It’s still a raw, cavernous space awaiting its many tenants, but part of the Stanley Marketplace is opening for business early for a new arts event. Seventy-five national artists, including several from Park Hill and Stapleton, will be part of the inaugural CherryArts Festival at Stanley, held from 6-9pm on October 23 and 10am-5pm on October 24 and 25th.
The show, an expansion of the Cherry Creek Arts Festival, will be smaller and have a different vibe. “We wanted to think outside the box and Stanley was a perfect fit for that,” says Tara Brickell, associate director of the Cherry Creek Arts Festival. “Part of the draw was the innovative space as well as the chance to do something with folks that were doing things a little differently.”
That suits Mark Shaker, partner at Stanley Marketplace, just fine. “It’s a great way to continue to bring people to this area as a destination. Stanley is tucked away so the more people we can bring to the site, if they find it once they don’t need to find it again – they know where it is,” he says. “It will be a great community event.” The festival will be held in the future event space at the west end of the building and under tents in the adjacent outside area including the one-time jetway.
In addition to viewing and purchasing art, visitors will be able to meet artists from all over the country who were selected for the juried show from applications. There will also be cooking demonstrations, live music, hands-on activities for kids and an interactive art installation enabling visitors to create music by walking through lasers.
Several Denver artists will be represented, including Jessica Magee, a Stapleton resident. The abstract painter is looking forward to showing her works in acrylic on canvas and wood that capture the movement of nature in organic forms seen in rushing water or grasses blowing in the breeze. But she also likes to incorporate flowers, wildlife and even bicycles, all things Magee enjoys both seeing and painting. With a background in commercial interior design and a current job selling tile and stone, Magee’s painting hobby became something more serious after being chosen for the Emerging Artist Program at the 2014 Cherry Creeks Arts Festival.
Through the CherryArts Festival at Stanley, Magee, who enjoys the social interaction of festivals, hopes to gain more exposure in the community. “I inevitably have people who want to really understand where I come from as an artist. It’s a very personal experience. You connect with people one on one and get immediate feedback. It’s really great.”
The CherryArts Festival at Stanley is slated to become an annual, signature event. “We’re excited to partner before they are even open and use it as a blank canvas,” Brickell says. “But we’re also excited to grow with them as they start their incredible marketplace. Stanley is something people are hungry for and we’re hoping, culturally, to be a part of that as well.”
For more information on CherryArts at Stanley, visit www.CherryArts.org/Stanley