ANTELOPE ISLAND — Halloween will be more than a day to welcome spooks and goblins.
Oct. 31 will see Antelope Island State Park and the Davis Area Convention & Visitors Bureau host 22 Chinese artists and others.
They will sign a “Hands Across the Sea” relationship between the Great Wall of China, Davis County and Utah, said Kathi Dysert, director of sales and marketing with the DACVB.
The group, made up largely of artists, will be in Utah Oct. 31-Nov. 3. They will arrive hand-carrying 45 “general paintings,” including three six-foot by three-foot oils, Dysert said Wednesday morning.
They will arrive in Utah after exhibiting paintings at the United Nations.
That first day, they will tour Antelope Island to determine the best painting spots, returning Nov. 1 to paint.
Details are pending, but the paintings of island scenes are likely to be exhibited next spring in China, followed by an exhibit somewhere in Utah.
A formal memorandum of understanding will also be signed on the island between Fred Hayes, director of Utah State Parks and Hans Guwoai, director of the international exchange department of the China Great Wall Society.
The society was formed in 1987 as a state cultural relic bureau with the goal to share the Great Wall with the world and to preserve it for future generations, Dysert said.
Memorandums have been signed between that group and the nations of Egypt, Norway, Italy, Greece, Spain, France and Scotland, among others.
“(Guwoai) came here seeking to establish that same thing with a U.S. destination,” she said.
They visited in early June, with great interested in Utah.
“They came Layton as the first stop on their tour and wanted to see Antelope Island,” Dysert said.
DACVB CEO Barbara Riddle, Jeremy Shaw, Antelope Island State Park manager, and Sen. Stuart Adams, R-Layton, hosted him on a tour of the island.
Guwoai then visited Salt Lake City, Zion National Park and Las Vegas, among other U.S. sites.
“They absolutely fell in love with the island,” Dysert said. “That’s when he said he wanted to sign (a memorandum) with this area.
“It’s a huge opportunity because they picked us,” Dysert said.
Information will be exchanged and a bond formed, she said, adding, “This will definitely be wonderful for Davis County. It puts us even more on the map.”