Escalante Canyons Art Festival

PO Box 40
Escalante, UT 84726


Festival History:

In 1934, young poet-artist Everett Ruess left the small town of Escalante, Utah, to "follow . . . the sweeping way of the wind" into the nearby deserts and canyons. A few months later his burros were found grazing peacefully in a box canyon, but he would never be seen again.

The disappearance of Ruess created enduring myth and mystery. Although he was only 20 years old, Ruess's writings about the area now known as Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument reveal a devout union between artist and place.

Known for his gregarious ways, Ruess befriended artists such as Maynard Dixon, Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, and Dorthea Lange. Ruess left behind his own body of art woodcuts, drawings, poetry, and other writings inspired by the wilderness he traveled through.

Ruess also left indelible memories among the residents of small towns and Navajo communities he visited. Escalante, Utah, would be his last stop before his ethereal walk into a deep rock canyon called Davis Gulch, where he mysteriously disappeared.

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