Sedona Arts Center & Verde Valley School

Help Establish Sedona Summer Colony

Pledge Your Support for the Future of Our Creative Community

The inaugural Sedona Summer Colony was an amazing experience! Verde Valley School and Sedona Arts Center are grateful to everyone who helped us establish a new American residency program for artists and cultural managers right here in our own backyard. Over 125 creative people from all over North America—and a few from abroad—were given time, space, meals, and new connections in Sedona. Beautiful seeds were planted. 

While here, our creative guests found inspiration, developed projects, explored landscapes, and connected with our local community. Below is a photographic look back at the inaugural Sedona Summer Colony and the visiting poets, painters, choreographers, film-makers, and creative people who made it an extraordinary experiment. Sedona Arts Center and Verde Valley School are grateful to them all, and to the dozens of volunteers and supporters who made this first-ever program possible. Together, we all share a bold new vision for residency, exchange, and cultural collaboration in the Verde Valley.  

If you would like to pledge support for our efforts and help fully establish Sedona Summer Colony, click here and become a Founding Sponsor!  

The Arts Center and Verde Valley School need your help! We will soon begin planning next year's program, and invite you to get involved, share ideas, and pledge support. Click the below link to become a Founding Sponsor, and make a contribution towards the 2017 Sedona Summer Colony: underwrite a residency fellowship, sponsor an entire dormitory of visiting artists, or be the Summer Colony Angel! Below are some examples of the creative community and residency activity you will be supporting...

Click to Pledge Your Support for the 2017 Sedona Summer Colony
Painter Thomas Crouch, originally from South Carolina, set up a studio space inside Brady Hall. Inspired by the surrounding geological wonders, he explored landscapes and painted furiously during his month-long residency. 
Las Vegas performer and festival Co-founder, Elizabeth Nelson, arrives after the successful launch of Weft in the Weave Collective's latest project, Small Space Festival, in downtown Las Vegas. Her colleagues Heidi Rider, Artistic Director of Small Space Festival and Adriana Chavez, Social Media and Operations Manager, also came to Sedona as cultural managers in residence. 
Dancers from The Equus Projects spent their creative time workshopping movement in the landscape. Here, they stir up the dirt in the name of new dance at the Verde Valley School equestrian ring. 
Thanks to a partnership with the Museum of Northern Arizona, and generous executive director Carrie Hienonen, Summer Colony artists were treated to guided tours of the exhibitions and collections. 
Philadelphia artist Erick Miller contemplates a new model in his Verde Valley School studio. Based on Sedona rock observations, a full-sized sculptural work will emerge from his residency at Sedona Summer Colony. 
Young artist SaraNoa Mark, now based in Chicago, created dozens of new works and experimental assemblages in her campus studio.
Los Angeles-based musician, Jessica Ramsey, joins Seattle musician Chris Lott and writer/visual artist Colleen Barry on top of Cathedral Rock, after a morning hike.
Wisconsin ceramic artist Elizabeth Pechacek creates new work in the Verde Valley School pottery studio during her late June residency with fellow artist Autumn Higgins. 
Pittsburgh-based artist D.S. Kinsel, creates works that reflect race, culture, and his generation. He contributed provocative and socially-salient ideas, and left with the rudiments of a new body of work relating to the African-American experience.  
Ryan Lammie (right front), director of Pittsburgh studio complex Radiant Hall works after a morning brunch, joined in the Dining Hall by Pittsburgh photographer Bob Kubiak. 
Summer Colony intern, Amber Engelmann, kept the daily logistics running smoothly, and provided ongoing support for the artists and program team.
During an open studio tour, conceptual artist Michaela Pilar Brown talks about her work at Sedona Summer Colony, and ongoing projects that explore memory, female body, and African-American experience in the 21st century. 
Peace Paper Project intern, Amy Chen, perches on the South Rim during a Sedona Summer Colony excursion to the Grand Canyon and Wupatki Pueblo. 
Louisiana musician Ian Frazier came to Sedona to work on his first album. Before he left, he presented a new body of music to fellow residents (and the Seven Warriors in the distance) at the campus chapel. 
Musician Daniel Pelonquin-Hopfner—from Manitoba, Canada—gains angel wings during a music video shoot on the Verde Valley School campus. While at the Colony, he helped other visiting artists create and record music.
Rhode Island cultural manager, Xander Marro, created a new population of hand-made paper masks during her time in Sedona, and then showed them off during a Sunday Community Potluck open studio tour.  
Chef Michael Briggs and his kitchen staff kept the Verde Valley School Dining Hall filled with wonderful and healthy meals using local ingredients and items grown on the campus farm. Brunch and dinner at the Summer Colony offered the residents time for conversation, collaboration, and new connections. 
Playwright D. W. Jacobs, co-founder of San Diego Repertory, returned to the desert after many years. While here, he revised his highly-successful play based on the life of R. Buckminster Fuller. 
Miami-based Brazilian painter Ernesto Kunde joined other visiting artists at P.J.'s in the Village. Here he prepares to run the table.
Hawaiian community organizer Keoni Bigno treated the Summer Colony to a kava ceremony, using his special blend of hand-harvested rhizome. While here, he shared many other aspects of his Polynesian culture with the campus. 
Writer, performer, and cultural manager Cailtin Myer ponders our red rock environment and Wild West heritage during her residency at Sedona Summer Colony. 
An easy walk or drive down the dirt road, trips to the Oak Creek swimming hole were a regular part of residents' lives. Here a contingent breaks through the riparian canopy bound for Buddha Beach and their first vortex experience. 
San Francisco artist Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo makes hand-made paper with visiting artists from the Peace Paper Project. She was part of a group of nine Bay Area creative people who participated as a city cluster in the Summer Colony. 
Sedona Summer Colony Program Manager Carol Holyoake, the nucleus of the residency operation, relaxes on the campus quad—flanked by Key West impresario Michael Shields and Miami-based South African artist Anja Marais. 
Another frequent excursion was a hike up Bell Rock. Here three visiting artists—including Kiwi favorite, playwright Julie Hill from New Zealand—connect with the vortex during a twilight outing.
Boston-based visual artist and cultural manager, Rachel Garcia Shank, works on a new painting in the Verde Valley School art studio. 
Sedona Summer Colony co-founders Eric Holowacz, director of Sedona Arts Center, and Paul Amadio, head of Verde Valley School, celebrate the inaugural effort at a reception hosted by The Collective in the Village of Oak Creek.  

Thanks to All Our Summer Colony Sponsors and Volunteers

It took a village to make Sedona Summer Colony possible: an army of volunteers, local housing donors, excursion providers, and behind the scenes partners who helped us connect our creative visitors with the community. We thank you all, and invite those who want to help the 2017 Sedona Summer Colony to become a founder and pledge your support today!  

T o   a l l   o u r   i n a u g u r a l  
S e d o n a   S u m m e r   C o l o n y   F o u n d i n g   S p o n s o r s: 
 T h a n k   y o u   f o r   a   w o n d e r f u l   s t a r t


David and Isabel Simmer
Arizona Community Foundation
Arizona Commission on the Arts
Kling Family Foundation
Lewis Guthrie and Daryl Kling
Pago's Pizzeria and Italian Cuisine 
Timmy Wang
Gay Chanler
Jennette and David Bill
Sheri and M.L. Coleman
Kath Gilliam and Kathy Levin
all the Community Potluck participants
Holli Ploog and Bert Campbell
Joe and Judy Reddington
Charlotte and Hassan Hosseini
Anne Uruburu
Bev Copen
Rebecca and John Ellis
Jan Justice Oswald
Charlotte Selenski
Audrey Waite
Thomas McPherson and The Collective
ACE XPress
Museum of Northern Arizona
Sedona International Film Festival
Sedona Poetry Slam
Red Rock News
Mary Byrd
Dottie Webster
Lawrence and Marcia Swearingen
Terry and Janet Klebe
Mayor Sandy Moriarty
Nancy Lattanzi
Jennifer Epperson
Vince Fazio
Kate Hawkes
Eliphante Village
Joe Gigas
Lawles Bourque
Cheers of Sedona

F r o m   t h e   P r o g r a m   P a r t n e r s 

Sedona Arts Center Staff and Board
Verde Valley School Staff and Board
Amber Englemann, Program Intern
Talya Reynolds, Program Intern
Claire Pearson, Program Intern
Amaya Romanski, Campus Intern
Winnie Muench, Volunteer Coordinator

A n d   f r o m   S e d o n a   S u m m e r   C o l o n y   C o - f o u n d e r s

Eric Holowacz, Sedona Arts Center
Paul Amadio, Verde Valley School
Carol Holyoake, Program Manager


Thanks to all our Inaugural Visiting Artists and Cultural Managers

The first ever Sedona Summer Colony created a model for a diverse and exciting new residency program. Our partnership welcomed and hosted the below artists, creative producers, and cultural managers—and gave them new connections to Sedona. You can still relive some of their experiences and follow their updates on the Sedona Summer Colony Facebook page. 

Sedona Arts Center and Verde Valley School salute the below visiting artists for making the guest-host experiment seem like a beautiful dream. We thank all the volunteers, supporters, and staff who shared their June and July as part of the inaugural Sedona Summer Colony. Together, we sowed the seeds of America's next great cultural residency program..

Julie HIll Playwright, Auckland, New Zealand
Teddy Cafaro Music, Los Angeles
Rob Chidester Music / Film, Louisiana
Maya Ciarrocchi Visual Arts / Film, New York
Rebecca Edwards Photography / Yoga, Australia
Bob Halstead Underwater Photography, Australia
Autumn HIggins Visual Arts / Ceramics, Minnesota
Vahakn Arslanian Visual Arts, New York
Sean Illing Political Journalism, Washington DC
Bob Kubiak Photography, Pittsburgh
Kirtley Leigh Music, Australia
Erick Miller Visual Arts, Philadelphia
Michael Hoerman Poetry, Arkansas
Elizabeth Pechacek Visual Arts / Ceramics, Minnesota
Micahela Pilar Brown Visual Arts, South Carolina
Katrina Rank Wine Making / Visual Arts, Napa
Jessie Schlosser-Smith Cultural Manager, Boston
Frank Scurlock Cultural Manager, New Orleans
Michael Shields Cultural Manager, Key West
Tiffany Tate Visual Arts, Philadelphia
David Wells Cultural Manager, Wisconsin
Ava Williams Visual Arts / Arts Education, Louisiana
Ernesto Kunde Visual Arts, Miami
SaraNoa Mark Visual Arts / Chicago
Adara Meyers Theatre, Boston

Bill Pendergraft Film, Washington DC
Katrina Brees Parade Design and Production, New Orleans
Rachel Garcia Shank Visual Arts / Culturla Manager, Boston
Brad and Amanda Kik Cultural Managers, Michigan
Brent and Mary Grace Wahl Visual Arts / Cultural Manager, Philadelphia
Rachel Barker Dance, North Carolina
Joe Lertola Visual Arts, New York
Anja Marais Visual Arts, Miami
JoAnna Mendl Shaw Choreography / Dance, New York
Kimberly Prentice Theatre / Dance, New York
Nellie Appleby Visual Arts, Key West
Keoni Bigno Visual Arts / Carving, Hawaii
Ella Edwards Music / Healing, Australia
Kacey Katzenmeyer Dance, New York
Seth Clark Visual Arts, Pittsburgh
Matt Gilbert Sound / Electronic Arts, Mississippi
Ryan Lammie Cultural manager, Pittsburgh
Adam Lehl Visual Arts / Typographic Design, Wisconsin
Andrea Avery Visual Arts, Wisconsin
Joelle Ryan Cook Cultural manager, South Carolina
Blaine Siegal Visual Arts, Pittsburgh
D. W. Jacobs Playwright, San Diego
Elizabeth Nelson Small Space Festival, Las Vegas
Tom Lascell Photography, Vermont
Cat Murphy Painting, Louisiana
Elizabeth Rose Photography, Pittsburgh

Thomas Crouch Painting, South Carolina
Rebecca Harmon Textiles, Rhode Island
J.R. Uretsky Puppetry, Rhode Island
Kourtnie Aleiru Visual Art, Rhode Island
Mary-Kim Arnold Cultural Manager, Rhode Island
Nadav Assor Visual Art, Rhode Island
Marc Boucai Cultural Manager, Rhode Island
Amanda Curreri Visual Art, Ohio
Melissa Day Visual Art, San Francisco
Christopher Johnson Poetry, Rhode Island
Xander Marro Cultural Manager, Rhode Island
Caitlin Myer Literary Arts, New York
Melissa Wyman Visual Arts, San Francisco
Amy Chen Papermaking, Hawaii
Llewelynn Fletcher Visual Arts, San Francisco
Grace Rosario Perkins Visual Arts, San Francisco
Colleen Barry Literary Arts, Seattle
Lukaza Branfman-Verrisimo Visual Arts, San Francisco
Brooke Goldstein Visual Arts, Rhode Island

Chris Lott Music, Seattle
Jessica Ramsey Music/Visual Arts, San Francisco
Alix Refshauge Cultural Manager, South Carolina
Heidi Rider Cultural Manager, Las Vegas
Ian Frazier Music, Louisiana
Gazelle Nagshbandi Visual Arts, Louisiana
Katy Peace Cultural Manager / Carnegie Mellon Alumna, Dallas
Weston Teruya Visual Arts, San Francisco
 Bettina Nelson Visual Arts, Philadelphia
Angwenique Wingfield Visual/Literary Arts, Pittsburgh
Nathan Mason Ceramics/Jewelry, Chicago
Yona Davidson Musician/Sound Artist, Philadelphia
Ashley Wick Visual Arts, Philadelphia
Susan McIntyre Cultural Manager, Carnegie Mellon Alumna
Michael Namkung Visual Arts, Miami
Adriana Chavez Cultural Manager, Las Vegas
Daniel Pelonquin-Hopfner Musician, Manitoba, Canada
Shayne Benowitz Literary Arts, Miami
Ashley Monaghan Musician, Louisiana
Christopher Cooper Visual Arts, Louisiana
Dave Edgar Visual Arts, Tasmania, Australia
April Hammock Visual Arts, Louisiana
Liz McFarlin-Marciak Cultural Manager, Carnegie Mellon Alumna
Payton Hurley Papermaking, Florida

About Sedona Arts Center

Exactly 60 summers ago, a group of creative people decided to turn Sedona into a place of artistic learning and creative expression. The population of the area at that time was less than 400 people, most of whom were ranchers, orchard workers, and merchants. In 1956, the community embraced the first Sedona Summer Art program—with classes in painting, sculpture, and Native American arts—and our town's creative ethic has been growing ever since. 

In 1958, the Verde Valley School art department head, Egyptian sculptor Nassan Gobran, and a dozen other civic leaders founded the organization that would become Sedona Arts Center. A few years later, with support form the town’s small Chamber of Commerce, Gobran acquired a former apple orchard warehouse that became known as the Art Barn in what is now Uptown Sedona. The first exhibition featured works by Max Ernst and Dorothea Tanning, and the early years included arts education, lectures, exhibitions, film screenings, and live theatre. 


Throughout the 1960s and 70s, the barn and Arts Center became a genuine hub of creative activity, artistic development, cultural events, and community-building. Today, we keep that tradition and operate an expanded campus, a fine art gallery that represents 110 local artists, and a school that offers over 200 classes and workshops each year. Sedona Arts Center also presents innovative collaborative projects like Peace Paper WorkshopsLoving Bowls, the 12 x 12 Project, Plein Air festivals, Sedona Ukulele Posse, and community projects like the VOC Arts Annex.  

Now 60 years after the first arts experiment, channeling the same bold and fearless dream of creative community, we have established Sedona Summer Colony. With a nod to Gobran and his legacy, our reunited organizations have set out to build the 21st century's next great artist residency program. We see the power of creative people, unexpected collaborations, and efforts that express cultural identity. All of us at the Arts Center are grateful for the past 6 decades, amazed by the recent summer months, and excited about all the creative ideas and projects that will follow!
Copyright © 2016 Sedona Arts Center

Our mailing address is:
Sedona Arts Center
15 Art Barn Road
Sedona, AZ 86336

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