Local Artist Among National Park Academy's Top Picks


Payson artist Rock Newcomb is returning to Jackson Hole, Wyo. this fall -- not for a vacation, but for the National Park Academy of the Arts' annual Arts for the Parks competition.

Before he leaves, though, the artist will kick off a month-long exhibit at the Art Box Saturday night with an artist's reception.

"One of his pieces on exhibit is called 'Embers in the Night,' featuring a wolf," said Newcomb's wife, Cody. "He'll also have a huge elephant piece on display called 'Before The Rain,' as well as some of his paintings of pottery pieces."

Jackson Hole

It is two of his pottery paintings that have earned the artist a third trip to the Arts for the Parks contest.

His two paintings, 'Anasazi Legacy' and 'A Shaft of Light' depict Newcomb's interpretation of prehistoric Native American pottery. Both pieces made the final round in the Academy of the Arts' top 100 works.

Each year, interested artists submit their work to the contest, depicting scenes, themes or impressions of anything relating to America's national parks. Of the more than 1,700 entries submitted for the contest, judges narrow the field down to 200. Of those, the second 100 entries are put on display at a Jackson Hole gallery for a month.

This year's selection marks the third time in Newcomb's 18-year career that he's been selected for the competition.

For last year's show, he submitted a piece he calls "Dances With Demons," a painting depicting a Native American crown dancer. That painting also made it in the top 100 of the Parks' competition.

School's in session

Once Newcomb returns from Wyoming, he'll begin work on his newest venture --instructional videos.

Through an alliance with a Sedona film company, Newcomb will be part of a series for the Public Broadcasting System, "The Artists' Workshop."

"He'll be just one of a number of artists who'll demonstrate a variety of painting methods," Cody Newcomb said. "Rock will demonstrate acrylic painting." The company has asked Newcomb to return to do a second show, on graphite drawing, and is planning a third Newcomb special on scratchboard techniques.

"He'll have three segments on the series," she said. The series is expected to begin airing in January, she added, and may also be picked up by the British Broadcasting Company.

In the meantime, when he's not preparing for his exhibit, or packing for Jackson Hole, Newcomb is keeping busy with a step-by-step how-to article for International Artist --a magazine that caters to artists, from actors to musicians.

"They've asked him to write an article and demonstrate his process of doing an original painting," Cody Newcomb said. "The issue with his story in it should also be released around January 2000."

To learn more about Newcomb's works, stop by the Art Box at 814 N. Beeline Highway between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday night to talk with him about his art, or browse through his exhibit sometime this month.

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