Lanny Grant ‘still creating a scene’ at annual Fall Art Festival
Displayed at the Vatican and the Colorado State Capitol, Lanny Grant’s oil landscapes have been the subject of international scrutiny.Now he’ll be the judge of works by aspiring and professional artists at the 43rd Annual Fall Art Festival taking place Wednesday through Sunday, Sept. 25, at the Ramada Inn and Suites in Glenwood Springs.”I look at the show as a pretty significant launching point because it was the first show I ever participated in, in terms of trying to expose my work,” said Grant, who has been painting since he was 10. “I went up through the ranks of the festival, from the student and amateur levels through to the professional level. I feel like I’ve come full circle.”The Fall Art Festival veteran will join fellow artists Mark Lemon, Kathleen Caricof and Alice Carol in presenting free art demonstrations. He has been one of the festival’s longest running participants and a multiple grand champion in the professional oil painting category.”I have been involved with the Art Guild for several years. I served as president of the Guild for a couple of years,” said Grant, who taught continuing education classes in landscape painting for Colorado Mountain College. “I grew up with it, basically. It was a great way to watch the progress of artists in the valley. “Grant said he is honored to serve as a first-year judge and looks forward to returning to the festival to present his oil painting demonstration from 7-9 p.m. Thursday.”It’s like Christmas,” he said. “You get to be the first one to see all of these kinds of work before anyone else. This is one of the only juried shows of its kind around where the artwork is not prescreened.”When Grant is not giving presentations for the Art Guild and the Redstone Art Center, he can be found in the mountains taking wilderness pack trips to paint. Or he is a volunteer for Garfield County Search and Rescue.”I feel very fortunate that I can spend my time in the mountains and call it work,” said Grant, who has had 15 of his paintings made into greeting cards by Leaning Tree Cards in Boulder. “That’s the spark, that’s where you get that initial inspiration.”Grant’s work with Search and Rescue not only exposes him to rugged, mountainous landscapes that inspire him, but it helps his art career in other ways. Through Search and Rescue member Kurt Papenfus, a physician from Snowmass Village, Grant’s painting “Mount of the Holy Cross” is now on permanent display in the Vatican’s art collection.”Kurt happened to be the on-call physician in Estes Park when the Pope (John Paul II) came to the St. Malo Church retreat for World Youth Day. Kurt is an avid outdoorsman and he and Pope struck up a friendship,” he said. “The Pope invited he and his family to visit the Vatican and they received a special tour. Later, Kurt wanted to buy some of my paintings and he bought ‘Mount of the Holy Cross,’ (of the famous peak near Vail), for the Pope as a gift. He really loved the painting and decided it would have a permanent place in the Vatican art collection.”Grant’s paintings are also displayed throughout the state. His 40-inch by 60-inch oil piece “Vail Valley,” of the Gore Range, hangs in the governor’s reception area at the Colorado State Capitol. Several of his pieces are featured at Alpine Banks in the Roaring Fork Valley, and he is finishing one for the Rifle branch.”The one I’m doing for Rifle is a landscape with Bud Squires, a cowboy in Rifle, on his ranch,” said Grant, who has worked at his home studio on Silt Mesa since 1979. “I still do portraits every once and a while. Over the years I have painted some cowboys and ranchers, mostly because they’re the last of their kind.”The majority of Grant’s work is sold and displayed at the Trailside Gallery in Jackson, Wyoming, and the Ernest Fuller Fine Art studio in Denver. All of his training was received in the west, as well. Grant credits Raymon Froman, his mentor for three summers in Cloudcroft, N.M., and landscape painters Ben Turner and Jack Roberts, both of Redstone, for helping him hone his craft.”I’ve been fortunate to have great teachers,” said Grant, a valley native. “Jack was a very good friend and a great supporter. Ben, whom I met when I was 13, was an incredible landscape painter who gave me a standard to shoot for. I have his easel and a couple of his paintings.”Maybe someday one of Grant’s students, or even a Pope, will say the same.Contact April E. Clark: 945-8515, ext. email@example.com
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