Frisco is bringing back the Main Street to the Rockies Art Festival for the eighth time on Saturday, Aug. 9, and Sunday, Aug. 10. The festival artists are juried by an independent panel of judges and hand-selected from hundreds of applicants based on quality and diversity.
“We want to make it an exiting show; we want to make it different,” said Howard Alan, of Howard Alan Events, which is co-hosting the festival with the town of Frisco. “Every year, there’s different artists in the show. We want it to be a fresh, new show with exiting things.”
All of the artwork is original and handmade in America. Main Street to the Rockies brings work to Summit County that’s never been seen in the area before, Alan said, from artists that don’t attend other shows here.
“We’ve been doing Main Street for several years,” he said, adding that it’s a very popular show for the traveling artists. “People from Texas, Florida, far away, they’re art show junkies. They like to be in the mountains, and they make a whole weekend of this art show, which I think is kind of neat.”
Art from all over
Alan said it’s important to the community to include local and regional artists, as well as the far-flung talent that represents as many as 30 different states.
“We bring in local exhibitors to round out what they’re doing,” he said. “They want to see new and exciting things but they want to see local artists, as well. We have people that every year make it a special point to be at this festival — a lot from Denver — to be here this weekend for this show, which is why we always keep the date the same.”
The wide array of artwork showcased at this festival includes many different styles and represents a variety of artistic media, including pottery, jewelry, sculptures, photography and more. The prices are set to suit all budgets and range from as little as $25 to $30,000.
Portions of Main Street will be closed to vehicular traffic to allow the public to stroll among the exhibits and meet the artists who will be on site for the duration of the festival. Festival patrons are encouraged to engage the artists as they explore the artwork on display.
“Every exhibitor has to be in the booth the entire time of the show, Saturday and Sunday,” Alan said. “You don’t have to buy anything; you can talk to them and ask how did you make it, what materials did you use, what inspired you to make it. Unlike an art gallery, you’re buying a piece of their personality. A lot of people start collecting their work, and hope the artist will be back.
“The customers are amazing. They invite the artists to their homes for the weekend and take them out to dinners. They become friends, and people like to collect their work.”
Art enthusiasts will have the opportunity to add to their collections with an art giveaway. The prize, a 12-inch-by-36-inch original oil on linen titled “Burst of Last Light,” by participating artist Sloane Keats, will be on display at her booth for the duration of the festival. No purchase will be necessary to participate in the giveaway, and the winner will be announced during the final hour of the art show.
“That was inspired by a road trip we took a few years back with the kids to the Grand Canyon, and the beautiful mesas and mountains and everything we saw and the colors; it was just so beautiful,” Keats said of the painting. “It has a floating gold frame with it, and it’s impasto style, Impressionistic. I paint with a palette knife and oil, and most of my paintings are very thick and textural, and it makes them one of a kind, very unique. You can’t really reproduce the textures, colors and patterns with a print.”
Keats said she’s always looking for new subjects for her artwork, and anything has the ability to peak her interest.
“I love the outdoors and nature, and most of the work is focused on texture, color patterns,” she said. “I think one of the most fun parts of being an artist is the adventure of the next new subject. I never know what will spark my inspiration, but I love to travel and go places and see new things.”
In the past, Keats said, she didn’t have the opportunity to travel outside her home state of Florida, due to work and family, so she’s enjoying getting the chance to spread her wings more by coming to Colorado.
“I’d love for people to come out and see my work and let me know what they think of it,” she said. “I love to hear what other people have to say outside the state of Florida. I’m pretty well known in Florida, but it’s nice to get exposed to different people, different areas. I hope everyone comes out and tries to win the painting.”
To learn more about Keats and her work, go to www.sloane-keats.artistwebsites.com. For additional information on the eighth-annual Main Street to the Rockies Art Festival and other Howard Alan Events art and craft shows across the country, visit www.artfestival.com or call (561) 746-6615.