Paintings, sculptures, jewelry, photography, clay and other mediums will fill the streets around Conservatory Green in North Stapleton on Saturday and Sunday, June 18 and 19. The nationally recognized Denver Arts Festival, formerly known as the Downtown Denver Arts Festival, expects to draw thousands of new visitors in its new location.
“We were searching for a location that could improve on the tight parking situation downtown, as well as a few other issues that had arisen,” says festival organizer Jim DeLutes. “It was time to make a change. Stapleton contacted us and asked me if we wanted to move there and we said yes. It’s a festival of fine art and the quality of the work is high. We like to concentrate on the artists, so we don’t do stages and beer tents. We want people to come and look at art. We don’t want the artists to have to compete with a lot of peripheral entertainment that draws attention away from them. We want to draw peoples’ attention into the art and the artists.”
DeLutes says the festival places an emphasis on the artists and seeks to provide the best possible venue for patrons to engage with art itself. For the past 17 years the festival set up shop at downtown locations including the Denver Pavilions and the Denver Performing Arts Complex. The original name was The Celebrate Colorado Artists Festival.
DeLutes, who was a photographer and has participated in similar shows all over the country, says the festival focuses mostly on Colorado participants, with 80 of the 140 artists represented being from the Centennial State. “People definitely get to see what the state has to offer, but we also have some top-notch national talent as well. Prices for the art can range from $50 on the low end to $15,000 depending on the piece, such as a sculpture.
While the event offers some food, including handmade crepes and unique potato dishes, organizers encourage visitors to patronize the local restaurants in the area. “Because Northfield has some great restaurants located right there, we assume people will gravitate toward them and we want to be supportive of the local businesses,” he says.
Parking for the event will include local streets surrounding the event and the outer parking lots of the Northfield shops.
“We will no doubt learn a few things this first year there but we’re hoping it flows well and that people can park close by without too many issues,” he says. “Maybe we can implement a shuttle next year depending on how parking works out. We hope to draw strongly from Stapleton, but we certainly want everybody to attend from all over. We’re going to see what we need to tweak based on this year. And I’m sure local residents will have some input. We’re expecting the 2016 festival to be the best yet. It’s the kind of event that can transform a community. If you’re a collector of fine art, an art lover, or curious about what’s new in the world of art, this is a great place to be.”
The Denver Arts Festival will be held at 8304 E. 49th Place. Valentia and 49th Place will be closed off for the festival. The event happens rain or shine.
On Sat., June 18, hours are 10am–6pm.; on Sun., June 19, 10am–5pm. More information, including participating artists, can be found at www.denverartsfestival.com.
Photos courtesy of Denver Art Festival.