Friday, September 26, 2008

It's All About Art -- Well Almost!

The Glenwood Springs Fall Art Festival is in full swing from September 24-28 this year. This annual event held in the lower level of the Ramada Inn in Glenwood Springs, CO is in its 46th year. When the founding members of the Glenwood Springs Art Guild began the festival, they never envisioned it would grow to the largest non-juried event in the state with 375 artists participating. Each two-dimentional artist or sculptor is allowed two entries and pottery artists up to five. This alone would be a major project, but there is a separate contest by the Chamber of Commerce to pick the winner for the annual Christmas card and a separate category for Guild members to paint to a theme which this year is "Me and My Shadow." There are probably 20 of each of these, but also there is the Bargain Bin, an area where each participating artist can enter 6 or 8 (if a Guild member) more paintings. In the Bargain Bin the highest price is $125 and there are many fine paintings to choose from at this price and less.

The event is judged by three judges which come from different genres themselves. There are categories for amateur, advanced and professional artists, and awards are presented in each medium allowed in the show. At the end of the week there is an awards banquet, but one of the things that makes this show special is the Art Purchase Patrons who have agreed to purchase at least one work of art from the galleries. A special dinner early in the week is held for these wonderful supporters of the art community, and then, with their Purchase Award ribbons clutched tightly, there is a stampede to the galleries as they are simultaneously let loose to run and claim their prized piece of art.

In 2007 over $120,000 worth of art exchanged hands during the festival. That is one thing that keeps the artists coming back, but perhaps the most important fact is that this festival provides support to 22 area schools, plus substantial scholarship awards are given annually to the lucky scholarship award winners who will go on to the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design in Denver.

Come to the art show, and then enjoy the marvelous hot springs pool. This wonderful facility, located within walking distance of the Ramada Inn and along the Colorado River, is 600+ feet long of pure pleasure for swimmers and soakers alike. The temperature in the big pool is 90 degrees Fahrenheit and the therapy pool is 104 degrees. The site has modern shower facilities, restaurant/snack bar and a gift shop for all your needs.

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