County artisans sought for local artisanal identity
Grand Enterprise Initiative
Calling all artists, artisans, crafts people and otherwise artistically inclined Grand County residents.
The county’s office of economic development and its effort to create a data base and showcase for Grand County-based crafts and art is officially underway. In this effort, the Created Here committee wants to get started on creating a listing and understanding of all those artistic, craft-like and artistic creations that have originated in Grand County.
The ultimate goal of this effort is to create a place both online and in print where anyone can find out what’s truly local in the art world and where to find it, whether it be online or in a store or stores in Grand County.
These artistic or artisanal items created locally could be any number of items: paintings, candles, sculptures, dried-flower arrangements, furniture, locally drafted and curated wood products, photographs, etchings, engravings, artisanal food products, wood-carvings, Grand dream-catchers and more. If it’s created locally and has an artistic or artisanal quality, it qualifies.
By locally I mean anywhere in Grand County, ranging from the top of Rabbit Ears Pass to Berthoud, from Ute Pass to Trail Ridge Road. It’s just got to be local.
“By working to curate, locate and help sell these truly local Grand County artistic items, we are helping to build Grand County’s image while at the same time encouraging and fostering the artistic and artisanal community in the county,” said DiAnn Butler, the economic development director for Grand County.
There are two positive outcomes from this effort.
First, it helps to let visitors and locals see, understand and know that Grand County has an experience, look and point of view that is worthy of artistic and artisanal endeavors, whether it be for practical uses such as furniture and siding or for decorative functions, such as art work hanging on a wall. This is developing the Grand County look.
And then there’s the fact that this effort can help to create a Grand County market for these unique Grand County items. The truth is that with a brand and identity that is truly local, visitors and locals may be more inclined to buy a “local” items versus the generic image of a rainbow trout stamped out from a printing press in China. There is actual value and meaning to know that an image or item was inspired here, created here and sold here.
In the long run this effort will help to create a Grand County community of artisans and artists, perhaps similar to the excellent effort started in Kremmling at the Gore Range Artisans group. There is value being united while creating under a Grand County brand.
All that relates ultimately to the promotion and sale of these local items. With a data base listing the items and their creators, along with markets to sell them, there’s a good chance that sales can be enhanced and boosted. First would come an online listing that would make it easy for anyone to search and find what we have.
Then there would be a cultivation of actual markets where these items can be sold. That would include the many storefronts and venues in the county where people will be able to stop by in person, inspect the items and purchase them. This could be a showroom, a gallery, an existing retail outlet or even someone’s home.
And then there would be the chance, at some time in the future, for potential online sales, but done in a way that would not conflict with the in-person, retail sales effort that would take place in the county.
The first stage of this effort is to call or email DiAnn Butler at firstname.lastname@example.org with the information about artistic and artisanal items made right here in Grand County. This can include unique locally made furniture, aesthetically oriented construction items such as siding and railings and decorative trim, and a wide range of gift items and collectibles.
Call or email with the information so we can build that data base that will be the first step in creating the Grand County artistic and artisanal identity.
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