Stroll through fine art at annual Dillon festival |

Stroll through fine art at annual Dillon festival

Daily News staff report
Photography by Randall Roberts.
Photo: Special to the Weekender |

Meet 65 fine artists from Colorado and beyond who are eager to hear your comments and answer your questions at the Lake Dillon Arts Festival from Friday, July 19, through Sunday, July 21, in downtown Dillon.

Stroll the art walk to the sounds of acoustic guitar mastery courtesy of Skanson & Hansen, Colorado’s premier finger-style duo, and view artwork ranging from oil, acrylic, watercolor, pastel, charcoal and mixed media paintings to elegant bronze, stone, metal and luminous glass sculptures and more.

Marble sculptor

The Lake Dillon Arts Festival will feature Rex Branson, a nationally renowned artist whose award-winning wood carvings and stone sculptures include human figures, horses, bears, eagles, big horn sheep, planets and spaceships.

Branson was featured on the television show “America’s Lost and Found,” where he described his story sculptures, which extend traditional sculpting into the realm of narrative and mythology. Branson also carves limestone busts, rustic marble sculptures, life-size cigar-store Indian chiefs and even one-of-a-kind tombstones. These unique pieces have become highly sought-after acquisitions for both public and private collections.

Some of the stone Branson sculpts is from the Yule Quarry in Marble, near Aspen on the Crystal River. Yule Quarry began operation in 1905 and has supplied its unique white marble to construct the Lincoln Memorial, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and hundreds of other national landmarks and buildings.

Branson’s work is currently featured at the Marble Gallery in Marble and at the online gallery

Skanson & Hansen

The Lake Dillon Arts Festival welcomes Darren Curtis Skanson and Gregg Hansen, who will perform their own brand of musical magic throughout the three-day event. Skanson & Hansen’s repertoire of intricate and enchanting guitar duets spans classical works, pop tunes and dazzling original compositions. Their fresh and innovative instrumental arrangements transform each piece into a memorable recreation of the original.

The captivating combination of fingernails on nylon strings and fingertips on steel strings creates a rarely heard fusion of classical and acoustic guitar voices. This cross-disciple synthesis gives Skanson & Hansen the creative latitude to bring melodic classical guitar mastery to folk, rock and pop songs, while infusing timeless masterpieces with acoustic fun and funky rhythms.

Skanson and Hansen describe their musical pairing as double finger-style guitar. Both play the melody, chords and bassline simultaneously, creating a sophisticated, closely woven sound that fully expresses the song’s melody within a rich, harmonious musical landscape.

Shopping sprees

The Lake Dillon Arts Festival is giving away two fabulous shopping sprees.

To enter the drawing, ask any artist for a ticket on Friday, July 20, or Saturday, July 21. A $500 Art Festival shopping spree will be awarded on Saturday at 2 p.m., and on Sunday, a second drawing will give away a $1,000 Art Festival spree. Shopping sprees are limited to purchases made at Art Festival participant booths, and drawing winners must be present to accept the prize.

Globetrotting juggler

The Lake Dillon Arts Festival has added physical comedian and juggler Reid Belstock to its 2013 entertainment lineup. Belstock is a globetrotting performer who has garnered rave reviews from Disney World, Royal Caribbean, Princess and Disney Cruise Lines, as well as show-stopping appearances in Canada, China, Japan and South America. Closer to home, he was featured at the prestigious Las Vegas Comedy Festival.

As a Colorado native, Belstock is well known for his performances at local theaters, arts centers and schools throughout the state. His delightful mix of virtuoso juggling and physical comedy is guaranteed to bring amazement and laughter to young and old.

Belstock began juggling at the age of 15 to help overcome a congenital motor skill impairment, and within a year, he was performing at Denver’s Elitch Gardens to adoring audiences. Realizing he had discovered his calling, he expanded his skills, took to the road and made the world his stage.

Belstock will take the stage on Saturday, July 20, from noon to 2 p.m.

Veterans exhibit art

Members of the Colorado Veterans Creative Arts Rehabilitation Group will be exhibiting their artworks at the Lake Dillon Arts Festival. These combat veterans, working in conjunction with the Denver Veterans Center, have discovered that nurturing their artistic talents is an effective way to manage service-related stress and regain self-esteem.

There is a common misconception that the Creative Arts Rehabilitation Group’s artwork portrays images of warfare, but their prodigious output dispels that notion.

“What we attempt to do is create an image that people will enjoy, is pleasing to the eye and correctly composed,” said Frank, a founding member of the group. “I think we are all creating much better images than when we first started.”

The Arts Group meets weekly to learn various art disciplines under the guidance of Bob Mock, a licensed social worker and part-time photographer who works for the Department of Veterans Affairs. Recently, the American Legion, which sponsors the group, helped purchase a computer system, software and a large-format color printer to enable the members to become self-sufficient.

The Colorado Veterans Creative Arts Rehabilitation Group is a nonprofit organization that occasionally participates in art festivals to raise funds for art supplies and other expenses. The Arts Group is open to all combat veterans who have an interest in art and provides instruction in photography, oil painting and even computer graphics.

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