Festival offers artful saunter through Vail | VailDaily.com

Festival offers artful saunter through Vail

Kim Fuller
Special to the Daily

VAIL — Take a walk in Lionshead this weekend and you'll stroll through a variety of creative displays — woodworks, sculptures, painted sheets of glass, printed canvases, furniture, mosaics, jewelry and ceramics. The Vail Arts Festival is in its 29th year, filling Vail's western village with 75 leading artists from across the nation.

"I try to come every year," said Eileen Duke, of Gypsum, as she tried on a silver collection from Romantic Jewelry by Danny Bushart. "I like art and I like jewelry, so I like to come and see what's new and to continue to support the artists."

The event's last day is today, and will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. A tour amid all the white tents may be the perfect way to spend an hour or two of your afternoon.

"I think this is awesome," said Vail resident Aidan Brook. "I would love it there was more stuff like this around — it would be great to see even more art come through."

Brook said he found a lot of pieces throughout the show that he liked, and he said he enjoys seeing the wide range of art at such close proximity.

Santa Fe, N.M., based Colombian artist Guilloume is participating in his 11th Vail Arts Festival, and said he simply loves coming to the mountains year after year.

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"This weekend has already been fabulous," he said. "It's not necessary to have crowds of people, because everyone who comes here is curious about the show and generally are very well educated about art."

Guilloume's oil paintings and bronze sculptures are based on a style that uses circles. He said his art represents the things that mean the most to him.

"The main thing in my life is partnership and family," he said. "I don't use any features in the face, because when you have features in the faces, all you have is differences. I want to talk about similarities."

Artist Pam Lee from Chicago backpaints glass and then seals it to make it permanent. Her eye-catching pieces welcome visitors near the entrance to the festival.

"Year before last, this was my best show of the year," Lee said. "Last year was not, but you just never know."

Black and white landscape photographer, Jon LaBass, of Divide, is new to the festival this year.

"I do black and white because I have found that color can be distracting and over-used," he said. "I know my stuff is fresh and new, and I am able to convey the art the way I want to."

LaBass said in his first year at the Vail Arts Festival, he is just happy to still be learning and surrounded by such great artists.

Veterans like Guilloume know all about the show, and many of them expressed how it's the people who come to experience the art are those who make the show a standout.

"Art is very simple, because either you like something or you don't," Guilloume said. "And no piece of art is really ever finished by the artist, but by the viewer."