Show Preview | Durango Autumn Arts Festival

Durango, CO
Downtown Durango, September 16-17

Gilmore Scott, Turquoise Stone Sky, acrylic, 30 x 40.

Gilmore Scott, Turquoise Stone Sky, acrylic, 30 x 40.

This story was featured in the September 2017 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art  September 2017 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

The majestic mountains surrounding Durango, CO, paired with the city’s iconic western history, provide the perfect backdrop for the 23rd Durango Autumn Arts Festival. Almost 8,000 visitors from all over the country flock to southwestern Colorado for a chance to meet favorite artists and take home their artwork during this event-filled weekend. The festival is on Saturday, September 16, and Sunday, September 17, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Second Avenue, a quaint, tree-lined street in historic downtown Durango.

The festival is organized annually by the Durango Arts Center, with proceeds benefitting nonprofit arts organizations in Durango and the surrounding Four Corners area. This year, out of 208 applications from across the nation, jurors selected just 100 artists and craftspeople. This year’s jurors were local accomplished artists including painter Ann Smith, jeweler and metalsmith Gretchen Magwitz, and photographer Kathy Myrick.

“I can’t help but be excited about the quality of the work and the diversity of styles and materials represented,” says Peter Hay, the festival’s artistic director. Hay says he’s astounded by the variety of styles in show: traditional western, contemporary, folk art, fine jewelry, crafts, and much more.

In addition to three blocks filled with artists’ booths, the weekend also includes live, local music and dance, a food court and beer garden, and a separate activity area for kids to create art of their own. Colleen Everett, Suzanne Williams, Carla McBride, Mel Mendez, Steve Knox, and Chris McIntosh are just some of the 100 artists displaying their art in individual booths.

This is stone and bronze sculptor Upton Ethelbah Jr.’s first time attending the show. He’s displaying 15 sculptures ranging in size from 8 inches to 34 inches tall. “I draw on my Native American heritage for my artistic inspiration,” he says. “My father, at 100 years old, is the oldest living member of the White Mountain Apache Tribe of Arizona, and my late mother was from Santa Clara Pueblo in New Mexico.” Ethelbah sculpts images from both tribes, primarily Pueblo deer, corn dancers, and Apache crown dancers. —Katie Askew

contact information
970.259.2606
www.durangoarts.org/daaf

This story was featured in the September 2017 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art  September 2017 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

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