White snow, purple mountains, green trees, blue lakes, red rock and golden sunshine—Utah’s landscape is a colorful piece of art that attracts thousands of visitors each year from all over the world. But Utah is also home to many artists; in Moab, artists actually account for 2.5 percent of the population, according to the Moab Artists Directory. Experiencing Utah’s natural beauty at the same time as the creativity and expression of its artists only makes sense. Outdoor gallery strolls, concerts and festivals allow you to enjoy the artwork and the world that inspired it.
Many of Utah’s resorts provide ways to experience the state’s art. Bill Shoaf, managing director of The Sky Lodge in Park City, says art is amplified outside. “Being part of a concert or wine and food experience with our mountain valley as the backdrop takes everything up a notch, transforming an event into a personal experience,” he says. “The scenery, fragrances of the mountain air, and the interplay with nature open up your senses so that you can experience the art at hand at a higher level.”
If you’re after natural artwork without the strain of hiking, hop on a scenic chairlift ride at Park City or Brian Head resorts. Or, find the beauty in science and astronomy at a Stargazers night at Snowbird. Whatever you fancy, Utah’s world-class resorts provide numerous ways to enjoy art in the great outdoors.
More than Movies
Sundance Resort is widely known for its film festival, but it is home to many other art forms as well. Its Tree Room Author Series celebrates the art of the written word as authors lead discussions about their works in The Tree Room—a glass encased restaurant built around a tree. The next author series event will be August 14 featuring Ann Patchett, author of Run.
Sundance also has an outdoor drama theater where “Big River, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” is being performed all summer long. The resort is also home to an art gallery and the Art Shack, a place to create your own art. The Art Shack includes pottery making, painting and jewelry making classes.
Lucy Ridolphi, marketing and PR manager at Sundance, says having art available to its guests has always been part of the resort. “Sundance is committed to the balance of art, nature and community. It was founded by Robert Redford in 1969 and was the birthplace of the Sundance Institute. The beauty of Sundance has inspired many artists who have found Sundance to be the perfect place to explore their craft and grow as an artist. But, you don't have to be an artist to enjoy art.”
The Hills Are Alive
From the Beaver Mountain Music Festival in Logan Canyon to the Jazz Festival in Moab, the state offers ample outdoor music opportunities.
Many of the resorts have permanent outdoor concert venues and bring a variety of artists including the Utah Symphony and local folk musicians to their stages. The Sky Lodge has an outdoor/indoor lounge with live music in the summer.
“Enjoying art in all forms is part personal but also a communal experience,” Shoaf says. “We wanted our outdoor space to not just ‘display art’ but to integrate art into the fabric of enjoying life. We believe that enjoying art in all its forms is essential to personal well-being, and its presence should be an organic part of our guest experience.”
Deer Valley Resort also has a number of organizations that perform concerts on its outdoor stage, including Park City Performing Arts Foundation and Mountain Town Music. Guests have the option to bring their own picnic dinner or purchase edibles there from burgers and salads to eat while enjoying the show on the lawn or in seats.
A picnic and concert can also be enjoyed at Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort, where there are free concerts each weekend throughout the summer as part of its Cool Air Concert Series. Jared Ishkanian, public relations director at Snowbird says, a free concert is perfect for families since it’s just a quick trip up the canyon or a great way to end a day of summer activities at the resort. “When you’re at 8,000 feet and surrounded by absolutely beautiful mountains and very pleasant summer temperatures, that can be a very inspiring atmosphere for art, whether it be music, Oktoberfest or any other event we have going on up there,” Ishkanian says. The concerts typically last from 6 to 8 p.m.
For an outdoor concert in northern Utah, there’s the Wolf Creek Foundation’s Music in the Mountains summer concert series. Concerts are held at the base of Wolf Creek ski hill in Ogden from June through August to raise funds for local charities. Admission is typically $20 per carload with the exception of the Utah Symphony concert, which is $40 per carload.
Art Events Across the State
July 17 and August 14 Beaver Mountain Music festivals, Logan Canyon
August 8-7 Garden City Raspberry Days Festival, Garden City
August 13-15 Ogden Valley Balloon and Artist Festival, Eden
July 8-11 Park City Food and Wine Classic, Park City
July 9-11 Mountain Music Festival, Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort
July 26-31 Springville World Folkfest, Springville
August 6-8 Kimball Arts Festival, Park City
August 21-October 10 Oktoberfest, Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort
Salt Lake City
July 9-11 Salt Lake City International Jazz Festival, Salt Lake City
August 28 The Gallivan Center Folk & Bluegrass Festival, Salt Lake City
August 28 Cedar City Fall Arts Festival, Cedar City
September 24-25 Escalante Canyons Working Art Festival, Escalante
September 2-13 Moab Music Festival, Moab