The Art of Inspiration

This past spring I was fortunate enough to visit a place I have been waiting over 20 years to adventure in, Zion National Park.  I remember the first time I got a glimpse of its sheer scale in an issue of Outside Magazine. It looked like another planet, might as well have been Pandora (without the blue people of course). 

Over the past few years I have chosen to dedicate my travel to exploration of the incredible natural landscape in this country that has been preserved for our indulgence.

It is no surprise that upon arrival to Zion I took to the trails, reverted to the most natural form of exploration I know...on foot. Instantaneously, the inspiration and fluidity was shot into my legs as if the canyon was sending shockwaves with each step. Later I would come to find that a significant influence to preserve these canyon walls and many other national parks came from the same shockwaves I was experiencing.    

Creatives were profoundly moved by the beauty of the Zion Canyon. Artists visual representation and interpretations of these remarkable landscapes brought attention to the public, inspiring a generation to protect this natural beauty. The first paintings of Zion canyon did not come until the early twentieth century. It was the work of Frederick S Dellenbaugh, a veteran of John Wesleys Powell’s second expedition of the Colorado River, that first showcased his work in national publications raising awareness of the magnificence that was Zion. This awareness by Dellenbaugh and many other artists over the years, inspired by Zion Canyon, would in turn have great influence on our nation to preserve and protect these national treasures.

The power of art to move and inspire should not be underestimated. It moved generations to preserve our natural landscapes for what I hope, is indefinite. So if you’re feeling tired, monotonous, and jaded, you know where to go.

The mountains are calling and I must go.
— John Muir

Drew Miller, Associate AIA

Drew Miller, Associate AIA