At Sundance, hands-on art

(Hilary Nangle for The Boston Globe)
May 17, 2009
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SUNDANCE, Utah -T-shirts and trinkets are the usual vacation souvenirs. Not so at Sundance, a rustic resort tucked in the folds of Utah's Wasatch Mountains. At Sundance, visitors can take a break from hiking or mountain biking, horseback riding or fly-fishing, snowshoeing or skiing to create a one-of-a-kind piece of art from scratch.

It's easy to catch the creativity bug at this arts-centric resort owned by actor/director Robert Redford. The restaurants double as art galleries: Redford's personal collection of museum-quality, Native American artifacts is in the Tree Room, and rotating exhibits are shown in the Foundry Grill's lobby. The Screening Room, the original home of Sundance Film Festival, hosts a monthly film series. In the Art Shack, it's possible to view master glassblowers from Tlaquepaque, Mexico, craft discarded glass into hand-blown plates, wine glasses, vases, and pitchers.

In the Art Shack Gallery, one can purchase jewelry, pottery, blown glass, photographs, and prints, but instead of purchasing a souvenir, take an Art Shack workshop and make one instead.

Two-hour classes are offered three times daily in pottery, photography, printmaking, painting, and jewelry making. The $95 fee includes materials, instruction, and studio time. In each class, instructors shepherd students through every step of the hands-on process, from raw materials to finished piece. Students leave with their creations, with the exception of pottery, which gets forwarded after being fired.

Sundance Resort, 8841 North Alpine Loop Road, Sundance, Utah; 801-225-4107;