If you have been following Handmade on the Front Range for a few months, you may have noticed a dramatic drop in events listed under “What’s Happening” in the right side bar since late December. Usually that section shows artisan events coming up in the next seven days. Currently it shows events for the month – or it would be bare. If I’ve missed something coming up this month, be sure to let me know in comments!
I’m constructing a new calendar of events for you, and I’d like your feedback. More on that in a moment. First, here’s an interesting question to consider:
How do artisans spend these seemingly quiet winter months?
While I reminisce in pictures of last summer’s art festivals, I’ll share with you some of the things artisans have told me recently. Some of their winter activities are pretty normal: getting warm in Mexico, fighting off flu, taking care of a family member after surgery. A few artisans are making adjustments on their websites – or at least working with someone who can.
But there’s a lot more going on than that.
How DO Artisans Spend the Winter?
Some have their hands full with commissioned work – an enviable circumstance during this lull in festivals and shows.
Others are getting ready for the big home shows if their handcrafted work fits into home building and remodeling plans. Next week on the blog you will see an example of what I mean.
Several are teaching classes. Heather Bartmann and Cindy O’Neill, for instance, share their know-how in ceramics classes at the Pottery Studio, owned and operated by the City of Fort Collins. Meanwhile, Chris Wolff teaches at the Northern Colorado Potters’ Guild. Chris has new classes starting in early March; classes at the Pottery Studio start later in March. All three of these ceramic artists were featured in a post on August 27, 2014. Many artisans do teach their craft, I’ve discovered, including those who will be featured on the blog over the next three weeks.
A few artisans sell their work at winter farmers’ markets, held in a few cities along the Front Range. I counted five artisans at Saturday’s market at Opera Galleria in Fort Collins, including Eric McPhail, whose work is pictured at right. The setting, the music, the amiable vendors, and the colorful mix of fresh and prepared foods infected my husband and me with good cheer. Click here if you would like to see upcoming dates in Fort Collins. For other winter markets, search for “winter farmers’ market + your city.”
Other artisans go to huge trade shows where they connect with gallery owners like Katie Friedland and Mandy Moscatelli from Denver’s Show of Hands. Katie and Mandy were in New York recently and arranged to carry 15 new lines of handcrafted art. I’m fully expecting a photo parade of new things on their gallery’s Facebook page over the next few months.
Almost 60 artisans cleared their things out of their co-operative at Trimble Court in Fort Collins. Trimble Court is undergoing major renovations, including new flooring, fresh paint, and an additional wall for better displays of members’ work. Manager Jill Popplewell told me that six layers of old flooring were peeled off to reach the subfloor of this historic building. One of the layers included Fort Collins newspapers from 1925 that noted the city’s population as 16,000. (The population has increased almost tenfold in the 90 years since then.)
By the end of this month, Trimble Court’s artisans will be restocking their new display areas. The co-operative’s grand reopening will take place on March 6, during the First Friday Gallery Walk. Take a look at the calendar below for this and other monthly walks in art districts along the Front Range.
A Calendar for the Year Ahead
To make it easier for you to put art festivals and other artisan events on your calendar, I’ll soon be adding a new page to this website. First, however, I would love to hear your comments on the format and whether there are changes that would make it more helpful to you. I’ll still give reminders in the right side bar each week under “What’s Happening.”
Suppose the calendar below showed all the events I know of through the end of the year. (Below is just a sample from March through May.) Do you think you would click on a new page that gives you that information? At the end of each month, I’m planning to drop from the list the month that has just passed so there is less to scroll through.
Please click “reply” at the top left of this post, under the title. Don’t forget to tell me about any events of interest that I may not have listed in March through May.
By the way, the links below will be more helpful once the event organizers have their websites up to date for the festival season. Right now they’re busy calling for entries from artists and artisans. That’s one more thing artisans do in winter — they apply for summer’s shows and festivals!
MONTHLY ART EVENTS
First Friday 6-9pm NoBo Art District BOULDER except January and July
Old Colorado City First Friday Art Walk COLORADO SPRINGS except January through March
First Friday Art Walk six art districts DENVER free guided shuttles, except January and February, for Art District on Santa Fe and Golden Triangle Museum District
First Friday Gallery Walk Old Town FORT COLLINS
Third Friday Art Walk Art District on Santa Fe DENVER no shuttle service, smaller crowd than First Friday
The Sweet William Market DENVER last Saturday of the month, May through September
Art on the Streets COLORADO SPRINGS year-long display launches Thursday, June 18
Unique Boutique CENTENNIAL Friday and Saturday, March 27-28
Art Speak BOULDER Saturday, April 4
Grandmother’s House Spring Boutique GOLDEN Thursday through Saturday, April 9-11
Interweave Yarn Fest LOVELAND Embassy Suites; $12 general admission Thursday through Sunday, April 16-19
2015 “Gathering of the Guilds” GOLDEN
The Colorado Arts & Crafts Society Artisans Guild Forum at the Boettcher Mansion; $5 general admission Sunday, April 26
Denver National Quilt Festival DENVER Thursday through Saturday, April 30-May 2
Denver National Quilt Festival continues DENVER ends Saturday, May 2
Firefly Handmade Spring Market BOULDER Saturday and Sunday, May 2-3
Horseshoe Market DENVER Saturday, May 9
Downtown Denver Arts Festival DENVER Denver Performing Arts Complex, free admission Friday through Sunday, May 22-24
ArtStir Denver DENVER Denver Pavilion Saturday and Sunday, May 23-24 children’s activities available
16th Annual Estes Park Art Market ESTES PARK Saturday through Monday, May 23-25
The French Nest Market FORT COLLINS Saturday, May 30
Now that you have browsed through the calendar, please don’t forget to leave a comment!