Saturday’s ‘Holly Days’ showcases a dozen Avon businesses |

Saturday’s ‘Holly Days’ showcases a dozen Avon businesses

Caramie Schnell
The new Art of the Valley Gallery in Chapel Square celebrates its grand opening on Sunday.
Charles Townsend Bessent |

If you go ...

What: Second annual Holly Days.

Where: Chapel Square, Avon.

When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

More information: Photos with Santa will be available from 1 to 3 p.m. inside The Nest. Pick up a “Holly Pass” and have it stamped at 8 of the 12 businesses to be entered to win one of a dozen prizes in a drawing held at 4 p.m.

AVON — A dozen merchants at Chapel Square in Avon are hosting Holly Days Saturday, an event they hope will draw people into the stores and restaurants.

It’s the second year of the event.

“Last year, Marti from Wishes, Jenny from Portofino, and I brainstormed to find a way to bring more people to Chapel Square since it is the first time all the spaces had been occupied,” said event organizer Rondi Berge who owns Pinecones, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. “Many people in the valley are not aware of the special, affordab le businesses situated under the ‘Chapel’ in Chapel Square. They stop shopping after Pier One, Sports Authority and The Nest. To bring interest to the east side of Chapel Square, Holly Days was born.”

The turnout last year was good, so Berge started planning for this year’s event, which coincides with Apres Avon grand opening and the Birds of Prey races.

Participating businesses include Fiesta Jalisco, Home Outfitters, Pinecones, Transition Sports, Art of the Valley, Jazzy Nails, Portofino Jewelry, Party Central, Nozawa, Gondola Pizza, Wishes Toy Store and The Nest.

Santa and Ralph, the world’s tallest elf, will be wandering among the businesses beginning at noon and then will be stationed at The Nest from 1 to 3 p.m. for photos.

“As people wander throughout, they are given a ‘Holly Pass’ to have stamped at 8 of the 12 businesses,” Berge said. “After receiving their final stamp, they turn it in for the drawing at 4 p.m.

“There are a dozen prizes being given away, including gift certificates, jewelry, art, toys, clothing, accessories, etc. depending on the business.” KSKE has also generously donated two tickets to Alan Jackson at Red Rocks.

Each merchant has a special event going on on their store. Pinecones is hosting a trunk show with Cindi Davis of Gems of Aspen who makes handmade aspen leaf jewelry using leaves from her back yard. “Most of the businesses will also have refreshments and other giveaways,” she said.


Art of the Valley is the newest business in Chapel Square, and is celebrating its soft opening this weekend. The gallery, which is owned by David and Jerri Hoffmann, of Hoffmann Commercial Real Estate, financed the murals on the Pier One building west of Chapel Square, as well as the new gallery. Mason Torry painted those murals and is the director of the new gallery.

“They love art and like to see good art and they especially want to promote local art,” Torry said about the Hoffmans.

The gallery, which used to be home to a laundromat, has a bit of a SoHo loft feel with exposed pipes and a hand-stained beetle kill wood room dividers, with Torry made himself.

Along with Torry’s work on display in the gallery, look for other talented Colorado artists, including Eagle-based photographer Mike Crabtree, who specializes in ranch and outdoor scenes. Cliff Austin, an oil and pastel painter from Aurora, paints landscape scenes, like groves of golden aspens, with a slight abstract flair. Eagle County oil painter Mio Cirkovic is “inspired by the pristine landscapes of the American West,” he said. When not working as an architect, Cirkovic is often backpacking, painting en plein air or fly fishing.

Visitors to Art of the Valley Gallery will have a chance to see Torry’s paintings unfold live. Torry, as well as some of the other gallery artists, will paint at the front of the space and there will be an area in the back for private painting lessons.

“I’ll be there in the gallery pretty much every day, and any chance I have to paint, I will,” said Torry who uses both acrylic and oil paint to create his very detailed landscape and wildlife paintings.

Though recently Torry has been pushing himself to “loosen up a bit,” he said, “and go a little more impressionistic, and get that impression of detail instead of actual detail in a piece. There’s something about that than can bring a painting to life.”

Around a dozen other Colorado artists will show work in the space; the theme is Colorado scenes, Torry said. Table size versions of the bronze sculptures on display around Avon can be found at the gallery as well.

The gallery’s official grand opening will take place at the end of the month.

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