Art Affair pleases the curious-minded |

Art Affair pleases the curious-minded

by Susan Stone
Special to the Sky-Hi News

What is it about the Alpine ArtAffair that keeps artists and patrons interested? The artists love the warm welcome they receive. The locals love the sense of community the event provides. Some say they come to the ArtAffair just to see the friends they’ve been too busy to see all year. And, there are local-interest booths to let you know what is happening in Grand County year-round.

But it is the draw of the art itself that is the event’s backbone. This juried event brings a high caliber of artists who compete for ribbons, prestige and bragging rights. Photographers, jewelers, painters, sculptors, potters, glass artists, wood workers and more – all with a never-ending flow of creativity come to this event to compete and sell their work. Other artists offer porcelain, metal work, textile, carving, and candle artistry.

The 37th Annual Winter Park Alpine ArtAffair will be held from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, July 24 and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, July 25. More than 100 booths will be located in a park setting on U.S. Highway 40, by the post office. Admission is free.

Although the economy is hard and some don’t have much to spend, it doesn’t cost a thing to look. You might see something you want to purchase next year or even online. It’s fun talking with the artists, who are also feeling the economic pinch. They need the support. You can pick up their cards and refer to them later for that special gift or home decor piece for your home. Many of the artists do custom work.

The Alpine ArtAffair is made possible by the efforts of the all-volunteer committee. They glean the best from a wide field of applications and deal with all the details required for an event of this magnitude.

Artist booth and jury fees fund scholarships for local college-bound art students and local arts programs.

There is something for all age groups. Children’s activities include arts and crafts fun provided by the Fraser Creative Learning Center and free face painting.

Hawkquest returns with rescued birds of prey, giving demonstrations. This is a great opportunity to be up close and personal with amazing raptors and to learn more about their beauty and the part they play in the ecosystem.

Local interest groups include Grand County Wilderness, YMCA of the Rockies, Grand reConomics, Grand County Water Information Network and Trout Unlimited, Pet Pals, Middle Park Land Trust, Advocates and Grand Arts Council.

A first for this year will be the No Pain Airbrush Tattoos. The whole family can select reasonably priced tats – without the morning-after regrets.

Early birds can attend the Lions Club pancake breakfast beginning at 7:30 a.m. and, later, the Grand County Historical Society will be selling hot dogs to raise funds for its museums. Other food vendors include Wild Horse Catering, Snowball Palace and Nuts to You.

Award-winning artist Tim Herbst returns with his colorful metal art. Herbst grew up in Grand County and after exploring the west returned to make Colorado his home and art studio. He shares a triple booth with Anna Johanson of Kickin Glass Mosaics.

Ivy Howard is the self-taught talent behind Ivy’s Gourd Art and Pine Needle Basketry, a craft that combines decorative painting on gourds and pine needle basketry to produce unique objects of art. Howard, a long-time Colorado resident, lives and creates near Grand Lake.

Both Herbst and Howard mention that the materials they work with often “speak to them,” leading them to their artistic interpretation of the item’s innate beauty.

Come early, have breakfast, stroll through the whispering pines and be stimulated with art and entertainment; visit with the artists and your friends. And possibly take home a one-of-a-kind piece of art that speaks to that creative part of your soul.

For a list of attending artists and links to their websites visit