Sedona, Arizona, is a town of over 10,000 people that's surrounded by breathtaking natural scenery. Ideal for your next getaway, you’ll fall in love with the unique art scene, unmatched scenic hikes, and family friendly events.
The breathtaking local scenery has recruited a plethora of artists from all over the world to move to Sedona. The town features a variety of artistic styles that you’ll find on display in multiple venues. The Sedona Arts Center is at the epicenter of the town's art community and is a must-visit attraction for any art lover. You’ll find classes, workshops, talks, art expeditions, and a variety of signature events. Once you get a feel for the art community in general, it's time to visit the great local galleries. The Lanning Gallery is a popular local choice that was founded in 1986. This is one of the major galleries in the state and you’ll encounter artwork from some of the best artists on the planet.
The town's proximity to the Coconino National Forest makes it a prime location to enjoy unique hiking trails. Red Rock Crossing Trail stretches just over a mile along Oak Creek and is great for all skill levels thanks to numerous shade trees, picture perfect views, and places to camp. Schnebly Hill Trail ranks as a moderately difficult trail and stretches 3.1 miles up Schnebly Hill. The trail features stunning views of the area's unique red rock formations. Once you reach the top, you’re rewarded with unforgettable views of the nearby canyons and mountains. Four Season Guides LLC. is a great local outfitter that can help you with every aspect of your hiking adventure.
Sedona features a variety of events and festivals that offer something for everyone. The Sedona Arts Festival has been a mainstay in the community for 26 years, and gathers 125 of the top artists in the world in one place. You’ll find a variety of artistic disciplines represented and you’ll have the chance to talk to the artists themselves. Great for your entire family, there will be a Kid Zone that is loaded with games and activities. Food and refreshments will be on hand, provided by a selection of local restaurants. The event is also the primary fundraiser for art education in the Sedona area. We got the opportunity to speak to Lori Reinhart, Executive Director of the event, to talk about this unique art experience.
RAL: How long has the event been running and how many people attend?
LR: The Sedona Arts Festival is now in its 26th year. With 125 artists displaying their work, the festival draws over 3,000 festival-goers each year.
RAL: What is the typical demographic makeup of the event? Children? Families? Couples?
LR: Held on the Sedona Red Rock High School grounds with a special Kid’s Zone, the Sedona Arts Festival draws not only families, but couples, singles, and art lovers of all kinds.
RAL: What makes the event unique?
LR: The setting really sets us apart. The festival is nestled in an inspirational setting, framed by Sedona’s sculpted red rocks. The Sedona Arts Festival is Sedona’s oldest and largest premiere arts event. It’s like being in an outdoor art gallery!
RAL: Take me through the activities patron will find at the event.
LR: The Sedona Arts Festival features not only fine art and crafts, but also great food, continuous live music, raffle prizes, and a Kid Zone. The festival will include the Sedona Sacred Arts Tent, which adds a bit of the metaphysical and magical side of Sedona. There will also be a Gourmet Gallery Tent, which features locally produced and packaged kitchen and bath items including soaps, lotions, spices, and jams.
We also feature an international artist in our Guest Gallery. This year’s featured artist is Mario Castellanos Gonzalez, a first generation wood carver who, unlike many, did not learn this tradition from his parents. Mario began carving at the age of 18 out of economic necessity and began learning in his cousin’s carving workshop in 1991. After having dedicated 25 years to his craft, Mario is recognized around the world as one of the top wood carvers in Oaxaca. He has a magic touch, able to create beautiful and whimsical figures full of an incredible sense of movement, often out of one solid piece of Copal wood. The sense of movement in a carving is one of the ultimate signs of quality as it is so difficult to properly achieve. Mario is an undeniable master at this technique!
RAL: Will there be any guest appearances?
LR: The festival features continuous live music throughout, with special musical performances by four time Grammy nominee, William Eaton. Eaton has recorded 16 albums for Canyon Records and tours nationally and internationally.
Eaton also designs and builds innovative guitars and stringed instruments. He is a founder and Director of the Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery in Phoenix. He received the Arizona Governor’s Arts Award in the ‘artist’ category in 2015. Eaton has composed for and performed with the William Eaton Ensemble, Nouveau West Chamber Orchestra, Nebraska Chamber Orchestra and Amadeus Trio among others. He has performed and collaborated with R. Carlos Nakai, Will Clipman, Claudia Tulip, Allen Ames, Mary Redhouse, Arvel Bird, Edgar Meyer, Anthony Mazzella and Fitzhugh Jenkins. Along with his wife Christine, William is the co-Director of Old Town Center for the Arts, in Cottonwood, Arizona.
RAL: What can an attendee expect to find for local lodging?
LR: You’ll find a wide variety of lodging choices in the greater Sedona area, including lodging in Cottonwood and Camp Verde (Verde Valley). You’ll find bed and breakfasts, budget motels, moderately priced hotels, and luxury resorts throughout the area.
RAL: What does this event mean to the community?
LR: The Sedona Arts Festival is a Sedona Signature Event and we are proud of its longevity. 2016 marks the 26th year for the event and we have grown in size and reputation throughout the Southwest.
RAL: Does this drive business to your local economy?
LR: Absolutely, we know that out of state visitors plan their visits around our event. They purchase their tickets in advance, stay at Sedona hotels, dine at our restaurants, and shop at our stores.
RAL: Does the event support a special cause in the community? (School funds, etc.)
LR: The Sedona Arts Festival is a fundraiser at its core. For 25 years, we have been financially supporting arts education in our community. Our scholarship and grant fund is fueled by gate admission dollars and the proceeds from our raffle. We provide cash scholarships for graduating high school seniors who are continuing their art education at the college level. Additionally, we provide cash grants to organizations in our community that provide arts education to children via art camps, clubs, etc. Since its inception in 1989, the Sedona Arts Festival has given nearly $300,000 back to our community.
RAL: Why should people come to your event?
LR: The Sedona Arts Festival has something for everyone. First of all, it’s just a lovely way to spend a fall day in Sedona with the weather typically being fabulous at that time of year. Secondly, the quality and variety of art is a unique experience in itself. You don’t have to come to buy art, but it’s worth the visit just to experience the wide variety of artistic styles from across the country.
For more information about the Sedona Arts Festival, please visit their website.