It's true. You don't need to travel to Europe to experience the visual art culture. But while most may not think of Colorado when planning an art-oriented vacation, art lovers can rejoice: the art culture is alive and well right here in Colorado!
June 22-23-24, 2012: Salida ArtWalk, Salida
Celebrating its 20th Anniversary, the charming art community of Salida and its varied artisans open their gallery and studio doors to once again showcase their talents. Mini Masterpieces, local musicians, and a Street Sheet make it an extra fun event for everyone strolling the streets of this historic railroad town!
June 30-July 2, 2012: Pike's Peak Arts Fest in Colorado Springs
Held at the gorgeous America the Beautiful Park, this festival features over 80 booths of fine art, including paintings, photography, sculpture, mixed-media, glass, wood, and more. Food, beverages, and live entertainment are also featured at the festival.
July 4-5-6-7, 2012: Park to Park Arts & Crafts Festival at Pagosa Springs
Celebrate the 4th of July at this festival featuring over 80 booths featuring a wide variety of visual arts and local crafts.
July 7-8, 2012: Art In the Park in Steamboat Springs
Coinciding with the Hot Air Balloon Rodeo, this free event features 140 artist vendors, live music, food, and a children's art area. The Steamboat Springs Arts Council welcomes you to enjoy the myriad of colorful balloons and art-related shopping at this annual event.
July 21-22: Open Arts Fest in Boulder
A celebration of the visual arts, this event features both local artists and artists from around the country. Featuring food, drinks, and activities for the entire family including art showcases, demonstrations, workshops, children's art activities and a silent auction benefiting OpenArts scholarship programs, the Open Arts Festival provides the perfect day of fun for the entire family.
July 28-29, 2012: Downtown Aspen Art Festival
A free outdoor art festival that showcases a variety of visual artwork by the nation's best artists including sculpture, photography, glass, paintings, ceramics, jewelry, and mixed-media.
August 2-3-4-5, 2012: Art Aspen and ArtCrush
These consecutive Aspen events comprise a single weekend celebrating fine art. The Aspen Ice Garden hosts Art Aspen, an intimate fine arts fair featuring post-war and contemporary art. Featuring only 30 dealers, this exclusive event is ideal for anyone looking for that perfect fine art piece. On August 3rd, The Aspen Art Museum is home to ArtCrush. This single evening event is a seated dinner for 350 guests featuring wine tasting and auctions of contemporary artwork.
August 4-5, 2012: Beaver Creek Art Festival near Vail
2012 marks the 25th anniversary of the Beaver Creek Art Festival near Vail, Colorado. This resort Alpine village oasis has hosted hundreds of artists and fine crafters to this free community festival that highlights talents of artists from both the local area, and from around the country.
August 5-6-7, 2012: Crested Butte Arts Festival
A variety of visual arts, food, wine and spirits, and live entertainment are offered to festival-goers at this open air event. There is something for everyone at the Crested Butte Arts Festival.
August 11-12, 2012: Salida Riverside Fine Arts Festival
Presenting fine art from 14 states, this event features juried awards, live music, and family fun, all on the banks of the Arkansas River!
August 15-16-17-18-19, 2012: Steamboat All Arts Festival
Artists from across the U.S. participate in this 4-day event that not only presents art, but also offers workshops for attendees. This amazing event highlights not only visual arts, but also performing, literary, and culinary arts.
August 17-18-19, 2012: Telluride Festival of Arts
Held at the Mountain Village near Telluride, culinary and visual arts festival offers art by national and regional artists in all visual media categories, the Grand Tasting paid culinary and wine event, and live music.
September 15-16, 2012: Sugar Beet Days Arts and Crafts Festival in Sterling, CO
This all-around town festival features goods presented by area artists, food, rides, and live entertainment in a small-town atmosphere.
April, 2013: Colorado Arts and Crafts Spring Festival in Denver
Featuring arts and crafts presented by local and regional artists, this event presents handmade, original creations, live music, and specialty foods. April, 2013 dates have not yet been confirmed. There is an approximately $10 admission charge for this event.
April, 2013: Otero Arts Festival in La Junta
The Otero Junior College presents their annual arts festival. Students showcase over 2,000 entries including paintings, drawings, pottery, sculptures, creative writing, and more. This festival is the longest running event for public school students.
May, 2013: Downtown Denver Arts Festival
The largest art event in Colorado, the Denver Arts Festival showcases visual artists from both Colorado, and select artists from across the nation. This Memorial Day event hosts upwards of 150,000 people to the Denver Pavilions. Artwork is available in almost every imaginable form including paintings, photography, mixed-media works, sculpture, 3D art, wearable art, pottery, furniture, glass, and woodwork. There is something for everyone at the Downtown Denver Arts Festival.
May, 10-11-12, 2013: Art & Jazz Festival in Grand Junction
Mother's Day Weekend bring a grand festival featuring live jazz music, art vendors, art demonstrations, and more.
This is no means a comprehensive list of every Colorado event, but simply an overview of some of the larger and more widely-known events. Many individual towns have more intimate, local events featuring art by local and regional artists throughout the year. For more information about art festivals near your Colorado bed and breakfast inn of choice, your innkeeper will be happy to provide you more information. So book your stay now to enjoy Colorado's varied visual arts communities, shows and festivals!