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Vail Fine Arts Festival brings women artists to Lionshead Village

The Vail Fine Arts Festival, slated for Friday, Aug. 21 to Sunday, Aug. 23, is bringing art in a variety of media to Lionshead Village in Vail. The artists, many of whom are accomplished women in their respective media, will sell work and answer visitor questions from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on all three dates.

The art fair is hosted by the Vail Valley Arts League, which also hosts Art on the Rockies each year. Art on the Rockies 2020 was successfully able to adapt its event format to provide for social distancing guidelines, and organizers will be implementing similar provisions for this event.

A main focus for the Vail Fine Arts Festival is promoting female artists. The festival poster artist, Aileen Frick, works in collage with torn paper from magazines and other mixed media. She’s done landscapes and cityscapes, including some from Vail Village.

Aileen Frick’s collage of Gore Creek in Vail Village.
Aileen Frick | Special to the Daily

Though she doesn’t view her art as a reflection of her gender, she sees the ways her femininity influences the way she creates work.

“I feel that my work is limitless. But upon deeper reflection I realize that all of my work is based on my world view, and through the feminine filter,” she said. “With that I mind, I feel that my artwork reflects a sensitivity and empathy for people, as well as a great appreciation for the beauty in everyday moments.”

Showcasing artist Jennifer Lashbrook uses recycled paint chips to create pixelated portraits, and she often chooses female icons as subjects. She’s created images of Rosie the Riveter, Marilyn Monroe, Frida Kahlo, Queen Elizabeth II, Barbie, Audrey Hepburn and more.

She uses perspective and distance to help create her image – they don’t make much sense up close, but farther away, the image becomes clearer and immediately recognizable. That process is compounded when you look at it through a cellphone camera, because the digital image is framed as though you’re standing farther away than you actually are. This process demands that viewers engage and become involved with the work.

“Because I use familiar imagery, Gestalt psychology plays a role, and the audience add details from their past experience with the image,” Lashbrook said.

Gestalt psychology dictates that the human mind should be viewed as a whole, without focusing on small components: the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. So someone who’s watched old movies will have different experiences with the Hepburn and Monore portraits than someone who hasn’t.

Like many of Jennifer Lashbrook’s pieces, this Audrey Hepburn portrait becomes clearer to the viewer the farther they stand from it.
Jennifer Lashbrook | Special to the Daily

Beyond the art, the Vail Fine Arts Festival serves as a bonding and character-building experience for the artists. Lashbrook, Frick and participating artist McKenzie Fisk became close friends by showcasing work at so many festivals together.

“It’s difficult as a female (or anyone) to pack up your van full of art and head across the country solo hoping to find new collectors. We have developed a great friendship through our travels and it’s so nice to always have art friends when you are in a new city,” Lashbrook said.

For more information on the Vail Fine Arts Festival, visit artontherockies.org/vail-fine-arts.


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