Search My-West

"Informative and entertaining, My-West will be a valued destination for westerners and devotees of all things western. Well-written posts, evocative photos and fine art, valuable travel tips, and an upbeat style make this a destination site for travelers and web surfers. Go West!" - Stan Lynde, Award-winning Western novelist and cartoonist
Subscribe to Festivals


Entries in Utah (2)


Maynard Dixon Country 2011: An Artists’ Artist 

By Donna Poulton

Credit: Sunset Magazine

An artists’ artist, Maynard Dixon is one of the most important 20th century artists of the American West. During his life, many artists made the arduous journey to seek Dixon out at his southern Utah cabin in Mt. Carmel.  

Credit: Image public domain

Conrad Buff, Jimmy Swinnerton,  Milford Zornes and Emil Kosa are just a few who spent weeks painting the enormous scenery around Zion while staying with Dixon. 

“Sculptured Sandstone,” Maynard Dixon. Credit: The Coeur D’ Alene Art Auction

Dixon created well over 200 paintings of the area, beginning with his first visit to Zion in 1933. He returned to southern Utah often and ultimately built a cabin in 1939 in one of the most scenic areas of the state.

Credit: Photograph by Merrit Stites (c)

Shortly before he died in 1945, he wrote a poem, which reads in part: “At last, I shall give myself to the desert again….Broadcast over the sun-land.”  Because of this poem his ashes were scattered on the hill above his beautiful cabin.

Maynard Dixon’s Cabin.  Image courtesy of Bingham Gallery

In 1998, Susan and Paul Bingham bought Maynard Dixon’s acreage and cabin and restored it. It is now on the National Registry of Historic Places and was featured in Architectural Digest in 2001.
Credit: Bingham Gallery

In the tradition and spirit of Dixon’s hospitality to artists and his encouragement of their work, Susan and Paul Bingham founded Maynard Dixon Country, an annual event for which artists are invited from throughout the U.S. to paint the southern Utah landscape en plein air, and to compete for a number of awards.  Invitations for the week long event are among the most highly sought after in the country.

Painting by Ray Roberts. Credit: Bingham Gallery

In many ways Dixon was ahead of his time.  None before him understood the brute grace of the stylized forms of the West as well as he did.  He painted isolated motifs of great boldness in an inherently modern landscape.  The artists painting at Maynard Dixon country are among the best in the country and they are up to the challenge. 

“Cliff Hanger”by Len Chmiel. Credit: Bingham Gallery

The big names attending this year include: Matt Smith, Skip Whicomb, Ray Roberts, Dan Young, Len Chmiel, Kate Starling, Charles Muench, Bonnie Posselli, Jermy Lipking, Kathryn Stats, Dan Pinkham, Ron Rencher, Russell Case and many more. 

At the end of the week, artists sell their en plein air canvases along with finished studio work.

Credit: Bingham Gallery

You’ll want to be on hand from 26 – 28 August for: The Symposium, “Finding your own Voice,” with Bonnie Posselli and Kathryn Stats; the Wet Painting Show & Sale; and the second Symposium “Child of Giants” a documentary about Maynard Dixon and Dorothea Lange.

"Overture" by Glenn Dean. Credit: Bingham Gallery

On the evening of the 27th, there is a Gala Reception on the front lawn of Maynard Dixon’s home. Check the website at The Thunderbird Foundation for the Arts or call: 435.648.2653 for more information.

A sneak peak at just two of the finished easel works available this year.

Painting "Puesta del sol de Los Muertos," by Jeremy Lipking. Credit: Paul Bingham

Painting by Kate Starling. Credit: Paul Bingham


Welcome to Bicknell. Home of the Bicknell International Film Festival – Better Living Through Bad Cinema

By Bennett Owen

Credit: ©

WHAM! BAM! POW! BIFF! Yes, BIFF as in Bicknell International Film Festival, a southern Utah tradition since 1995.

Credit: BIFF

This weekend, Bicknell is in a B-Hive state of mind, embracing bad movies with a capital B. Each year the committee selects three films that best reflect the worst of a genre.  Past themes include:

  • UFOria (1996)
  • Beach Blanket Bicknell (2002)
  • Big Top Bicknell (2006)

And the 10th anniversary edition, ‘The B-er, the Better.’

This year, the festival jury has chosen superheroes…and the merriment gets underway Friday evening with the 1966 Batman movie, starring Adam West … a movie so camp you could park an RV in it. (My mom ruined the TV series for me by pointing out that he had bony knees!) 

Credit: BIFF

On Saturday, festival-goers will get a matinee look at Captain America! No, not the big budget blockbuster making its nationwide bow this weekend … rather the 1990 version, described as a “ridiculous adaptation.” This screening also features ‘audience participation’…

Credit: BIFF

And Saturday evening the festival comes to a close with a gala performance of Flash Gordon, one of the cheesiest movies ever made, complete with soundtrack by Queen.  (Flash saves the world on a treadmill!)


But BIFF is more than just movies. Friday afternoon features the world’s fastest parade, clocking in at 55 miles per hour –

Credit: BIFF

Credit: BIFF

There’s also a Saturday Swap Meet, where people get together to … swap stuff -

And after grand finale, the BIFF “It’s a Wrap Party,” featuring music this year by the Main Street Revelators. 

Credit: BIFF

The festival venue is the 64 year-old Wayne theater, recently restored to its original … hmmm, splendor doesn’t quite seem to fit here. 

The theater holds 306 people. The population of Bicknell is 325. Its owner, Terry Davis, is in charge of BIFF. “Everyone has a superhero in them one way or another,” he observes, and he’s right of course, especially after a trip to your local Italian Deli.

Credit: BIFF

Bicknell, by the way is also the gateway to the fabulous Capitol Reef and Canyonlands National Parks, along with some of the best hiking and biking country in the west. But the film festival is something you have to see to B-lieve.

Bicknell Film Festival, July 22-23 – For more information:

Credit: BIFF