Edwards art show sparks excitement | VailDaily.com

Edwards art show sparks excitement

Emily Kelley
Vail, CO, Colorado

EDWARDS ” Boulder sculptor Craig Bergsgaard lugs a life-sized bronze statue of a cowboy taking his boots off to the 8th annual Edwards Fine Art and Sculpture Festival. Bergsgaard always positions this particular piece, entitled “Coolin’ the Dogs,” in front of his tent.

“I enjoy doing the shows because I get to meet the [art] collectors and go one-on-one with the people who enjoy my work,” he said. “My work has a tinge of humor of it, but the pieces go beyond the humor, and people see the sacrifice and the beauty in the sculpture.”

This weekend, Edwards is hosting the 8th Annual Edwards Fine Art and Sculpture Festival with 50 artists from across the United States ” but Colorado artists are especially excited to show off their work on their home turf.

“This will be my fourth year doing the Edwards show,” Bergsgaard said. “I like the venue ” Miller Ranch ” it’s very artist friendly. It’s an excuse to enjoy the mountains and the beauty that inspires me. I love the mountains and I couldn’t be more pleased to be a part of this show.”

Artist Wendy Schaefer-Miles, who paints with husband Kevin, is equally excited to showcase her work in Colorado.

“We’ve been coming out to Colorado for 12 summers now, and we enjoy painting out here,” she said. Alpine Artisans, a gallery in Riverwalk Shopping Center in Edwards, will highlight the couple as a featured artist duo.

Miles and Schaefer-Miles aren’t strangers to the festival atmosphere.

“When we started our careers, we started out doing outdoor festivals,” said Schaefer-Miles. “It’s really isolating working in a studio by yourself. You need input from other people and the camaraderie with the other artists. It’s stimulating and it’s refreshing to see work from so many different walks of life,” she said.

The couple’s work is different from other artists because they both paint on the same canvas at the same time. Kevin focuses on realist painting, while Wendy’s style favors impressionism. Because of their unusual tactic, they appreciate feedback.

“We do enjoy working with galleries, but we just get a check in the mail and there’s very little feedback, positive or negative,” said Schaefer-Miles. “At art shows, people are very free to talk. People tend to ask more questions and it’s more interactive. In galleries, people are afraid of saying the wrong things. As long as we are physically able, we will continue to do festivals,” she said.

Thunderbird Artists, based in Fountain Hills, Arizona, has been organizing the event since May of 2006. This is their 8th show in Edwards and 2nd to be held at Freedom Park in Miller Ranch.

“Our shows are basically like an outdoor gallery,” said Judi Combs, president of Thunderbird Artists. “It’s outside, festive, but still it has the quality of a gallery. Every year, we have collectors that really look forward to coming to our Edwards show. Our show is truly fine art ” there’s no hobby or bizarre type things.”

“It’s such a good location,” said Combs of Miller Ranch. “And it’s so nice to see the art collectors and the people who attend the shows. People often approach our information tent and tell us how overwhelmingly beautiful the artwork it.”

As enjoyable as the shows are, Combs admits it still requires a lot of work.

“It’s like a play and we’re on stage,” said Combs. “It took us over a year to put together this Edwards show. When we leave, we’re all exhausted, but the compliments make it just so worth it. It’s like – Yes! We can do it again! – it’s just so uplifting.”

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