Category Archives: Art Festivals

Odd, Quirky & Curious Art at the Creek

The 2014 Cherry Creek Arts Festival was part Old Curiosity Shop wonder and slick new organic shapes and colors.  The miles of booths brought to mind memorabilia of another time and place.  I noticed the trend for recycled-objects-art was waning and there were few fine art photography booths. This show was unusual but lovely with its odd, nostalgic, narrative tone. Contemporary art mixed elegantly with classic, vintage themes, style and colors.

The art work below is exactly why I came away with ‘nostalgia’ in my conscientiousness. See for yourself.

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I was enchanted with the sepia intonations in many of the works, and the use of multi-mixed mediums to create a work of art. The brown & black, pen & ink drawn and colored over a collection of old music sheets was typical and original.  I was transported to the pages of Grimm’s Fairy Tales and the bewitching art of early children’s book illustrations, prints and re-touched photography. The feeling I took away from the festival was, let me say, a circus poster.  Colorful exquisite details in the art,  elegantly reminiscent of an eye-popping, vintage color poster that brought a sense of excitement to the moment. I felt like the circus was coming.




List of artists:

Beverly Hayden, Chattanooga, TN; Valerie Bunnell, Northampton, MA; Bradford J. Salamon; Claudia Roulier, Denver, CO; Richard Ryan, Bourbonnais, IL; Brianna Martray, Denver, CO; Cali Hobgood, Urbana, IL.


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Who wants to play hopscotch?


The Larimer Street Chalk Art Festival was so crowded I had to push babies out of their strollers and step over little ole ladies in wheelchairs simply to elbow my way past the never-ending lines of looky-loos to snap a photo. The artists were hunkered over their drawings, nose-to-the-scorching-hot pavement – no shade, whining kids, baby carriages the size of a Fiat, paranoid dogs, spilled drinks and ice cream cones melting into their work space. They were troopers, smiling and chalking to the finish. I applaud them all for their tenacity and dedication to the event. The finished pieces were spectacular. Because I could not get at decent angles nor close enough to grab cards, I managed to snag only a few names. Alas, many of the artists brought no cards. I will list the names I remembered like, Anders and Jane, who chalked the Tamara de Lempicka style image.  When I finagled my way over to ask for a card the guy said they didn’t have one but muttered, “Anders and Jane.” I waited. Shaking his hair out of his face he looked straight at me, “That’s all.”  Then he was back to finishing the chalk art.  He wiped his sweat mixed-with-chalk brow and I turned and stepped on Tamara…by accident. It was tight maneuverings.

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Artist’s names I managed to get at the Chalk Art Festival:  Eric Matelski – Bob Ross; Mary from Gustermans Silversmiths, one of my favorite chalks – Madonna; Lauren Bassett, Genna Panzarella, Tadd Moskal. I apologize to all the other artists for not getting their names.

I spotted Denver artist Jess DuBois at the Market Cafe. He was enjoying his shady spot on the patio while sketching a rambunctious boxer who didn’t want to be there.


FYI: I hear it’s warm down there



200 Awe-Inspiring Artists

Outdoors at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts


 Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts will present the 43rd annual Scottsdale Arts Festival on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, March 8–10, in Scottsdale Civic Center Park.

Named one of the top arts festivals in the nation by the readers of AmericanStyle Magazine and “Best Arts Festival” by Phoenix New Times, the Scottsdale Arts Festival showcases nearly 200 jury-selected artists from throughout the United States and Canada who work in painting, sculpture, glass and ceramics, jewelry, photography and more. Works of art are available for purchase directly from the artists and through the Festival’s online art auction.



Admission to the Scottsdale Arts Festival is $8 for adults, $5 for students and free for children 12 and under and members of Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts and SMoCA. Parking and trolley service are free. A two-day pass is available for $12. Tickets may be purchased in advance through or (480) 499-TKTS (8587), or at any Festival entrance on the day of the event. (Pets are not allowed, except for trained service animals.) Proceeds benefit the programs of Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts.

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Top: Photo of Jane DeDecker‘s sculpture at Benson Sculpture Park. Visit Sculpture in the Park at Benson Sculpture Park, Saturday, Sunday, August 11 – 12, 2012.

Bottom: Loveland Sculpture Invitational, Featured Artist, Victor Issa. Loveland Sculpture Invitational, is billed as the largest outdoor sculpture show in America.

I always know the approximate date when the two Loveland shows will be held, either on, or, days from my birthday. For many years I spent my birthday weekend manning a booth in the vendor’s tent. It was the most fun, most physically draining, delightful, insightful and best art networking event of the year.

The history of the two shows goes back almost 30 years, 29 to be exact, when a couple of handfuls of artists such as George Lundeen, Hollis Williford, Jane DeDecker, Kent Ullberg, George Walbye, Garland Weeks, Jay Eighmy, Glenna Goodacre, Danny Ostermiller set up tents in what is today’s well-known Loveland tourist attraction Benson Sculpture Park on Taft Avenue just north of Loveland High School. Today the show has morphed into a national event and spawned a co-event, the Loveland Sculpture Invitational across the street. The two shows create what is truly one of the largest sculpture events in the country.

As you can imagine the shows did not swell into its legendary status without crushed egos, bitter competition (fyi: reason for the second show, The Invitational as it is called, was started by sculptors who were unceremoniously ejected from the SIP show), which in the end only created a supreme opportunity for Loveland to increase its art/sculpture reputation and revenues each second week in August.

Scanning the names of the artists in both shows proves to me the shows are still growing with visiting artists from across the country and around the world. Of course, there was and always be the question asked, which side is better? Interestingly enough, I noticed some of the original sculptors from SIP are solid citizens of the South (south side of the street) due to let’s say, economics. As it is, each show has separate guidelines for percentages paid on each sale, after show sales,  booth costs, set-up and tear-down routines, admission costs, and number of guest tickets for free admission, etc. Artists come to Loveland to display and sell their work. They want the biggest bang for their buck; the status of which side of the street is better is ineffectual.

It’s an art filled day (or weekend for serious art collectors) when visiting Loveland on this weekend. Getting through both sides is grueling because it’s usually hot as hell; it is August after all. For the true art collector or rep from a public entity I recommend going to the pre-events such as opening night, the cocktail parties and preview parties on both sides (click on both websites below for artists, schedules, ticket costs and party events). By getting a leg up on the thousands of sculptures big and small you’ll make eye contact with the art and artist who speaks to you. You can comfortably observe the work that will fit your pocketbook and your buying mission for fine art sculpture for public or private placement.

No one’s complaining anymore. Both shows sell in the millions, yet the two shows have been at each other’s throats for, let’s see, 20 years? Oh, what a hubbub the new show caused that day twenty years ago when a few disgruntled artists met and formed the Loveland Sculpture Invitational… the growing pains endured, the hours of hard work, and millions of dollars worth of sculpture sold from both sides in 29 years. It’s a destination for art lovers in August.

For directions simply head north up I-25 and take the second exit into Loveland, Highway 34, at the Outlet Mall. Keep heading West on (34) Eisenhower Blvd. until you see signs directing cars north to Loveland High School, Benson Park, and there’s free parking and shuttles available. Getting there is no problem, getting through hundreds of sculpture on display is another matter altogether.

Sculpture Invasion Up North – Loveland hosts TWO (2) Outdoor Sculpture Shows

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Mountain Mantra….. FESTivals…. til the end of summer….

Planning  a weekend out of the city? Colorado provides an astonishing array of fun festivals highlighting art, wine, golf, biking and vacation deals for fabulous getaways and of course cooler weather in the high country. Don’t forget your bikes, helmets, parkas, picnic baskets and blankets.

Steamboat Wine Festival, August 1-5

Celebrate wine, craft beer and gourmet cuisine while soaking in the warm mountain sunshine at this feel-good festival, featuring events like the new “Farm-to-Barn Wine Dinner,” plus tastings, cooking demos, seminars and the signature “Stroll of Steamboat Grand Tasting.” Click here for more info.

Crested Butte Arts Festival, August 3-5
Shop for art along the charming mountain town’s quaint Elk Avenue, a National Historic District, enjoy the farm-to-table food event on Saturday, and be sure to swing by the beer and wine pavilion for tasty sips and live music. Click here for more info.

Crested Butte Open, August 5-6
This high-style event invites golfers to tee off for a good cause, with proceeds benefiting the Adaptive Sports Center. You won’t want to miss the auction at the western-style gala; in the past, enviable items like an African safari and trip to Nepal have been up for the bidding. Click here for more info.

Telluride Festival of the Arts, August 17-19
Drawing discriminating art shoppers to the breathtaking heights of Telluride Mountain Village, this classy affair delivers a colorful variety of art, fun foodie events and the best in local food and drink. Click here for more info.


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Cool Art Festival in Crested Butte

It’s getting hot in Denver. I try not to whine, after all, I spent two summers in Florida, where the billowing heat of the asphalt wafted up my nostrils and burned my dainty nose hairs.

Crested Butte is pretty cool, and it really should be cool in August. Check this out. See you there.


The Crested Butte Arts Festival, celebrating the visual, performing and culinary arts at 8,885 feet, takes place this year from August 3-5 along Historic Elk Avenue. Featuring 175 of the nation’s finest visual artists, the CBAF must be experienced to be believed. To celebrate its 40th anniversary, the festival will host a special “Friday Night Under the Lights” opening event from 5-9 pm.

There is truly something for everyone, including the Ragged Mountain Entertainment stage, Oskar Blues and Cupcake Vineyards’ Beer & Wine Pavilion, Art Alley for kids, Viking Culinary Demonstration Tent and artist demonstrations throughout the weekend. Add to that a day of biking with local legends Dave Wiens and Doug Bradbury, handcrafted cocktails from Colorado’s hottest distilleries and a special Farm To Table dinner in Mt. Crested Butte and you’ve got the perfect recipe for an unforgettable summer weekend in Crested Butte!

1-800-412-7310. To learn more about the arts festival, visit

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New Art @ Cherry Creek Art Festival

Thought you’d enjoy some of the photos I took at the festival. The heat was bearable mid-afternoon Saturday, then, a torrential rain hit closing down the entire festival around 4:00 p.m. Because I hadn’t had enough, I ventured back on Sunday. The search for a parking spot was a drag – both days. They issued tons of tickets on Saturday on cars parked on the East side of the streets north of 3rd Avenue.  Poor sports.

This was my first visit to CCAF in two years. On my last visit in 2010, I thought there was too much textile art and photography and neither were all that great. For what it’s worth, I liked the vintage and junk art trend.  I didn’t see many artists I recognized, which I think was a good indication that artists from across U.S. are still interested in being in the show. I calculated  s o l d tickets in one booth where the artist had sold close to $20,000, in original oil paintings and etchings.

More than anything, I’m happy CCAF is still alive after 22 years. I remember the first one with the late performance artist, Denny Dent. That festival had the best street food for the day, and, it was a glorious show. Great job CCN for keeping this event alive and tasteful.

As usual lots of dogs, edible and petible, great fair food and, too many baby carriages for the traffic.


Just kidding. This is a replica of “David,” at the Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum in St. Augustine, Florida.


Bekah Ash


Brianna Mautray


Graphite art by Ron Hoyle


Festival hit – wheel thrown, altered, carved and incised pottery by Jennifer McCurdy.


Emerging artist booth: Martin Lambuth.


What’s Old is New Again…in posh Cherry Creek (Art Festival)

The buzz is on for the words reduce, reuse, recycle, upcycle, repurpose, revamp, and reinvent into art. You’ve seen it in emails making the rounds, art made out of flip-flops, soda bottle furniture, chandeliers made from candle holders, cans and glass bottles. There’s fashionable jewelry made from Coke cans, bottle tops, Barbie doll appendages, even underwear and shelters, as in bus stops. Who remembers the first belts made out of old tires and bottle caps? They’re still around after what, 20 years?

Upcycling is the latest trend described as taking items that have been discarded into landfills, rescued and given a new use, an upgrade to another purpose from its original purpose. It’s called being the best we can be by reinventing and creating art that is characteristically interesting, quirky,colorful, semi-disturbing – setting the pace for a new artistic statement, heading into a new era of art.


If any of those words are true, and I believe they are because the Cherry Arts Festival was a carnival of old, made new again. I would venture to speculate that a vintage theme ran through 50% of the booths I visited.



In order from top: Mike Turney – Assemblage

Photographic works by Micheal Paul Cole.

Ceramic plate – I apologize. I cannot find the artist’s name. If you know please send message on this post.

Jewelry – Fat Cat Studio.

Check out these two websites that are the true essence of Upcycling.

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Hot Time in Cherry Creek

Posting press releases for your summer calendar. At least now, you know what dates to go to Cherry Creek Arts Festival.

Cherry Creek North Announces Signature Summer Events

Some old favorites and a new addition

DENVER, CO (June 19, 2012) – The Cherry Creek North Business Improvement District announced their 2012 summer event schedule. From old favorites such as Sidewalk Sale, to the introduction of an inaugural fashion show – Cherry Creek North will be buzzing with activities that are sure to please everyone’s palette.

Cherry Creek North (CCN) kicks off the summer on Thursday, June 21 when the Cherry Creek Arts Festival donates an outdoor sculpture to CCN to recognize the District for providing over 20 years of support to the Cherry Creek Arts Festival. The formal dedication, open to the public, will take place from 5 to 6:30pm on Steele Street between 1st and 2nd Avenues, followed by promotions and activities throughout CCN’s galleries, restaurants, and retailers from 6:30 to 9pm. This will also be CCN’s

22nd year hosting the Cherry Creek Arts Festival, which takes place throughout the streets of CCN July 6 – 8.

This year marks the 42nd year of CCN’s Annual Sidewalk Sale. This longstanding tradition brings nearly one hundred CCN businesses out onto the sidewalks with unbelievable deals on merchandise, such as clothing, jewelry, accessories, art, home furnishings, and more. Don’t miss these sizzling hot summer deals July 19 – 22.

The 4th Annual Cherry Creek North Food & Wine will take place the evening of August 11 on Fillmore Plaza and will feature twenty-four of our food & beverage establishments, as well as wines, spirits, and the brews of the 5280 Denver’s Magazine popular “6 Pack” promotion. The restaurant line-up this year spans multiple cuisines such as Indian, Japanese, Mexican, and Italian. Tickets are on sale now for $50 ($20 tax deductible), which includes unlimited food, beverages, and live music.

On September 6, CCN will celebrate Fashion’s Night Out for the first time. The inaugural fashion event will start at 6pm with in- store shopping events until 8pm that are free to the public. At 7:30pm, festivities continue on Fillmore Plaza with a runway fashion show featuring fall and winter fashion trends from some of CCN’s clothing boutiques. The show is free and open to the public; however there will be a limited number of VIP seats available that will go on sale in July. A portion of proceeds will benefit Goodwill’s career development programs that help struggling individuals get outfitted for success.

For further details regarding Cherry Creek North’s 2012 summer event calendar, visit

Cherry Creek North is known nationally as an outdoor, premier retail, dining, and mixed-use area located just 5 minutes from downtown Denver. Our nearly 400 businesses that make up the District are independents to internationals (74% independent), featuring a broad range of unique fashion, jewelry and home furnishing stores, spas/salons, art galleries and restaurants. In addition to retail businesses, the District is also a national and regional office center, home to two hotels, and has a growing number of residents. In combination with the Cherry Creek Shopping Center, Cherry Creek North is the number one visitor destination in Colorado according to the Longwoods Study conducted for Visit Denver Inc. Cherry Creek North is a Business Improvement District (BID) and was established in 1989 as the first business improvement district in Colorado. The BID is a governmental special district chartered by State Statute.

Cherry Creek North Business Improvement District | 299 Milwaukee Street, Ste 201, Denver, CO 80206 • 303-394-2904 • ###


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