Glenwood’s Fall Art Festival goes on hiatus after 5 decades |

Glenwood’s Fall Art Festival goes on hiatus after 5 decades

Jessica Cabe
Local artist Nancy Martin's painting, "Transporting," was one of thousands that were on display at the 52nd annual Fall Art Festival last September.
Nancy Martin / Post Independent file |

How to help

For a list of schools or nonprofits you can help support through the art guild, visit


From an original member of the Glenwood Springs Art Guild, Page 13

After 52 consecutive years of bringing both professional and amateur art to Glenwood Springs, the annual Fall Art Festival is taking at least a one-year hiatus due to insufficient money and volunteers.

“I really regret not having it because one of its purposes was to encourage new artists to enter,” said Alice Davenport, president of the Glenwood Springs Art Guild, which is responsible for putting on the festival.

The Fall Art Festival is the largest non-juried art show in Colorado, meaning anyone who pays the entry fee can have his or her work in the exhibition. Last year, the festival boasted around 260 participating artists and thousands of pieces of art, including paintings, sculptures and pottery.

Glenwood Springs Art Guild Treasurer Dot Mulligan said last year’s festival cost $26,013. The guild came out of the festival about $1,000 ahead.

“We made a tiny profit, but our problem this year is volunteers,” she said.

Mulligan said about 20 people would be needed to hang artwork and set the show up, but only two came forward this year, and even those two weren’t in the best health for the task.

“It was just kind of a snowball effect where we couldn’t get any good, healthy volunteers,” Mulligan said.

Even if more people came forward at this point to help, letters are already in the mail to patrons announcing the cancellation of the 2015 Fall Art Festival.

But it’s not too early to show support for bringing the festival back in 2016, Mulligan said.

“Everybody’s kind of in mourning,” she said. “It’s almost like a loss of a family member to see it go, but I think it’s about time to try something new.”

The art guild is putting together a member exhibition at the Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts from June 1 to July 10 with a reception from 4-7 p.m. June 6. A percentage of the artwork sold will benefit the guild’s gifting and scholarship program.

Another new way the art guild is looking to maintain its community support without breaking the bank is by starting an “adoption” program.

Whereas before, the guild used part of its general funds to support art programs in schools and nonprofits like the Advocate Safehouse Project or Mountain Valley Developmental Services, leaders now hope individuals will donate money to specific causes.

“That’s just in its infancy now,” Mulligan said. “We’ll see how it goes.”

The art guild is still planning to give two high school scholarships every year; this year, it gave one for $3,500 and one for $1,500 to high school students who planned to pursue art after graduation. Davenport said the guild is looking into new ways to raise money for those scholarships and other projects, including bringing the Fall Art Festival back in 2016.

“We have to have a source of money,” Davenport said. “It’s not something I think we could raise on our own.”

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