As Greek philosopher Empedocles once simplified existence to four elements, so has the Vail Art and Wine Faire. Art, wine, food and music harmonize every Saturday this summer – until Aug. 14. The first gathering starts at 10:30 a.m. today and ends at 3:30 p.m. at the International Bridge in Vail.”It’s the first year and we’re taking a plunge. Instead of putting my advertising into the newspaper for an art walk on Saturday when you might get a handful of people, I’d rather do this – put my money into this – and have people come and make it a festival,” said Rayla Kundolf of Masters Gallery.This brings together Colorado wineries, Vail’s art galleries, some local restaurants and jazz. “It’s all geared to food, wine, music and art,” said Kundolf. “It’s a way for people to join in the festivities if they come to town and don’t have time to do an art walk or see what’s going on. They can come and see a lot of art and enjoy the music, wine and food.” Kelly Liken, the new restaurant, will have a tent at the festival. Though Vail’s weekday reconstruction goes on all summer, the festival happens Saturdays and will feature mostly Vail businesses affiliated with art, music, wine and food on Saturdays during Bravo! season. “So people who come into town for Bravo!, they can come in a little early to see and celebrate Vail,” Kundolf said. There will be portrait painters, folks doing caricatures, Helmut Fricker will be performing bookbinding demonstrations and selected local artists will be featured each week.”The fact that they’re opening the festival up to local artists each week is cool,” said Paul Seftel.Seftel has a studio called Aion Design in Vail’s Crossroads Plaza. He paints modern, abstract pieces and also works in digital photography.”(Much of my photography) consists of lots of naked pagans running around hills in fire ceremonies. I’ve done a lot of work in Scotland at the Beltane Fires,” said Seftel. “And my painting is much more abstract and ethereal.”While the local artists series is drawn strictly from the Vail Valley, the galleries will bring pieces from artistsThe Golden Bear will be providing demonstrations on how it crafts its Pauve Bears – the golden bears covered in diamonds. Squash Blossom and Karats will be there, there will be a crepe tent, Tony Gulizia Trio will perform live jazz and Stone Mountain Fudge will make an appearance. “This is a cultural event. It’s going to be a lot of fun. It’s going to be people walking around in the beauty of the mountain, the beauty of Vail. They won’t have to contend with cars, parking’s free and it’s free to go, look and listen to the music,” said Kundolf. “If you want to purchase something to eat or wine or art. This is about seeing what’s going on in Vail and meeting the proprietors in Vail.”Though some people feel there is a dividing line between Vail Village and 100 East Meadow Drive, the venue of International Bridge acts as a catalyst making this a town of Vail event rather than just Vail Village.”They can get a glass of wine and head down to Gore Creek, listen to the brook and sit back, relax and listen to the music,” said organizer Rick Scalpello.Like a true festival, the Vail Art and Wine Faire will only come alive through the gathering of many different people and sensually oriented spectacles.”I think it will be like a magical street fair because it’s got the music. It’s a festival of arts,” Kundolf said.The Vail Art and Wine Faire is followed on Sunday by the Vail Farmers Market.Andrew Harley can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 610, or at email@example.com.
In terms of area, it’s the county’s smallest conservation deal ever. In terms of location, it’s one of the county’s rarest acquisitions.