Art on the Rockies gives artists an important chance to sell work in a world changed by pandemic
Event hopes to bring joy to visitors and sales opportunities to artists
Art on the Rockies, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, will take over Freedom Park in Edwards with a swath of art and creativity this weekend. The event is free to the public, and hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Friday, July 10 through Sunday, July 12.
Given the fact that so many events that visitors and locals look forward to each summer in the Vail Valley have been canceled due to coronavirus concerns, the fact that Art on the Rockies is able to host a festival this year is a great honor for organizers.
“I’ve been working with the Eagle County Health Commissioner’s office since the spring,” said Kelsey Siggins, director of the Vail Valley Arts League, which stages the festival. “We’re happy we’re going forward. The community is really happy, and the artists are really, really happy.
Not only does Art on the Rockies provide the community with the chance to appreciate and purchase work from more than 60 renowned painters, sculptors, jewelers, photographers and more, but the festival also gives those artists a chance to connect with customers and sell work, which is now rare.
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“It’s a godsend. Every single one of our other shows was canceled. This is our main source of income as an artist,” he said.
The mixed-media artist uses reclaimed metal and vintage papers to collage famous portraits of vaqueras and Native American chiefs. He said that his regular clients like to see work in person at different festivals he participates in. Some of those clients are so excited to connect with him that they’re flying in specifically for Art on the Rockies.
“It’s really exciting to be able to take the work we’ve been working on and bring it out to people,” he said.
And Geiman gives Siggins credit for working to adapt Art on the Rockies for the current times. She, her fiancé Nick Everett, and his mother Colleen, run Everett Studio, a pottery studio based in Eagle and also frequently travel to participate in art festivals.
“She knows how important it is to have this. For her to persevere and do all the right things to make this happen, it says a lot about her and about her willingness to keep pushing to make sure that artists do have an opportunity,” Geiman said.
To that end, Siggins moved the festival from its normal location inside at Colorado Mountain College in Edwards to Freedom Park. Each artist’s booth is 10 feet apart from the next, and they will have ample room to exit the booth from one side when needed. Aisles between booths are more than 30 feet wide, and markers will be out to direct two-way directional pedestrian traffic. Guests and artists are required to wear face masks when a 6-foot distance cannot be maintained, and each booth will have sanitization products, both for guest use and to disinfect any object that may be handled by visitors.
In addition to work from artists with a big following like Geiman, Eagle County artists will also showcase work. Those artists are:
- Paul Farmer – Eagle, CO. Goldsmith and rare gem jeweler.
- Joni Gotthelf – Edwards, CO. Jewelry.
- Jennifer Hammond – Eagle, CO. Mixed Media.
- Rudy Van Well – Edwards, CO. Jewelry.
- Tim Zandee – Vail, CO. Photography.
- Everett Studio – Eagle, CO. Contemporary Porcelains.
Boardroom Market & Deli will also have tents set up for food and drink sales. The Freedom Park public restrooms, which are spacious, will also be open for guest use.
For more information on Art on the Rockies, visit artontherockies.org.
If you go …
What: Art on the Rockies
When: Friday, July 10 through Sunday, July 12. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. all days.
Where: Freedom Park, Edwards
Cost: Free to attend
More information: Bring masks and be prepared to utilize hand sanitizing stations. For more information on Art on the Rockies, visit artontherockies.org.