All cities have personalities. Poet Walt Whitman famously called Chicago the "City of big shoulders." Paris is referred to as the "City of Lights" and New York is known for its ambition; "If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere." In Sedona, it is the arts that run through our veins.
Long before the press came to call and we became known as a new age Mecca, Sedona was already a player on the international art scene. As early as 1931 two well-known sculptors Robert and Mary Kittredge, whose work still graces Arizona Government buildings, moved to Sedona captivated by the town's beauty. Its siren song drew surrealist icons Max Ernst and Dorothea Tanning along with their cohort famed Egyptian sculptor Nassan Gobran in the mid-fifties. With a group of twelve others, they founded what would become the Sedona Arts Center in 1958. The very first show at the newly established colony featured the work of the renowned surrealist and pioneer in the Dada movement firmly marking it's birthright in the eyes of the art world.
The arts arrived in Sedona with a bang and they never left.
Sedona quickly became an artists' hub, where creative people flocked to learn and work together in a naturally inspiring environment. By 1961 Joe Beeler, a pioneer in the field of Contemporary Western Art made his home in Sedona. In 1965 at the Oak Creek Tavern in Uptown Sedona, he, along with Charlie Dye, John Hampton, Frank McCarthy and George Phippen founded the prestigious Cowboy Artists of America.
Today we have a thriving arts scene, replete with galleries that nurture the careers of both established and emerging artists. We have become what the New York Times refers to as a "New West Enclave" delighting both new and established collectors.
Visitors often speak in awe about the beauty of Sedona's famed red rock vistas but what draws them in is the particular essence at the core of Sedona. It is still that same early spirit that beckons. It is why the arts thrive here whether in the form of artist, collector, or gallery.
Sedona has grown into a world-class Arts Destination. The member galleries of the Sedona Gallery Association (SGA) – with their promise of integrity, quality, and unmatched service – proudly bring together the finest artwork that Sedona, the West, and, indeed, the world beyond have to offer.