Crested Butte, CO
Downtown Crested Butte, July 31-August 2
This story was featured in the July 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art July 2015 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story!
Crested Butte has been called “Colorado’s last great ski town” and “the wildflower capital of Colorado.” Indeed, the 1880s mining town has much to offer in the way of natural beauty and winter sports. What is less known about the scenic mountain resort is that it hosts a lively summer arts festival. The annual Crested Butte Arts Festival unfolds on charming Elk Avenue, the town’s main street lined with historic buildings painted shades of royal blue, turquoise, and purple.
Celebrating its 43rd anniversary this year, the show boasts works by 175 artists who create paintings, sculptures, photographs, and jewelry as well as works made of glass, fiber, and wood. “What makes this show so special is the one-on-one contact with the artists,” says Juliette Eymere, the festival’s executive director. “You can connect with the artists, and the artists get a chance to talk about their processes and showcase both their work and their personalities.”
Jeffrey Cannon, a landscape painter from Austin, TX, has participated in the festival every summer since 2010. “Crested Butte is one of the most unpretentious mountain towns in Colorado, a place where the people are friendly and the views are spectacular,” he says. “Every year I return to my studio with more juicy reference photos and ideas for paintings. I am so excited to be part of it all.”
ALMOST THERE II is among an array of paintings Cannon is displaying at this year’s festival. The work is inspired by a hike he took with his family along Burning Bear Creek Trail in the high country west of Denver. What was remarkable about the scene, Cannon recalls, was the quality and clarity of the high-altitude light. At about 10,000 feet, the air was cool and the sky was a deep blue with puffy white clouds. “I remember feeling a quiet joy and found myself quite energized and enlivened by our memorable time there,” Cannon says.
In conjunction with the festival, silent art auctions take place downtown from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on August 1-2. The three-day celebration also features artists’ demonstrations, entertainment, culinary treats, and free children’s activities. —Bonnie Gangelhoff
Featured in the July 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
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