Crested Butte's Is One of the Longest-Standing Arts Festivals in Colorado

This year marks the 43rd anniversary of the Crested Butte Arts Festival, making it one of the longest running arts festivals in the state of Colorado. From July 31 to August 2, visitors to the scenic mountain town can see work by 175 artists, as well as enjoy free concerts put on by local bands and food from a variety of local vendors.

The event will host artists from across the country, specializing in a wide variety of mediums from ceramics and fiber to photography and painting. Of particular note is the Festival’s 2015 poster artist. Stephanie Saint-Thomas, a Salt Lake City-based artist who will be attending the festival for the first time, is known for her whimsical hand-painted jewelry and mirrors, and vibrantly colored landscapes.

While the Crested Butte Arts Festival does boast national prominence, the organization puts a special emphasis on supporting the arts within the local community. One way the festival does this is through the Emerging Artist Program, the purpose of which is “to encourage and support up-and-coming artists through financial and employment opportunities at the Crested Butte Arts Festival.” 

This year the program wanted to commission an artist to create an interactive, contemporary art installation for the festival. Interested artists were asked to submit a proposal, and the Board selected a winner. This year’s emerging artist is sculptor Will Bullock, a student at Western State University in nearby Gunnison. While Bullock has been working on the piece for the last several months, what the piece will look like is still under wraps. Even Executive Director Juliette Eymere will not see the final product until it is revealed to the public on the first day of the festival.

Additional events planned for the weekend include an art auction featuring original works donated by participating artists, an Art Alley just for kids, and a full line-up of performances on the Ragged Mountain Stage. For more information about the festival, including a full schedule of the weekend’s events, visit the Crested Butte Arts Festival website

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