OUR HISTORY and philosophy



Our organization was founded by a group of visionaries with a passion for the arts and the Sierra Nevada wilderness. Yosemite Renaissance was established to continue the legacy of the great, influential artists of the past - including Thomas A. Ayers, Albert Bierstadt, William Keith, Thomas Hill and Ansel Adams, to name just a few. Yosemite National Park was their inspiration. They captured the hearts and imaginations of a nation, and their art encouraged visitors, generated support and aided in the preservation of the park.

The Yo-Semite Falls,  Lithograph by Thomas A. Ayers (1855)

The Yo-Semite Falls, Lithograph by Thomas A. Ayers (1855)

It is as important now as it was more than 160 years ago to continue this legacy; to encourage a new generation of artists and photographers to “dig a little deeper” to discover and express the awesome grandeur and the subtle nuances that is a part of the Yosemite experience. 

“If I could say it in words there would be no reason to paint.” - Edward Hopper

Art brings people together from all nations and cultures. It engages in a universal language. We have an innate need to express ourselves and share our experience. We are visual and tactile beings and through art we are able to connect with others. It can spark a thought or emotion. It can jog a memory. It enables us to slow down, become aware and be in the moment.

Mirror Lake and Reflections, Charles L. Weed (1864)

Mirror Lake and Reflections, Charles L. Weed (1864)

“The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance. “ - Aristotle

The audience is as important as the art. While the artist may express a personal emotion through their art, the viewer creates their own experience with it.  In this way art becomes interactive and a dynamic and intimate synergy is created. Whether serious or whimsical, art can recreate an emotional response that reflects and reminds us of the experience we had when visiting Yosemite and the surrounding areas.

Imagination and creativity are the pathway to the future. Come join us on the journey.

 ”A world without Art is a world where progress has stopped.” carts.org (A New York City based, cultural education program.)

Yosemite Valley, Albert Bierstadt (1863 – 75)

Yosemite Valley, Albert Bierstadt (1863 – 75)