Adventures in Art

Salida’s known as a basecamp for adventures that range from running rapids in Brown’s Canyon to bombing singletrack on the Monarch Crest, but the town also has a burgeoning art community. These sculptors, painters, photographers, jewelers and wood and glass workers draw their inspiration from the surrounding landscape, too. “I often head into the canyons and mountains that surround Salida, set up my easel, and paint,” explains artist, Susan Mayfield. “I try to capture the love I feel for this place on each of my canvases.”

On June 26-28, this strong community will come together to host Salida Art Walk, a festival celebrating the vibrant art scene growing here in the heart of Colorado. In its 23rd year, Art Walk boasts up to 100 venues showcasing art from 100 different Colorado artists. The weekend is an opportunity for artists to band together and showcase the big talent found in this tiny town.

During this three-day extravaganza, galleries will overflow with their work as well as demonstrations, and every inch of town, which received the first Creative District Designation in the state, will be teeming with activity. “We want to turn the whole town into a creative hub for art lovers, makers of art and collectors,” explains Jimmy Sellars, co-director with William Boddy, another local artist found in this tiny town.

Oh and it will be a ton of fun. Enjoy concerts from 20 local musicians on three different stages, dance numbers and theatrical performances like Shakespeare in the Park. Keep an eye out for the Salida Circus and the infamous Mud People who’ll be roaming the streets. Get dirty with a hands-on, kid-friendly pottery or mosaic class or hone your phone photography skills with a quick iPhoneography workshop taught by a pro. Celebrate Salida’s rich biking history as you look on in awe at human-powered works of art racing by in the Kinetic Bike Contest. Buy a piece that strikes you from a gallery or bid on one at the silent auction.

“Living here keeps me in touch with nature and I love that I can pass that energy on through the wares I make,” says Mark Rittman, owner and artist at The Maverick Potter.

Art Walk is a chance to see Colorado’s bounty through the eyes of skilled artisans who use their craft to capture the spirit of nature like few can—but, don’t stop there. While visiting this unique corner of our state, get out and find the muse, known as nature, for yourself. When you’re not wandering from gallery to gallery, jump in the river, ride a world-class trail, climb a peak or float through the heart-pumping rapids of newly designated Browns Canyon National Monument. 

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