The Connoisseur’s Trail art walk in Vail |

The Connoisseur’s Trail art walk in Vail

Sarah Mausolf
Vail CO, Colorado
Special to the Daily

VAIL, Colorado ” Vail is all about celebrating good pairings ” food and wine, beer and chocolate, Ryan and Trista.

The notion that mixing things can make them even more delightful helps to explain the appeal behind the Vail art walk.

On Thursday afternoon in Vail, people will have a chance to indulge in “a wandering cocktail party” as they stroll through village art galleries, event organizer Amy Phillips said. Vail-Beaver Creek Magazine organized the art walk, titled “The Connoisseur’s Trail.” It is a fusion between art, wine and food from local restaurants.

At Masters Gallery, for instance, visitors can dip into a chocolate fountain from Lord Gore Restaurant while checking out paintings by Jefferson Airplane frontwoman Grace Slick. At Cogswell Gallery, guests can try miniature pastries from Alpenrose while looking at oil paintings of skiers. And at Vail International Gallery, patrons can ping pong between Left Bank appetizers and paintings from Russian artist Boris Ryauzov’s estate.

Juding by attendance at the first art walk in August, food and art make for a popular pairing.

“It was wall to wall people,” Vail International Gallery owner Marc LeVarn said. “We had an unbelievable response.”

The art walk, which will be capped at 500 people, will benefit the Eagle Valley Humane Society. The humane society is a Vail Valley nonprofit that finds homes for stray or displaced cats and dogs.

Char Quinn, director of the humane society, said the number of needy pets in the valley is on the rise.

“We took on 100 more animals last year than we had the year before into our foster homes, and I think this year we’re starting off about the same,” Quinn said, noting the humane society took in 240 animals last year. “It’s great that the community comes out to events like this to help us help the animals.”

When it came to picking the beneficiary for the art walk, the humane society appealed to staff at Vail Beaver Creek Magazine and its sisters publications.

“Every single one of us owns at least one pet,” said Phillips, who is the senior account executive for Vail-Beaver Creek Magazine. “We do have a cat owner, but dogs are definitely part of our corporate culture.”

She hopes to raise $6,000 for the humane society. Money will flow to medical care for animals, spaying and neutering program for pets and animal cruelty investigations, Quinn said.

To tie in with the animal theme, a local artist donated two paintings. An auction will feature works from Eagle-Vail painter Suzanne Schirra, including portraits of a black cat titled “Frank” and an Australian Shepherd titled “Sheila.” Along with the paintings, Schirra will action off a commissioned work. She will use a picture of the winner’s pet to paint a portrait.

Vail-Beaver Creek Magazine’s first art walk in August raised about $4,000 for Small Champions, a local organization that runs athletic programs for children with developmental disabilities, Phillips said. It was based on a larger art walk in Santa Fe, N.M., Phillips said. Vail-Beaver Creek Magazine launched the event to highlight Vail’s interesting and diverse art galleries, she said.

“For a couple of years we’ve been trying to work with them to create some events to give them another voice and a little more identity,” Phillips said.

High Life Writer Sarah Mausolf can be reached at 970-748-2938 or

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