With farmer's markets, art fairs and art festivals beginning too sprout up for the summer season, now is the time to see, touch and feel real art and jewelry up close and personal. This is also the time that Karats, a working studio gallery in the heart of Vail Village, hosts its annual Colors CoMA art show, taking place today and Sunday.
Dan Telleen, the owner of Karats, brings CoMA, or the Colorado Metalsmithing Association, show to his gallery each year to showcase the work of CoMA members and to kick off the Vail Farmer's Market at which CoMA will maintain a tent throughout the summer market season.
"'The Colors of CoMA' includes not just jewelers but blacksmiths, sculptors; really anyone that works in industrial or ornamental metal," Telleen said.
Overall, CoMA is a great support system and educational resource for artists at all levels all over Colorado. Aside from their big annual conference in July in Salida every year, CoMA offers ongoing classes for things like how to cast platinum or how to market your art.
"I've been making jewelry for over 45 years and I still learn something when I go to a CoMA seminar," Telleen said. "It's a great organization for anyone involved in metals and its only $40 a year for membership and $25 for students. They do so much for Colorado artists."
Another important resource for members is the Colors of CoMA Show and the Vail Farmer's Market itself. For students that are learning about metal, the Karats CoMA connection is an extension of the classroom, giving them an opportunity to show their work in real art fair/market setting. For other CoMA artists who have been doing metalwork professionally for their whole lives, it's a chance to get their work exposure in the Vail market and to do so without a huge expenditure of time and money.
The summer-long residence of the CoMA tent at the Vail Farmer's Market is structured to be a mentoring situation where ideally, a seasoned artist who has shown at art fairs before and is adept at working with the public, is paired with a second artist who is just learning the ropes. They learn what its like to set up and work in a market situation and whether or not they like the experience of working a show at an art fair like the Vail Farmers Market.
The "Colors of CoMA" show is today and Sunday at Karats at 122 East Meadow Drive in Vail Village, with additional pieces featured on Sunday in the CoMA tent at the Vail Farmer's Market. For more information, call 970-476-4760 or visit karatsvail.com.