Mesa artist Linda Glover Gooch joined two other East Valley artists in the 12th Annual Grand Canyon Celebration of Art at Grand Canyon National Park last month and many of their works are available for sale online through Jan. 18.
Joining Matt Sterbenz of Chandler and Mick McGinty of Gilbert, Gooch was part of a show that attracts professional artists nationwide who paint “en plein air” – or on location – at various South Rim spots.
Gooch said the Grand Canyon has been one of her favorite places to paint since 2005, when she was at the North Rim with the Rocky Mountain Plein Air Painters. “At that point, the canyon became a true love of mine, and I’ve continued to paint there several times a year since.”
“Art played a crucial role in the formation of our national parks and continues to do so in our appreciation of them, and the Celebration of Fine Art helps to keep the artistic tradition part of the Grand Canyon experience,” said Mindy Riesenberg, spokeswoman for the Grand Canyon Conservancy, the official nonprofit partner of Grand Canyon National Park.
Among its many supportive activities, the nonprofit organization operates retail shops in the park, provides educational programs, maintains trails and historic buildings and protects wildlife.
In this case, the money raised from the online arts sale will raise funds to build an art venue at the Grand Canyon, she explained.
People can shop for the art work at shop.grandcanyon.org.
Born and raised in Southern California, Gooch has always been an artist.
“My favorite thing as a child was paint-by-numbers. I would spend hours working on them,” she recalled.
Her maternal grandmother was a painter as well as her mother and father.
“Though neither one of my parents were professional artists, they were an influence on me. My mother bought me my first set of oil paints when I was 13,” Gooch said.
She and husband Joe moved to Mesa Arizona in 2001. They have two married adult children, daughter Lindsey Firek and son Seth Gooch, and two grandchildren, who also live in Mesa.
Since 2003, she has been teaching at the Scottsdale Artist School.
This year, she was at several locations creating with oils in her self-described style of “painterly realism.”
A favorite spot is Moran Point, which celebrates Thomas Moran (1837–1926), whose heroic vistas 150 years ago revealed the Grand Canyon to Americans who had never traveled west.
In 2012, she became an associate pastor at a Mesa church.
“By doing so,” she said, “my art changed as well. I now paint from a different place inside of me, with His help.”