Lewis Williams, a Montrose, Colo., resident, will share artwork inspired by his time as the artist-in-residence at Canyons of the Ancients National Monument at 1 p.m. on Sunday, July 21, at the Anasazi Heritage Center in Dolores, Colo.
Williams’ presentation showcases ideas regarding sacred connections to a landscape and the artists who help make those connections for him including Maynard Dixon, Vincent Van Gogh and Shonto Begay. The Ohio native says he was changed forever on his first trip to the West at 17, when he fell in love with the Southwest.
“I learned the power of wilderness,” said Williams. “I am drawn to elements in nature that struggle against other elements, as archetypes of resilience, with a sanctity in being just what they are made to be.”
Williams is the second artist-in-residence to immerse himself in Canyons of the Ancients National Monument during 2013. Each artist spends a week absorbing his surroundings, making art in response to the experience, then sharing his vision and techniques with visitors.
His preferred media include oils, acrylics, charcoal, pastels, watercolors and block prints, and he was recently featured at plein-air art shows in Moab and Escalante, Utah.
The artist-in-residence program promotes awareness of the exceptional places protected within the BLM’s National Conservation Lands, also known as the National Landscape Conservation System. Now in its second year, the program is also active at Escalante/Grand Staircase National Monument in Utah. Artists are selected on the basis of both artistic merit and public outreach proposals. Artists’ presentations provide opportunities for learning and dialogue about the value of preserving public lands. Participants donate digital copies of completed artwork to the BLM for future use in posters, exhibitions or interpretive programs.
The Canyons of the Ancients National Monument encompasses thousands of archaeological sites, including 13 Ancestral Puebloan settlements identified for visitors. Established in 2000, it is the monument believed to have the highest number and density of archaeological sites of any landscape in the U.S.
The BLM’s National Conservation Lands, more than 887 units in 11 western states, include national monuments, national wild and scenic rivers, national conservation areas, wilderness and wilderness study areas.
Museum admission is free throughout the day of the presentation. For more information, go to www.co.blm.gov/canm or call (970)882-5600.