Spirit of Breckenridge arts festival not dampened by rain
BRECKENRIDGE – Friday’s afternoon rain shower didn’t dampen the spirit of the Breckenridge July Art Festival – artists and patrons agreed this year’s event is a success.”It’s not often you get to buy art and look at 14,000-foot mountains,” said Jeff Seidel, in town from New York. Seidel was perusing a booth of “second-life” sculptures made of scrap material with which to decorate his Vail condo.”We’ve been to many art shows before, and this is one of the best we’ve been to,” said Marcia Guatsche, who is visiting from Colorado Springs along with her husband and friends. “There are such a variety of creative minds.”Located at the 100 block of North Main Street in the Wellington and East Sawmill parking lots, the festival features artists who work in a variety of mediums, including painting, sculpture, printmaking/drawing, photography, fiber, ceramics, metal, glass, wood, mixed media and jewelry.To take part, artists seeking a space at the festival submitted slides for review. Festival planners chose a limited number of artists from each genre. Of 45 entries in the jewelry category, only 10 made the final cut.Mark Beling, festival director and owner of J & M Jewelry, called the quality of art at this year’s festival “tremendous.””This is the finest show in the Rockies,” said Beling, who has directed the show for nine years.Artists said business has been good so far, despite a brief rain shower Friday. Sales typically pick up the last couple days of a festival.”It takes a day or two. People like to come back and look before they buy,” said Phoenix painter Bill Mittag, whose work portrays Native American scenes.Mittag, who has attended the Breckenridge festival for the past five years, said he comes to about four mountain art shows a year to escape the heat.”So far, I’ve had a lot of “be-backs,'” said Texas artist Sky Caroselli. “I don’t count a sale until I write the receipt. But this seems to be a good crowd.”Caroselli and her mother create life-size bronze sculptures of children, which are made for outdoors.While some artwork for sale is strictly decorative, other pieces are more functional.Steve McAulay, from Portland, brought his dressers, mirrors and tables made of birch bark.”I’ve been building furniture for 20 years, and I thought a few years ago that birch would be a good business,” McAulay said.This year was McAulay’s first at the Breckenridge Arts Festival, and he said he thinks he’ll return next year.”I was at the Vail festival last weekend and in Aspen before that. Between all the festivals, Breckenridge’s is the best so far,” McAulay said.The festival began Thursday and continues through Sunday.
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