In the 1940s Walter and Elizabeth Paepcke had a vision for a community that embodied mind, body and spirit, which helped the once mining town of Aspen, Colorado, begin a civic and cultural renaissance. This vision, known as the “Aspen Idea,” along with the town’s majestic mountain location, lead to it becoming the world-renown recreational and cultural mecca that it is today. For those of you who are seeking an experience that will inspire your mind, move your body and uplift your soul, a visit to the Aspen Art Festival this weekend will provide this and more.
The 12th Annual Downtown Aspen Art Festival is being held this Saturday, July 26th and Sunday the 27th from 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM, on Monarch Street. The charming downtown area with stunning mountain views, offers an ideal backdrop for the festival, which showcases art from some of the finest artists in the country. Local and national artists will be exhibiting art from all mediums, including hand blown glass, photography, jewelry, paintings, sculpture and mixed media.
One of the more unusual mediums featured at the event is used by our Featured Artist, Cheryl Ward. Cheryl and her artist husband Steve got the ideas of painting on cattail reeds while walking the dog in their semi-rural town northwest of Chicago. They were looking for a new format to provide texture and a 3D feel for an abstract piece and found that and more in cattail reeds.
The leaves of a cattail plant proved very rigid when dry, long, straight and consistent in size while maintaining individual uniqueness. The reeds can only be collected in late fall or early winter and they must dry naturally in the field before they can be collected. Once painted and glued into the artwork, a spray varnish is applied to help preserve the reeds.
One of these original cattail paintings, named “Green Mottled Prairie Grass,” will be the event giveaway and is valued at over $400. All artwork is framed in a black frame with a white mat. To register to win, stop by Cheryl’s booth at the show or learn more about her work by visiting their website. A winner will be drawn in the last hour of the show on Sunday.
While taking a break from the art festival, participants who are seeking to nurture their bodies can find a multitude of restaurants in this epicurean retreat, which offers the dining culture of a metropolitan area with the friendliness of a mountain community. And when the soul is ready to soar, there are seemingly endless activities, including cultural tours, hiking, zip lining, mountain biking, horseback riding, canyon air tours, whitewater rafting, paddle boarding, music events and much more.
As always, keep an eye on Facebook for up-to-the-minute announcements. Don’t hesitate to take a few shots and post your selfies, just remember to tag with #DowntownAspenArtFestival.
Stay tuned, two more fabulous Colorado art shows are on deck. Save the dates: the 27th Annual Beaver Creek Art Festival will be in Avon August 2nd and 3rd and the 8th Annual Main Street to the Rockies Art Festival hits Frisco August 9th and 10th. How can you beat summer in Colorado?