The 43rd Annual Fall Art Festival
Ryan Courter had a good reason to pin a lot of hope to his Stairway to Heaven drawing. He knew if he could win the art festivals $15,000 scholarship, he could pursue his dream to go to art school. Courter was one of 381 local and national artists who participated in The Glenwood Springs Art Guilds 43rd annual fall art show. Artists came from as far as North Carolina, Hawaii and South Dakota to participate in a show that exhibited 2,200 pieces of paintings, pottery and sculpture.Patrons night, held on Sept. 20, kicked off this years festival. Purchase patrons support the festival by committing to buy at least one piece of art prior to seeing the exhibit. This year prices ranged from $25 to $15,000. Patrons get the cream of the crop, Said Art Guild member Jean Edmonds. They also get to view the exhibit before the public.Their generosity, along with the other buyers is an integral part of the festival because it supports the artists and helps the Art Guild. According to Guild member Bob Wood, the show sold $109,900 of art work. After the Guild pays the expenses associated with the show, it will provide scholarships and art materials to more than a dozen organizations in the valley that include 22 schools, nursing homes, hospitals and youth programs. Im mesmerized, said Heidi Epps, There is so much art in this space. Local artist Cheryl Currier was pleased when she saw her work in an open forum for the first time. It was exciting to see, she said. My painting looked different. An artists first exhibit can be a bit intimidating since it means sharing personal work with the public.You feel like its your child, said artist Linda Helmich, who explained why she likes to create art that has a deeper meaning. Sometimes in our most challenging and dark times, if we are able to get a glimpse of light, it speaks to ones heart and encourages us along the way. Many of the pieces here do that. While having judges and others critique your work can be a bit nerve-wracking, Helmich has learned the secret to having peace about it. You wait until your painting speaks to someone. She said.The process is similar for Courter, who reflected on his own work. Its my soul, he said. I was born to draw.And now, because of the festival, he can go to school.Courter won the Philip J. Steele Memorial Scholarship and plans to enter the Rocky Mountain College of Art & Design in Denver next summer.And while this is only his second second year at the show, Courter believes the art festival is a great venue for for artists to show their work.And as he knows, it may even turn out to be a Stairway to Heaven.
From left, Arlene Law, of Glenwood, is an artist and the Art Festival Coordinator; Carol Murphy, of El Jebel, is an artist and chairs the gallery set-up team for the festival and Eve Booth, of Glenwood, is an artist and an Art Guild officer.
Business Purchase Patrons Jan Mauldin of Mauldin Brothers Plumbing and Cheryl Bean of Indoor Air.
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