EDWARDS — Summer brings the tradition of the traveling artists markets to the towns of Colorado. Each community hosts a weekend, usually to support a community arts organization, and invites artists from all across the nation to show their newest work and interact with the residents. The season kicks off with Denver putting on the Cherry Creek Arts Fair for the July 4 weekend.
Art on the Rockies, at Colorado Mountain College in Edwards, is the next stop July 11-13.
“We get a number of the Cherry Creek exhibitors into the Vail Valley for our event,” said show organizer Colleen Everett. “They are touring the USA for the festival season and come up the mountain following Cherry Creek.”
This influx of unique talents and high quality control makes the Art on the Rockies a gem in the Colorado Artists Tour. The Vail Valley Arts Guild fundraises for its local, community arts programs through this event.
Art on the Rockies will showcase 115 fine artists on the CMC campus, exit 163 just off Interstate 70, in Edwards. This year’s poster artist, Santiago Michelak, will travel up from Cherry Creek with his impressive paintings of meticulous, romantic oils of trains, vehicles and vintage Volkswagens and motorcycles. Richard Hall’s return this year with his witty and realistic paintings will be a centerpiece of the show. Gary Burditt, Harold Siefert and Tyler Voorhees are fresh artists who will exhibit at the Edwards festival after premiering their new work at Cherry Creek.
“Hundreds of national artists come for our scenery, our cool temps and our appreciation of their art,” Everett said.
These fine artists and contemporary craftsmen make up a gypsy subculture for the few months of summer in the Rockies.
“All year we are solitary, working in our studios,” said Everett, a ceramic artist. “In the summer, we travel from town to town with our latest work. It is wonderful to talk to collectors and enthusiasts and get their take on what you have created.”
The sales and commissions from these shows will fund the artists throughout the year.
“The art markets are the backbone of the artist’s income for the year,” she said. “Galleries, teaching and private commissions flesh out the cultural economics that allows these creative souls to continue working.”
Everett is a national artist who lives in Edwards and teaches ceramics at CMC in Edwards.