Alpine ArtAffair enlivens Winter Park this weekend

Susan Stone
Special to the Sky-Hi News
Winter Park, CO Colorado
a copy of the print that will be for sale at the ArtAffair that Elizabeth Kurtak made for us. 

WINTER PARK – A print available for sale at the Winter Park Alpine ArtAffair will bring a smile to your face every time you see it.

The colorful print, entitled “Positively Fraser,” is the work of local gallery owner and artist Elizabeth Kurtak.

It depicts the back of the former “Worst Western” Hotel and the whimsical ski fence at the Historic Fraser Mercantile.

Proceeds from the sale of this print will benefit art programs in the local schools.

This Saturday and Sunday, July 23 and 24, marks the 38th year of the Alpine ArtAffair, a fine arts and fine crafts festival held in a wooded park setting at the north end of downtown Winter Park on the west side of Highway 40.

A festival with this kind of lasting power must stay fresh to attract artists, locals and visitors. It does so by bringing new artists to the event, asking favorites to return and providing food and entertainment for the whole family.

For example, for the first time this year, Mountain Woodworks artisan Randy Blunt will display his furniture crafted from pine beetle-killed wood, creating a mirror-like image which is incorporated into each unique piece of furniture. Blunt lives and works in the foothills near BlackHawk, Colo.

Returning artist Rocky Stiers celebrates his 25th year at the Alpine ArtAffair this year. The Nederland, Colorado-based jeweler crafts mountain-themed sterling silver necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and rings as well as silver boxes. Organizations such as the Grand Foundation and the Denver Theater Center have commissioned Stiers to create commemorative items such as their logo into pins.

Artists who competed to be in this juried event have done so because they enjoy the opportunity for their work to be evaluated on its merits in competition with their peers in the world of fine art. They compete for ribbons and monetary awards for “Best of Show,” “Winner Fine Arts,” and “Winner Fine Crafts.” Their backgrounds are as diverse as their choice of media, which range from photography, oil and acrylic painting, to woodworking, jewelry crafting, pottery, porcelain tiles, metal crafting, glass and textiles.

Enjoy viewing their work and consider which pieces you would like to purchase either for your own collection or for a gift.

You might also wish to discuss having a work commissioned to suit your specific needs and tastes. Most of the artists have websites, which you can visit in advance or after the event. Log on to for links to their websites.

Local artists include award-winning painter Karen Vance, Henna Body Art by Katrina Larson and Millar Kelley’s oil on canvas, Ivy Howard with her gourds and baskets, Karen Booth with her snowflake photography as well as photographers John Scott, George Edwards and Gary Piper.

Jeweler Rachel Rayburn and woodworkers Guy Kirouac and Clemens Staack will also be at the ArtAffair. Come out to see them and support our local talented artists.

Arrive early to enjoy a pancake breakfast prepared by the Lions Club (from 7:30 a.m. until 11 a.m., both days). Wild Horse Gourmet offers lunch specialties selected from their vast gourmet recipe trove. Get your hot dog from the Grand County Historical Association and an ear of corn-on-the-cob from Grand Huts Association. You will also find ice cream, snow cones, roasted gourmet nuts and kettle-cooked popcorn in a variety of flavors.

The kids can enjoy a ride in the historic fire truck, learn about raptors from HawkQuest Birds of Prey organization, and, if they can sit still long enough, get their faces painted and participate in other children’s activities provided by the Fraser Creative Learning Center.

Although the Alpine ArtAffair runs smoothly as to appear effortless, it is, in fact, the result of many hours of hard work by numerous volunteers.

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