Best of Vail Valley: Artists
The best visual artists, musicians and galleries in the valley
The beauty of the Vail Valley attracts and inspires great artists. With a substantial number of talented artists and collectors to choose from, the Vail Daily readers have selected the following as their favorites this year.
Best Visual Artist
Tara Austin Novak has lived in the Vail Valley for more than 20 years and applies the light, colors and textures that she finds in nature to her paintings. Her fine art portfolio is filled with snow-covered aspen trees, vibrant abstract landscapes and zen contemplations that feature lotus flowers and om symbols.
Pamela Olson’s sculptures, ceramics and installation art are a staple at galleries, art festivals and farmers markets in town. Olson also teaches ceramics at Colorado Mountain College, where she guides her students to sculpt their own impressions of the world.
Painter Amy Dose derives inspiration for her style from Renoir and Monet while incorporating defined brushstroke techniques that she acquired while studying Japanese calligraphy. The resulting works feature clearly defined animals, often local species of deer, buffalo and red foxes, standing out against soft, impressionist-style backgrounds.
Dance is a powerful form of visual art, and the MORE2Dance studio in Eagle is the ideal location to learn, consume and compete in a wide range of dance forms. MORE2Dance offers recreational, company and competitive programs for boys and girls aged 3.5 to 18, as well as pop-up master classes and dance classes for adults.
Our valley is loaded with talented musicians, and you can find live acts in most watering holes more evenings than not. With such a wide pool of competition, Vail Daily readers have narrowed their favorites down to these three artists.
Andy Cyphert has been a reader’s favorite for years and has built a following in Vail and beyond that embraces his soothing guitar riffs and melodic voice. Cyphert can play just about any popular request, and his originals are worth a listen, too.
Another artist you might recognize around the village is Johnny Schleper, a reader’s favorite who usually brings along friends such as Bob Masters, Jeff Armistead and other valley mainstays. He and his friends play a variety of covers and originals to keep the crowds on their feet.
Nick Steingart has been slinging strings in our valley since 2003. Known for his fun bluegrass boogies, Steingart’s talents at mandolin, violin, guitar, harmonica and songwriting come together for an enjoyable show in which there’s always something different around the corner.
Best Art Gallery
The large number of art galleries in Vail Valley are representative of how highly fine art and artists are valued in our community.
The J. Cotter Gallery in Vail Village was established in 1970 by long-time resident Jim Cotter, a master of metalwork and contemporary jewelry design. All of the jewelry and sculptures found in the gallery are hand-crafted by Cotter in his Minturn studio.
The Claggett/Rey Gallery in Edwards has been representing the finest North American painters, sculptors and craftsmen for over 30 years. The gallery hosts a variety of exhibitions each year that center on a different theme, medium or artist each time.
The gallery at the Alpine Arts Center in Edwards is exclusively focused on representing the works of local artists in the valley. The gallery accepts a wide range of mediums, including paintings, ceramics, clothing and accessories, jewelry, cards and more, featuring images and styles that are endemic to our community and environment.
ARTSPaCE Workshop + Gallery in Eagle is a consignment gallery that is dedicated to giving exposure and patronage to local artists. The gallery hosts a variety of artisan wares by Eagle County artists, all of which are also made available for purchase at their online store.