Grand Staircase-Escalante NM Artists In Residence

2022 Artist in Residence – Claire Giordano – Sammamish, WA

Claire Giordano is an environmental artist, writer, and educator creatively telling the stories of science, climate change, and the modern experience of nature. From creating rain-dappled sketches in an old growth forest to filming a watercolor class beside a glacier, careful observation of nature inspires her goal to connect people and place through art. 

In 2021 she founded the Adventure Art Academy – a series of virtual watercolor classes filmed outside – to invite others into the joy of painting outside. To learn more about Claire’s work and classes, go to


2021 Artist in Residence – Gunther Haidenthaller – Alpine, UT

Günther Haidenthaller grew up drawing and painting. He was awarded Sterling Scholar in Art from Granite High School (SLC) in 1974, and majored in illustration and advertising design at Utah State University. He then spent 26 years in advertising graphic design and art direction, with occasional illustration projects to keep things interesting. He left full time employment to pursue his passion for painting. He has studied with a number of well-known, prominent artists including Gael Lindstrom, Kara Schmidt, Randall Sexton, Brittany Scott, Joshua Clare, Susan Jarvis, Carl Purcell, Kathryn Stats, Stephen Stauffer, Colley Whisson, Lyn Boyer, and Doug Braithwaite.  See more of Günther’s work here.

2019 Artist In Residence – Carol Johansen – Mount Pleasant, UT

Carol Johansen was the 2019 Grand Staircase-Escalante Monument’s Plein Air Artist-in-Residence.  She worked with both adults and students at the Escalante Elementary School to feel the creative joy of expressing a response to this rugged country through their own art making.

Carol has lived her adult life in Mount Pleasant, UT, on the Colorado Plateau’s northwest cusp. Her first experience in the GSENM was as a plein air painter during the 2008 Escalante Canyons Art Festival Competition. However, Johansen says her special interest in the Escalante area and its rich history comes from knowing that her relatives lived and worked on the Colorado Plateau and in what became the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, helping to establish early communities. “Working on my family history, I realized I have deep connections in the area,” she said. For further information about Johansen’s art, visit the artist’s website at

2018 Artist In Residence – Graham Goff – Bozeman, MT

Bozeman-based Artist/Architect Graham Goff was the 2018 GSENM Plein Air Artist-in-Residence.  He enjoys creating art and spending time in wild places – sometimes both at the same time.


2017 Artist In Residence – Scott Geary – Santa Fe, NM

Santa Fe-based artist Scott Geary was the 2017 GSENM Plein Air Artist-in-Residence.  Scott is a long time supporter of the Escalante Canyons Art Festival and has won numerous Mixed Media awards for his watercolor paintings during the plein air competitions through the years.  He is professional artist who often works on private installations in and around Santa Fe.  During his residency Scott provided several community and school programs, including two days of hiking and painting workshops along the Escalante River, in addition to painting the surrounding landscape in preparation for his exhibit during the festival.

2016 Artist In Residence – Loretta Domanzewski – Bozeman, MT

Loretta Domanzewski served as the 2016 GSENM Plein Air Artist in Residence.  She is a contemporary artist from Bozeman, Montana who creates visual poetry and beauty of the land.  The phenomenon of nature is the source of Loretta’s expressionist styled paintings, sculptures, conceptual installations, and public art. She is a member of the American Impressionist Society, American Women Artists, a recipient of the Montana Arts Council, awarded a Faber Birren Liquitex Color Award, and has been featured in the Western Art Collectors Magazine. Her paintings are in art collections, including Bozeman Public Library, Nantucket Historical Museum, Nantucket Artist Association,and Huntington T. Block. Loretta has a BFA from Tufts University and the Boston Museum School of Fine Arts, and a K-12 Art Teaching Certificate from Brandeis University. She teaches innovative workshops for adults, children, seniors, special needs, and cancer support in Bozeman and throughout the United States. Loretta is a former art instructor at the Nantucket Island School of Design and Art, Montana State University, and Bozeman High School.  See more of Loretta’s work at here.

2015 Artist In Residence – Bonnie Griffith – Meridian, ID

FullSizeRenderBonnie Griffith was selected as the 2015 GSENM Plein Air Artist in Residence.  Bonnie splits her time between Boise, Idaho and Montana.  She works full time creating and teaching art.  Bonnie is a plein air and landscape painter who works in pastel, oil and encaustics (hot wax painting).  Bonnie is a signature member of and  past President of the Northwest Pastel Society (IAPS), and a member of the Landscape Artists International, Pastel Society of the West Coast, and the Blue Buffalo Artists group.  She has served as a curator for an art center and juror of  art exhibitions and teaches workshops in pastel painting.  To see more of her work, please visit her website:



2014 Artist in Residence – Dennis Farris – Fort Worth , TX

farris images

Dennis Farris painting in Escalante. “Smoky Mountain Road”, Oil on Panel, 12×12.

Dennis Farris, a Fort Worth, Texas based realistic Western landscape painter, served as the 2014 GSENM Plein Air Artist in Residence.  His work focuses on the grandeur and atmosphere of the Western landscape.  Although most of his work has been centered in the Southwest, he has found the wide open spaces in Texas to be a favorite subject.  Many of his paintings are set in West Texas and include Big Bend National Park, the Devils River, and the Hill Country. In 2010, Dennis was selected as the artist-in-residence for Zion National Park where he lived and painted in the park for a month. In 2012, he was awarded the honor of being selected as the artist-in-residence for the North Rim of the Grand Canyon National Park. To see more of his work, please visit his website:

2013 Artist in Residence – Wayne Geary – Salt Lake City, UT

Geary images

Wayne Geary alongside some of his festival exhibit works (left). “Storm Over Calf Creek”, Oil on Panel, 12×12.

Wayne Geary, a Salt Lake City, Utah based artist served as the 2013 GSENM Plein Air Artist in Residence.  His work ranges from watercolors of canyon streams to large public installations. Wayne has exhibited his work extensively in California, New Mexico, and Utah. His paintings are represented in public and private collections in New York, Conneticut, New Mexico, and Utah. In 2002, during the Salt Lake Winter Olympic Games, he was included in an exhibit honoring the most significant 100 Utah artists from the past 150 years. He has also been awarded a number of art commissions. These range from a large outdoor sculpture complex along the Jordan River in Salt Lake City, to works in schools and hospitals in the area to a mosaic project in Salt Lake’s Cathedral of the Madeleine. To see more of his work, please visit his website:

2012 Artist in Residence – Nancy Lewis – Palisade, CO

Lewis images

Nancy Lewis at her festival exhibit (left). “View Down Calf Creek”, Oil on Canvas, 11×14.

Nancy Lewis, a Palisade, Colorado based artist, served as the first GSENM Plein Air Artist in Residence in 2012.  Nancy’s life-long connection with nature’s beauty is evidenced by the colors, textures, and composition she brings to her work. For the last 25 years, Nancy has enjoyed significant success as a graphic artist, having worked as a painter, Web designer, and computer-aided designer and drafter (CADD) on large-scale civil design projects. Throughout her career, Nancy has also worked as an educator, teaching CADD, 3D modeling, digital illustration, and photo manipulation. To see more of her work, please visit her website: