Eagle ARTwalks return this Friday
The first ARTwalk of the season will take place this week in businesses in downtown Eagle
Spring is here, and with the warm weather and flowers comes the return of Eagle ARTwalks in downtown Eagle. The first ARTwalk of the season will take place this Friday, April 8, from 5-8 p.m. and will feature over a dozen local artists.
Eagle ARTwalks take place on the second Friday of each month from April through December. The events are designed to give exposure to local artists while bringing the community together over art, music and food.
The first ARTwalk of the 2022 season will be a gallery event, where local businesses in downtown Eagle host the artists and display their work indoors. Over a dozen artists are currently signed up for this week’s event, featuring a wide variety of styles including ceramics, jewelry, knit and sewing products, paintings, photography and more. During the months of May, July and September, the ARTwalks move onto Broadway Street, which is shut down to make room for individual vendor booths and performance artists.
Tara Novak is the program director of EagleARTS, a local nonprofit organization which works to enhance the quality of life in Eagle through the development of arts and culture. Eagle ARTwalks was the first initiative that the organization undertook in 2018, and it has been growing every year since.
“We feel like we bring value to our community by providing that connection for artists to be able to provide for themselves and have a good business and be able to connect with the community,” Novak said. “We started in 2018 with just a few spaces, and now it’s grown to all the way down the street, with anywhere from 12-15 businesses, on average, that participate and the festival events will have at least 50, if not more, vendors of different types.”
Artists who want to show their work at future ARTwalk events are invited to apply online at EagleArts.org. Novak said that they look to include as much diversity in the products as they can, while placing an emphasis on local artisans.
“We don’t want to have like eight different people doing the same type of art, whether it’s photography or jewelry, mala beads, things like that,” Novak said. “We want to make sure that it’s diverse and that we have a nice array of different types of artistry, and then we can arrange them down the street so that they’re not all on top of each other.”
Natalie Chudacoff is the owner of The Knitten Cat, and this is her second year showing at the Eagle ARTwalks. Chudacoff sells handspun and dyed wool and yarn, and said that the ARTwalks have allowed her to expand to a larger customer base and tap into the local art community.
“I love this event because I’m new to the art selling world and they are so welcoming and supportive,” Chudacoff said. “It’s also been great to meet and connect with other local artists to share ideas and opportunities.”
Local artists receive priority in the application process, but Novak said that anyone who is interested is invited to apply.
“If you’re visiting from somewhere else and you want to jump in, you can apply and see if you qualify,” Novak said. “We prefer it to be regional to Colorado, and everything should be made by you, the artist. We want it to be authentic and genuinely handcrafted.”
Businesses can also apply to host an artist in the gallery-format ARTwalks, which will take place in June, August, October, November and December. As a host, the business agrees to display the work of the artist in their space during that month’s walk. They are paired with an artist early the week of each ARTwalk and put in touch to make setup arrangements. Novak said that these partnerships are a great opportunity to bring foot traffic into local shop while strengthening community relationships and exposure to local artists.
“The businesses really look forward to it, because it’s one of their best nights of the month,” Novak said. “It’s just a really great connection that is a little different from what we normally see in the valley.”
Novak said that they are also looking to partner with local performance artists of all types to do live shows during the ARTwalks. In the past, organizations like More2Dance, Bravo! Vail and PLAY aerial acrobatics have put on shows for both the gallery and street events, as well as a number of local bands and individual musicians. Anyone interested in performing during the walks can apply at the EagleARTs website.
All of the artists, vendors and businesses are also listed in the mobile application “Grandstand-Events and Guides” under the title “EagleARTS ARTwalk.” The app is free for all, and can provide up-to-date information on the monthly events. The next Eagle ARTwalk will take place on Friday, May 13, and will be an outdoor, closed street art festival.
Community members are invited to come out to Eagle this Friday at 5 p.m. to see the newest creations that the local art community has to share.
“I have some butterflies in my stomach going into it a bit,” Novak said. “It’s really important. It keeps the spirit of the community up and people just look forward to seeing the new creations.”