News & Events

News & Events

Mesa Verde Foundation holds several events throughout the year for foundation members and the general public. These events raise funding and awareness for Mesa Verde Foundation’s mission to preserve and protect Mesa Verde National Park for generations to come.

 (middle picture) Artist Jim Wilcox paints in Mesa Verde National Park last May. (photo far right) Long House oil by John Burton.

Our next event is the 4th annual Rims to Ruins on November 5th, 2016 at Saks in Cherry Creek, Denver, CO.  CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION.


News from the 2013 Inaugural Rims to Ruins event


Inaugural plein air event in Mesa Verde National Park raises thousands of dollars

MESAVERDE – Surrounded by art carved into cliff dwellings with rudimentary tools more than a thousand years ago by Ancestral Puebloans, 23 top western painters in Mesa Verde National Park this week created artwork they hope will also live on forever. The artists took part in the inaugural plein air fundraiser called Rims to Ruins held by the 
Mesa Verde Foundation (MVF).
James Asher, one of the participants and an award-winning artist said, 
"We can show a larger audience what exists here through our paintings. Not only the beauty of the dwellings, but the environment, the history, the vegetation." 
During the three-day paint out, accomplished oil painter Joe Anna Arnett created five paintings from different remote locations. Arnett was most moved painting inside the park’s second largest cliff dwelling, Long House, on Wetherill Mesa.
“Knowing how rare it was to stand there and paint, studying it from the inside looking out and feeling a continuum of artists who had been there before and made a handprint,” Arnett said. “This was a chance to do something that really matters for a long time.”
After two days of painting at various locations in the park, a morning “paint out” was held at Step House ruin and overlook on Wednesday, May 22, 2013. 

Members of the public and art collectors purchased tickets to the event and were able to observe the artists painting on site.  At the conclusion of the paint out, the works produced that morning were auctioned off to the attendees.  

The bidding was, at times, fierce. The top bid was for Mian Situ's painting, a 9" x 12" oil of the overlook of Step House that sold for $4,300. 

More formal paintings created by the artists will be displayed and sold during a special gala reception at the Denver Public Library’s Vida Ellison Gallery on October 22, 2013.
Proceeds from the sale of art works at the “paint out” and the formal show will go to the Mesa Verde Foundation and Mesa Verde National Park.
“The Rims to Ruins event was a win-win for the park and the artists. The Mesa Verde Foundation was a catalyst for making it all happen,” Justin Estoque, MVF board member, said. “The park will benefit from funds raised and the artists benefited from an opportunity to paint where no one has painted before. And they were thrilled.”
“We are very pleased to have the participation and support of such an incredible and accomplished group of artists at our first plein air event.  We look forward to the formal show in October,” said Marilyn Alkire, MVF board member and event chair.


 “Welcome.”  Such a simple greeting marked the very moment a 40-year-dream came true. The Mesa Verde National Park Visitor and Research Center opened May 23rd, 2013, at the entrance to the park as Native Americans beat drums and said a blessing and more than 200 supporters and honored guests celebrated.
“Every rock, every piñon, every arroyo here has something to say…Civilizations rose and their people shaped the earth into remarkable buildings and graceful pottery, and their stories speak to us across time,” John Wessels, Regional Director of the National Park Service, said. “Helping us preserve and tell those stories is one of our primary missions. And today we celebrate the opening of a Visitor and Research Center that will significantly advance those goals.”
Governor John Hickenlooper and other dignitaries cut the ribbon and officially open the building, which like a map, will guide tourists to hidden treasures inside Mesa Verde National Park; petroglyphs, ancient relics, 600 cliff dwellings. Inside the Research Center, there are more than three million artifacts from 4,000 Ancestral Puebloans who lived here for 700 years around A.D. 500.e.jpg 

“This is one of the most beautiful places on earth,” Governor Hickenlooper, honorary co-chair of the Mesa Verde Foundation (MVF), said. “There’s something about being in the actual place where people lived hundreds of years ago that’s more than words can ever describe.

”People walking through the new building, shaped like a stone, washed in earth colors and environmentally green, say it belongs here.“It compliments the land, the park, the culture, it compliments everything. It’s so good. It feels like it should have been here all along,” former NPS employee Bethany Mills, said.  Mills was the contracting officer for the project.
“It’s satisfying to see the end product of a project a long time in the making. To know that all the hard work paid off,” Mills said.
 b.jpgIt took 40 years and
complete dedication by a consortium of people led by the Mesa Verde Foundation 

(MVF) to secure the $16.5 million of federal funding and 37 acres for the project.

Former Park Superintendent Larry Wiese, former Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ), former Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, U.S. Rep. John Salazar (D-CO), U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton (R-CO), Mesa Verde Fo
undation board members Kathy L’Amour, Dr. Fred Lau and Miss Jane Fogleman and Pueblo of Zia Tribal Administrator Peter Pino are just some of the key individuals involved in the project year after year after year.
“I like to say ‘If it’s worth doing, get it done,’” Wiese said. “Everything we say, everything 
we write, every action we take or don’t take matters forever. And that’s how this visitor’s center got done.”
During the ceremony, Zia Tribal Administrator Peter Pino said a prayer in native language for the new building while wearing a special bolo tie.“This bolo signifies the end of the trail. It’s the end of the trail for the visitor’s center in Mesa Verde after many years. It gives me pride,” Pino said.
Mesa Verde has 24 affiliated tribes with descendants of the Ancestral Puebloans, which worked with Mesa Verde National Park and Mesa Verde Foundation to develop the center.  Among other things, the center will educate tourists about the richNative American history, culture and traditions.



Mesa Verde visitor center
New facility a welcome flagship for park’s significant resources

Durango Herald article published on May 19, 2013

Mesa Verde National Park is a treasure trove of archaeological and natural resources, abounding with sites and artifacts that divulge a rich history of the region’s former inhabitants. Until recently, though, it was easy to drive by the landmark without a hint of what lay down the park’s road. With the opening of the long-awaited Mesa Verde National Park Visitor and Research Center, that has changed dramatically. The park and its supporting organization, the Mesa Verde Foundation have earned a crowning achievement with the center.   Read more about visitor center 


Painters are glad to be in ruin(s)
Mesa Verde paint-out draws top artists

The Durango Herald, 05.13.13

The wonders of Mesa Verde National Park, man-made and naturally occurring, are thousands and millions of years old. And yet next week in a display of artistic piling-on, 28 nationally renowned painters will do their best to further immortalize the already-ageless marvel. Read more of the Durango Herald article.


Open Mind, Excitement and Passion: Veryl Goodnight’s Real World Art

By Janneli F. Miller   April 2013, Free Press

On a blustery afternoon in early spring, Veryl Goodnight is in her studio painting sled dogs.  There are six of them, each dog a specifically different individual, which is why sheloves them.  “Individuality of a subject excites me,” says Veryl.  “Think of your own dog,or horse, or family member.  Animals are as much individuals as people are.”  Goodnight explains that the world would be boring if we all had the same stature, facial features, hair color, and so on- and notes that this pertains to the animal world as well." READ MORE