EDWARDS — Think fine arts festivals exhibit only paintings? Think again. Art on the Rockies 2013 has something for all art lovers. Held July 12-14 at Colorado Mountain College in Edwards, the festival is the primary fundraiser of the Vail Valley Arts League. Now in its’ third year, Art on the Rockies will feature 110 artists working in a multitude of mediums. This festival truly has something for everyone; the hard part for you will be deciding where to place each piece in your home.
Twelve sculptors will exhibit a variety of styles and materials. Felicia, who goes only by her first name, Mari Bolen and David Nelson will exhibit bronze, representational work. Currently residing here in the Vail Valley, Felicia creates bronze sculptures depicting Native American women and children. Bolen, from Montana, creates sculptures which reflect the old and new West. Merry Cox, from Salida, Colo., works whimsically with found objects. David Marshall is an international metal sculptor focusing on contemporary abstracts. Greg Robertson sculpts in stone and creates contemporary fountain pieces.
For lovers of photography the festival has selected ten contemporary talents. Be sure to check out Tim Zandee’s landscape photographs. Based out of Broomfield, Colo., Zandee’s extra-large photographs feature images of the west. Steve Chinn from Avon, will exhibit his latest digital work. Chinn finds inspiration in the beauty of Colorado and definitely succeeds in capturing our majestic state. Other digital artists are using computer manipulation with their photographs to create kaleidoscope like collages and haunting landscapes.
Fashion forward fiber art can be good for the environment. Art on the Rockies 2013 has fashion you can feel good about. Gnomes Clothing (skirts and pants), by Andrea Child, is 100 percent recycled from second-hand stores. To accentuate that new skirt you just bought, grab a fabulous cashmere piece by Beth Nielsen. She works in recycled cashmere; specializing in women’s knitwear and accessories. Ten fiber artists feature a wide geographic look at clothing from Seattle, Santa Fe, N.M., Vancouver, Maine, California and New Hampshire.
The dozen clay artists include festival founder Colleen Sullivan Everett. Heavily influenced by the Rocky Mountains, Everett’s work reflects everyday sights here in the Vail Valley: beautiful birds and aspen twigs. Clare Pousson and Mark Walter, based in Texas, collaborate with clay to provide dishes, mugs and other vessels decorated with whimsical birds. Brenda McMahon, another interesting clay artist, uses a specialized technique called saggar firing which leaves each piece adorned with unique ‘fire markings’. Her works include vessels, jewelry, OM tiles and wall murals.
Painters make up a third of the outdoor exhibition. Contemporary super realist, painter Santiago Michelak brings his latest work to us from his California studio. Representational painters in landscape, portraits and plein air brighten the festival. Abstract Painter, Steve Hammond from Scottsdale concentrates on color weights and lyrical compositions. New York colorist, Richard Harrington plays with architectural forms in his stunning barn series.
Jewelry and metal work are finely presented in the thirty booths displaying gold and silver and found objects. The big top tent, an indoor venue at the festival, shows off four jewelers. Don McCoy carves gem stones and sets them imaginatively in precious metals. Alex Szabados works in cloisonne creating scenes in enamels to be set in gold. Glass bead maker, Carolyn Henderson shows a flair for contemporary color. Oakland, Calif., artist Sally Bass works with vintage found objects to make her adornments.
So, there you have it — a sampling of the many incredibly talented artists working in a multitude of mediums who will be presenting at Art on the Rockies. But, Art on the Rockies 2013 isn’t just about art — this festival also has a Friday Night Art Walk, an activity-packed Children’s Art Discovery tent, food, beverages, a silent auction and music. Mark your calendars now for Art on the Rockies July 12-14. This community and cultural event is surely one not to be missed.