Vail Summer Art Institute puts wide range of artistic pursuits under one umbrella |

Vail Summer Art Institute puts wide range of artistic pursuits under one umbrella

Katie Coakley
Special to the Daily
Helen Hiebert demonstrates the versatility of paper as a medium, from making lamps and lanterns to creating three-dimensional pieces and cut-through pieces that allow the light to shine through. Hiebert will teach a pair of paper classes in July as part of the Vail Summer Art Institute.
Special to the Daily |

Find your creative outlet

The 2016 Vail Summer Art Institute runs through September, with dozens of events and workshops up and down the valley. Visit and click on “2016 Vail Summer Art Institute” to view a full schedule.

For all of its outdoor focus, Vail also embraces the arts with open arms. There’s a pulse, a beat in town: Bravo! Vail, the Vail Jazz Festival and a plethora of free concerts provide the soundtrack to summer, and the Vail International Dance Festival demonstrates how to move to the beat. However, if the Vail arts scene is only experienced with two senses, a whole world of color is being overlooked.

This summer, the Vail Valley Art Guild, based in Avon at Art of the Valley Gallery, and Colorado Mountain College in Edwards have partnered to sponsor the 2016 Vail Summer Art Institute, which runs from June through September. The brainchild of Lynn Feiger, founding president of the Art Guild, and Rosalind Reed, current president, the Summer Art Institute presents opportunities to not only see but also practice visual art in the area.

“The hope of the Vail Valley Art Guild is that Vail, this summer and in the future, will become a destination for visual arts,” said Terri Allender, part of the marketing and communications team for the Vail Valley Art Guild.

When taken as a whole, the options are extensive. More than 100 classes and workshops by both nationally known and local artists for artists of all skill levels from beginner to advanced are offered from June through August.

“There are plenty of talented visual artists in this area,” Allender said. “Up until almost three years ago, when we organized the Vail Valley Art Guild, there wasn’t any specific organization that helped them come together and helped them find a way to put their art into the public.”

Ten founding members created the Vail Valley Art Guild about 2 and a half years ago. Today, there are more than 175 members working in a variety of mediums, from paint and pastels to photography and ceramics.

Small town, big talent

This summer, the roster of events and classes features nationally known artists, as well as local talent. While some artists have to travel several hours to Vail, others only have to hop on Interstate 70.

Helen Hiebert, an internationally known artist who is an authority on paper craft, moved to the Vail area four years ago. The author of numerous books and publications on paper art and one of the foremost paper artists in the United States, Hiebert’s creations range from large installations to smaller pieces. Her workshops at Colorado Mountain College in Edwards will include both one- and two-day classes focusing on paper sculpture.

“I think it’s unfamiliar — paper as a material,” Hiebert said.

Hiebert demonstrates the versatility of paper as a medium, from making lanterns influenced by her travel to Japan to creating three-dimensional pieces and cut-through pieces that allow the light to shine through.

“There are so many ways to work through it,” Hiebert said.

Hiebert is not the only internationally known artist who is offering workshops this summer. Clem Robins, an artist whose work can been seen in comic books, as well as at the Cincinnati Art Museum, will be teaching a three-day Nude and Landscape workshop. Promising days that “start early and end late,” Robins will take students though the process of capturing nudes in nature with oil paints.

Quang Ho, an illustrator and artist who works mostly in oils and occasionally watercolor and pastels, will lead an intensive three-day plein air workshop in oils at the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens. Originally from Vietnam, Ho immigrated to the United States in 1975; in 1980, at the age of 16, Quang held his first one-man-show at Tomorrows Masters Gallery in Denver.

Other artists that are lending their talents to the Vail Summer Art Institute include Dennis Rhoades (pastels), Don Sahli (oil), Cheryl St. John (oil), Rachel Brockey (photography), Leigh Ann Van Fossan (oil) and Amy Shutt (photography). Vail Valley artists include Mio Cirkovic (oil), Willow Murphy (ceramics), Lenka Sage (drawing and pastels), Marjorie Wilson (acrylic), Andrea Roth Moore (portraits), Diane Smooke (cards) and photographers Jon Sheppard and Butch Mazucca.

From paper to photography, pastels to portraits, there are a myriad of options for artistic expression this summer. Classes and workshops will be held at different locations throughout the valley, including Colorado Mountain College in Edwards, Art of the Valley Gallery in Avon, Alpine Arts Center in Edwards, Betty Ford Alpine Gardens in Vail and scenic locations in the valley for plein air classes. Grab your brushes and join the beat of the art scene in Vail.

Upcoming events, workshops

For a full schedule of Vail Summer Art Institute events and workshops, or to register, visit http://www.vailvalleyart and click on “2016 Vail Summer Art Institute.”

• Three-day Plein Aire Pastel Workshop, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. today through Wednesday, Colorado Mountain College, Edwards — Dennis Rhoades, a world-renowned pastel artist who has won numerous awards, is one of the displaying artists at Art on the Rockies. Workshops include a morning demonstration and group critiques at the end of each day; $300.

• Vail Village Art Walk, 11 a.m. to noon Wednesdays through Aug. 31, Vail Village Welcome Center — On this free tour, learn more about the town and Vail’s public art collection, which includes more than 45 works ranging from paintings, sculptures and murals to playground components and site-integrated art.

• Paper Light Catchers, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, Colorado Mountain College, Edwards— Join nationally renowned artist Helen Hiebert for a one-day paper sculpture workshop. Create light catchers that show off the beauty of paper through illumination, and discover new techniques for working with paper; $110.

• Portrait Workshop, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 18-19, Art of the Vail Valley Gallery, Avon — This two-day workshop with Andrea Roth-More will teach the techniques you need for painting portraits; $200-$225.

• Painting the Still Life, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 20-22, Colorado Mountain College, Edwards — Learn, start to finish, how to paint still life paintings in this three-day studio session with Don Sahli; $325.

• Paper Possibilities, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 25-26, Colorado Mountain College, Edwards — Learn more about paper sculpture and paper making in this two-day workshop with internationally renowned artist and Vail Valley resident Helen Hiebert; $220.

• Nude and Landscape Workshop, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. July 29-31, meet at Art of the Vail Valley Gallery, Avon — For three days, artist Clem Robins will “work you like a pack horse,” allowing students to complete three landscapes with a nude model; $325.

• Alla Prima Wildflower Oil Painting, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 30, Art of the Vail Valley Gallery, Avon — Learn more about palette knife applications in this one-day alla prima workshop painting flowers with Leigh Ann Von Fossan. Paintings will be completed in one sitting, using a wet-on-wet painting style; $100-$125.

• En Plein Aire Workshop, Aug. 5 to 7, Betty Ford Alpine Gardens, Vail — A three-day intensive workshop taught by master painter and instructor Quang Ho, sponsored by Betty Ford Alpine Gardens; $1,000.

• Intimate Evening at the Gardens, 5 to 8 p.m. Aug. 5, Betty Ford Alpine Gardens, Vail — View a painting demonstration and presentation by master painter Quang Ho along with beverages and light appetizers; $75.

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