for  “The Current” an exhibition that celebrates a stunning array of art from award winning gallery artists who have captivated and inspired collectors from around the globe.  Among the featured artists are Patricia Griffin, and Shane McDermott.  There will be live music and refreshing beverages will be served.  The Current runs through September 30.  For more information visit or call (928) 204-1765.

September 7: “Koshares” Celebrated at Turquoise Tortoise Gallery

During the 1st Friday September 7, an artist reception from 5:00 – 8:00 pm opens “Randall Chitto: Sacred Clowns.” The much-collected and awarded clay artist reinterprets turtles (keeper of history and stories to his Choctaw people) as “Koshares,” the sacred clowns of our area’s Puebloan people. Exhibition through September 16. See photos and a long article on Facebook (/TurquoiseTortoiseGallerySedona) and share your thoughts! Call  (928) 282-2262, or visit

September 7: Haunting Urban Art at Lanning Gallery

A favored Arizona artist returns to Lanning Gallery for Sedona’s 1st Friday as “Jonathan Howard: Escape Plan” opens. An artist reception from 5:00 – 8:00 pm, September 7 opens the exhibition giving visitors the opportunity to meet the fascinating and wholly approachable artist who paints evocative urban scenes in muted palettes of layered mixed media. Read long article on Facebook (/LanningGallerySedona), see photos and share your thoughts. Call (928) 282-6865 or visit

September 7: Ken Row Debuts a Close Call at Rowe Fine Art Gallery

Award winning wildlife sculptor and gallery owner Ken Rowe will unveil his latest bronze, A Close Call during the Sedona Gallery Association’s 1st Friday Gallery Tour on September 7 from 5:00 – 8:00 pm. Meet Ken and hear about the sculpture. Rowe Fine Art is located under the Bell Tower at Tlaquepaque. For more information visit

September 7: Sculptured Elegance in Bronze and Stone

Abstract figurative sculptor Reno Carollo finds the human figure to be the framework for infinite possibilities. Unlike realistic art, the abstract figurative artist uses the realistic human figure as a starting point for creative expression, not the end result. James Ratliff Gallery invites you to attend a public reception on September 7 from 5:00 – 8:00 pm located in Hillside 671 SR 179, Suites A-1 & A-2. Call (928) 282-1404 for information.

September 8: Fiesta del Tlaquepaque

Tlaquepaque is celebrating Mexican Independence Day! Saturday, September 8 is the 39th Annual Fiesta del Tlaquepaque! Enjoy strolling mariachis, fiery flamenco dancing, ballet Folklorico and traditional Mexican folk music. While you meander through the delightful courtyards enjoy 28 demonstrating artists as well as free kid’s activities. Come enjoy the fun, food, and music at the beautiful Tlaquepaque, meaning “The best of everything”.  Visit for the full performance schedule or call (928) 282-4838.

September 9: Sedona Sing out Concert  

Join a music filled afternoon to support the Verde Valley Caregiver Coalition at the Sedona United Methodist Church located at 100 Indian Cliffs Rd on Sunday, September 9 beginning at 2:00 pm.  Pre-sale tickets $20, tickets at the door $25. Tickets are available at: VOC, Rycus Corners, Webers.  In West Sedona: Curves, Bashas, Sedona United Methodist Church, Verde Valley Caregivers Offices & Silver Linings Thrift Shop. Call (928) 282-1780 or visit

Coming up on Friday, April 6 is the monthly 1st Friday Gallery Tour from 5:00-8:00 pm. Galleries will be showcasing highlighted artists, collections and works of art with special late hours. The Trolley will be running between Hillside Plaza, Hozho, Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village and Uptown Sedona to transport guests for free from Gallery to Gallery. Below are some unique happenings at specific galleries for the 1st Friday Gallery Tour:

Double Trunk Show at Turquoise Tortoise Gallery 

The “1st Friday Gallery Tour” on April 6, from 5:00 – 8:00 pm, brings an abundance of Zapotec rugs and Navajo jewelry to Turquoise Tortoise Gallery in a Double Trunk Show. A representative from Escalante Rugs will be on-hand to showcase an extensive collection of their top-quality rugs from traditional Oaxacan weavers carried at the gallery; and the dynamic group of Navajo jewelers led by Michael Qweis will offer an extensive collection of pendants, rings, cuffs, bench beads and more. You can now find Turquoise Tortoise Gallery on Facebook! Call (928) 282-2262 or visit

“Women of Steel” at Lanning Gallery

An artists’ reception during April’s “1st Friday,” April 6 from 5:00 – 8:00 pm, opens “Women of Steel” at Lanning Gallery, showcasing two women who make their artistic mark by wielding a blowtorch. In 2011, Valerie Ostenak’s elegant forged steel jewelry made her one of only five jewelers across the U.S to win a prestigious Centurion Emerging Designer Award. Nina Scott-Hansen welds steel to sculpt elegant horses and strong-legged birds with masses of feathers (individual pieces of welded-on steel). Please find Lanning Gallery on Facebook. Call (928) 282-6865 or visit

Rowe Fine Art Gallery: Earth, Stone and Fire

Native American stone and bronze sculptor Doug Hyde is in the midst of a year filled with museum shows all across the country. Lucky for Sedona art lovers, he’s making a stop at Rowe Fine Art Gallery on April 6 from 5:00 – 8:00 pm during the Sedona Gallery Association’s 1st Friday Gallery Tour. Doug, who is of Nez Perce, Chippewa and Assiniboine heritage, will debut new sculptures in alabaster and lead a sculpting demonstration. The show, “Earth, Stone and Fire,” runs through April 27. Rowe Gallery is located under the bell tower at Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village. For more information call (928) 282-8877 or visit

Weathered Worlds 

On Friday, April 6, from 5:00 – 8:00 pm, James Ratliff Gallery will introduce the new work of Cary Henrie to his Sedona collectors. Henrie will give a short talk at 6:00 pm.Cary spends many hours layering his canvases using additive and subtractive methods: sanding, varnishing, molding, cracking and removing layers of acrylic paint and plaster with finishing glazes in oil. “This highly textured process gives the works almost a sculptural quality” remarks Henrie. And in an effort to create “green art” Cary’s developed Eco-panels which are a composite of recycled materials. “It’s been exciting to cut new shapes such as arches and broken edges, virtually limitless in size and shape”.