Show Preview | Durango Autumn Arts Festival

Durango, CO
East Second Avenue, September 19-20

James Tsoodle, He Who Watches His Ways, acrylic, 48 x 36.

James Tsoodle, He Who Watches His Ways, acrylic, 48 x 36.

This story was featured in the September 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art September 2015 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story!

On September 19 and 20 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., the 21st annual Durango Autumn Arts Festival takes over a stretch of the city’s downtown to bring together some of the area’s best artists for a weekend art celebration. Focusing on the creativity of artisans in fine art and fine crafts, the festival is one of the premier outdoor art events in southwestern Colorado and features a plethora of works in painting, sculpture, jewelry, crafts, and much more. “Our festival is predominantly fine crafts with a good representation of painters and pastel artists,” says festival director Jules Masterjohn. “People can also expect to find jewelry, woodwork, pottery, and all different kinds of sculpture.”

This year 90 juried artists set up their booths on East Second Avenue, and with subject matter that spans the spectrum of genres, visitors can expect a little bit of everything, including a healthy amount of contemporary works. “We tend to draw artists who are working in a more contemporary framework, and we have some really fun, contemporary, pop art images of animals and the landscape,” Masterjohn says. The show also includes many western, southwestern, and wildlife themes from both traditional and contemporary perspectives.

New and returning participating artists this year include Jeff and Katrina Seaton, Busarin Kittichareonsup, Kevin DesPlanques, Allison Leigh Smith, Joseph Woodward, and last year’s Best of Show winner, James Tsoodle. “James Tsoodle’s work HE WHO WATCHES HIS WAYS is a very in-your-face portrait of a Native American. It’s a pretty dynamic image, and that was one of the reasons he won best of show last year,” Masterjohn says. “We couldn’t get [his work] out of our heads because of its powerful, strong, and stern images.”

The festival is a fundraiser for the Durango Arts Center, which supports arts in the community. Local food and refreshments are available as well as live music throughout the weekend. “We have a pretty high appreciation for art and fine crafts in this community,” 
Masterjohn says. “It’s really a community celebration.” —Joe Kovack

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Featured in the September 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
Southwest Art September 2015 print issue or digital download Or subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss a story!

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