Prescott’s a Fine Backdrop for Fine Arts Shows

by Blake Herzog

Our mountain region inspires many art works and art purchases, too. Summer art events held in gorgeous outdoor settings draw thousands of attendees per year, though 2020 has sadly been able to throw roadblocks in front of several events this year. Check for updated schedules and statuses before heading out to those still on the calendar for this year.

46th Annual Western Art Show and Sale:
The auction for the extremely popular art show, normally held on the grounds of Yavapai County Courthouse Plaza over Memorial Day weekend, was moved onto the Phippen Museum’s website for 2020. With its normal programming, the Phippen’s biggest event of the year not only attracts art enthusiasts, Western collectors and tourists from far and wide, it also draws some of the nation’s most talented artists. Besides the Miniature Masterpiece Show and Sale and live art auction, there are many special events to keep attendees entertained and involved, including the crowd-favorite Quick Draw events.

Folk Art Fair at Sharlot Hall:
Another early summer Prescott tradition, the 47th annual Folk Art Fair scheduled for June 2020 was canceled. Featuring folk arts and crafts, demonstrations on everything from jewelry making to old-time baseball, activities, music and more, this event incorporates something for everyone on the beautiful grounds of Sharlot Hall Museum.

Prescott Rodeo Days® Fine Arts and Crafts Show; held July 3-5, 2020
Staged in conjunction every year with the World’s Oldest Rodeo®, this event was able to hold its 40th annual edition at Courthouse Plaza July 3-5, 2020, with some changes to promote mask wearing and social distancing. This show gathers hundreds of vendors and performers from across the Southwest showing and selling ceramics, painting, photography, furniture, stained glass, jewelry, metal and wood, among many other art forms. This event attracts thousands of locals and out of town visitors every year.

Prescott Plein Air Art Festival — Scheduled Sept. 30-Oct.4, 2020
The Highlands Center and the City of Prescott are proud to present the Prescott Plein Air Festival in a new format. Plein air painting, or painting outdoors, is one of the largest movements in art history. The public is invited to engage with the artists as they work during this event. In past years this festival has been hosted by the Highlands Center for Natural History. This year artists will be painting at multiple locations including Watson, Willow, Lynx and Goldwater lakes, Granite Mountain, Touchmark at the Ranch and the Highlands Center. See website for details. The Highlands Center for Natural History, 1375 S. Walker Road, Prescott.;

Prescott Area Artist Studio Tour —
Another annual event that’s had to reimagine itself for 2020, for 13 years the Prescott Area Artist Studio Tour has given attendees an opportunity to visit up to 75 juried artists in their private studios, observe their creative process and purchase one-of-a-kind works of art. Check the Studio Tour website,, for updates about online/virtual Studio Tour events.

Christmas Indian Art Market at Museum of Indigenous People — Scheduled Dec. 12-13, 2020
The Christmas Indian Art Market is held in the Pueblo Building at what was formerly known as the Smoki Museum. Buy authentic and buy direct as you help Native artists create joyful holidays for their families. Museum Director Cindy Gresser said she is hopeful the event can take place at the end of the year: “It’s a very popular event not only with our visitors and residents but also with our artists, as they like to come here every year.” Museum of Indigenous People, 147 N. Arizona Ave., Prescott;