East Second Avenue, September 20-21
This story was featured in the September 2014 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art September 2014 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story!
On the weekend of September 20, just as the high country dons its fall colors, the town of Durango, CO, closes down several blocks of East Second Avenue to present the 20th annual Durango Autumn Arts Festival, featuring the offerings of 86 artists and artisans from the West. Visitors can find painting, sculpture, photography, woodblock prints, jewelry, ceramics, and much more, while enjoying the small historic town and surrounding scenery. “We hear from so many patrons and participating artists and craftspeople that they love coming to the festival because of its friendly atmosphere and small-town hospitality but with big-city culture,” says festival director Jules Masterjohn.
Ceramist Maggie Mae Beyeler has been coming to the show for nearly a decade. She says that though it is smaller than many others, the Durango festival hosts a diverse and tightly juried group of artists with higher-quality offerings. Beyeler brings her one-of-a-kind stoneware-and-porcelain tableware to the show. “I’m not a production potter,” she stresses, noting that each piece is an original that develops from the energy she feels when creating.
Anticipating his first Autumn Arts Festival is Pueblo, CO, painter Darien Bogart. “September is gorgeous in Colorado,” he says, “and Durango is a beautiful town surrounded by gorgeous scenery.” He brings a collection of his dramatically colored acrylic paintings featuring sweeping southern Colorado vistas and wildlife.
As a town surrounded by pristine backcountry areas—including the state’s largest designated wilderness area, the Weminuche—Durango’s culture is intimately connected to the land and wilderness recreation. This year, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Wilderness Act, the Creation Station, which provides hands-on art activities for children, welcomes visitors of all ages to participate in an interactive art installation entitled The Forest, building life-size trees with donated yarn.
Live music and local fare are available throughout the two-day event, which opens at 10 a.m. on both days and closes at 6 p.m. on Saturday and 5 p.m. on Sunday. The festival is the annual fundraising event for the Durango Arts Center, which provides opportunities to explore and engage in the arts through educational programs for all ages. —Laura Rintala
Featured in the September 2014 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
Southwest Art September 2014 print issue or digital download Or subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss a story!
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