The Crested Butte Arts Festival gives back to the community in the form of art grants and art education & outreach programs in the local schools.

 

Art Grants

 

The Festival has awarded small grants over the years to individuals and organizations in support of art activities that benefit the people of the Upper East River Valley. The Festival has granted more than $30,000 to local arts events and organizations over the years, including the Center for the Arts’ Alpenglow Concert Series, Trailhead Children’s Museum, Celebrate the Beat, Crested Butte School of Dance, Artists of the West Elks, the Crested Butte Community School Enrichment Program, and Stepping Stones Children’s Center.

 

Art Education and Outreach

2017

2016 Art Auction proceeds were use to support Celebrate the Beat and the Enrichment Program’s after school art program at the Crested Butte Community School. Additionally, the CBAF continued our Emerging Artist Program. Western State Student, Christine Belgarde, was chosen as the 2017 Emerging Artist and will have “The House of the Spider’s Daughter” completed for installation at the 2017 Festival. This installation is an interactive structure that references and celebrates the origin story of fiber art and the long lineage of female artists who have created it in their homes. The viewer explores the intimate home space of the Spider’s Daughter, a space consumed by fiber art.


2016

Student Art Buying Program

CBAF Art Auction proceeds, as well as a donations from the Crested Butte/Mt. Crested Butte Rotary Club and Artists of Crested Butte, helped to fund the Student Art Buying Program at the 2016 Crested Butte Arts Festival. This is a one of a kind experiential art education program designed to help students explore the many facets of art, as a personal preference, as a reflection of culture and as a business, through in class discussion, as well as hands-on art buying opportunity at the Crested Butte Arts Festival. The focus for 2016 will be to purchase a sculptural piece to be displayed in the Mountain Roots Living Classroom at the Crested Butte Community School.

Emerging Artist Program

Our emerging artist program is an annual collaboration between the Crested Butte Arts Festival and the Art Department at Western State Colorado University. 2016 marks the first year we have a collaboration of artists working to produce an installation piece for the 44th CB Arts Festival. We are pleased introduce Rachel Bender, Miranda Mesch and Kenna Allen.

Be sure to check out their installation art piece “Nature of Inspiration” at the festival! To see the progress of their piece follow them on Facebook.

Emerging Artists 2016

 

         

Rachel Bender

Born in Utah in 1993, Rachel has spent much of her life with her mouth closed and hands open.
Visual art has been her passion and lifeblood since childhood. She grew from sketching animals to trying to recreate them with found objects, and later expanded to conceptual pieces that carry messages. As a naturalist and enthusiast of the living world, she is inspired by the flora and fauna of the earth. Working with organic form, Rachel chose to direct her education toward three-dimensionality. She is currently a senior at Western State Colorado University, and has been accepted into the BFA program. The beautiful Gunnison valley has been the perfect place for her to harness her ambition as both a naturalist and an artist.

Miranda Mesch

Miranda Mesch was born in Denver, Colorado in 1995. They work primarily with metal, ceramic, and fiber. Miranda moved to Gunnison in the fall of 2015 to pursue a BFA in sculpture at Western State Colorado University. Much of Miranda’s work is inspired by the human connection and emotions, particularly focusing on the fears and anxieties experienced and how they are coped with through nature, technology, etc. Between high school and college Miranda took a gap year where they worked for Lonnie Hanzon, a public works sculpture artist in Lakewood Colorado, as an artist assistant and continues to do so whenever possible. Install experience gained during this time included on working on the Equality Cake at Denver Pride 2015.

Kenna Allen

Art is a passion. For Kenna, for others, and for a special part of this community, art is the passion that encompasses the routines we call life. Personally, having come from a background where art was never first choice, Kenna has attempted to incorporate art unto her being to define her spirited make-up as she continues to grow and ripen with experience. The drive she possesses to better skills with a paint brush comes from this essential part of her to create, something cultivated to her strengths within her imaginative nature. Kenna strives to learn new techniques within any medium of art, though that true passion for her would be a pallet of paint and a waiting canvas.

2015

Emerging Artist Program

The CBAF staff and Board of Directors are thrilled to partner with Western State Colorado University for a second year and are pleased to  introduce Will Bullock as our 2015 Emerging Artist. The Crested Butte Arts Festival was able to accept proposals and then commission a current WSCU art student to create an interactive art installation for the 43rd annual festival. Will Bullock, was awarded the commission and will be constructing a 3-Dimensional, interactive art piece for the festival.

Will Bullock

Cherry Creek Mobile Art Gallery

Generous support of our Art Auction brought the return of the Cherry Creek Mobile Art Gallery to the Crested Butte Community School.  The second of 2 traveling mobile art galleries was installed at the Crested Butte Community School from March 9th to April 1st. The Mobile Art Gallery consists of original works of art from exhibiting artists and tours perpetually throughout Colorado to schools, libraries, community centers and other public venues. The Mobile Art Gallery provides entrance to the visual arts in an accessible, nonthreatening setting and introduces the public to various art forms through exhibition of original artwork.

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Students were actively engaged in the Mobile Art Gallery from its installation, to handling the art, to dismantling the exhibition.  Student docents were trained to give tours of the Gallery to the student body and school community. The Festival facilitated a Community Night whereby parents, school board members and the local community were invited to view the Gallery and take a docent-led tour.

 

The Festival staff and board of directors would like to thank the Crested Butte Community School staff, particularly Ben McLaughlin and Elise Meier, for all their support; the Cherry Creek Arts Festival staff; and the inspiring young students who volunteered their time and energy to be docents and helpers throughout the exhibit.

2014

 

The CBAF staff and Board of Directors are pleased to announce the inaugural year of our Emerging Artist Program funded by Art Auction proceeds. Partnering with Western State Colorado University, the Crested Butte Arts Festival was able to accept proposals and then commission a current WSCU art student to create our festival entrance piece. Silas McDonough, was awarded the commission and will be painting a panoramic and composite scene of Crested Butte on a 5’x15′ canvas attached to a curved plywood wall. The work will be both a painting and performance piece as Silas will execute most of the painting during the Arts Festival.

 

In addition to the emerging artist program, the CBAF was able make a donation to the Crested Butte Community School art programs. The secondary art teacher, Ben McLaughlin, and  elementary art teacher, Elise Meier, will be able to purchase art supplies for the community school students that they may not be able to otherwise purchase.

 

 

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2013

 

CBAF Art Auction proceeds, as well as a donation from Artist of the West Elks, helped to fund the Student Art Buying Program at the 2013 Crested Butte Arts Festival. This was a one of a kind experiential art education program designed to help students explore the many facets of art, as a personal preference, as a reflection of culture and as a business, through in class discussion, as well as hands-on art buying opportunity at the Crested Butte Arts Festival. Four students were selected from some amazing applicants and they purchased three works of art that represented their school culture. These pieces of art have been permanently installed at the Crested Butte Community School.

 

Art Auction proceeds, along with a generous grant from the Rotary Club and Art4moore, helped fund a visit from the Cherry Creek Mobile Art Gallery to the Crested Butte Community School.  The Mobile Art Gallery consists of original works of art from exhibiting artists and tours perpetually throughout Colorado to schools, libraries, community centers and other public venues. The Mobile Art Gallery provides entrance to the visual arts in an accessible, nonthreatening setting and introduces the public to various art forms through exhibition of original artwork.

 

Students were actively engaged in the Mobile Art Gallery from its installation, to handling the art, to dismantling the exhibition.  Student docents were trained to give tours of the Gallery to the student body and school community. The Festival facilitated a Community Night whereby parents, school board members and the local community were invited to view the Gallery and take a docent-led tour.

 

The Festival staff and board of directors would like to thank the Crested Butte Community School staff, particularly Ben McLaughlin and Elise Meier, for all their support; the Cherry Creek Arts Festival staff; and the inspiring young students who volunteered their time and energy to be docents and helpers throughout the exhibit.

 

 

 

 

 

2012

 

Art Auction proceeds supported a photojournalism project in the Crested Butte and Gunnison Schools, where third and ninth graders from Crested Butte Community School joined forces with third and eighth graders from Gunnison Community School. The goal of the project was to enrich the art curriculum in the schools by having local photographers Dusty Demerson, Nathan Billow, Amanda Harris, and Allan Ivy give instruction on basic photography and photojournalism techniques. The students were were asked to think about what makes our community unique and how to capture that.

 

The photos were taken by the students over two weekends in March 2012. The photographers then got together to “jury” and choose the photographs that best capture our Valley. The finished product, a photography book entitled Small Towns, Big Life, really captures the essence of the Crested Butte and Gunnison communities. It is now being sold at area galleries and businesses, and will also be available for sale at the Festival in August.

 

Thanks to all the students and professional photographers who made this project possible, as well as the Rotary Club and Art4Moore for contributing to the “camera fund”, which enabled every student to have access to a camera – it was a tremendous, collaborative effort!

 

 

 

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2011

 

Art Auction proceeds supported two projects, both at Crested Butte Community School. Each project enabled local artist Carol Connor to have an artist-in-residence experience while working with students.

 

Carol met with both high school and 5th-grade art students over the course of two weeks. Her description of the two projects:

 

Utilizing small pieces of colored paper & prisma color pencils, the high school students did drawings representing the qualities & unique characteristics that they perceived in each other. Their intuitive perceptions were translated into shapes & color, then attached into book form, using colored tape & wire. We discussed the process & the commonalities in their interpretations. My goals for this project were to have the students experience the connection between art & intuition and to more fully honor each other.

 

Together, the 5th graders made collage & assemblage pieces with the theme of nature. Their media consisted of discarded household materials, including plastic containers, egg cartons, magazines and more. Some students worked individually & some as teams of 2 or 3. The animals, trees, small scenes & other nature-based pieces that they created were stapled to a previously used door. The final piece was submitted by CBCS art teacher Elise Meier and will travel to an eco-art exhibit at the Red Brick Center in Aspen.

 

Update: the 5th-grade project won a $500 prize in the eco-art exhibit – congratulations to Carol and all her amazing artists!!!

 

 

 

 

2010

 

In 2010, the Festival’s Art Auction proceeds were used to support a project at the Crested Butte Community School, where several high-school photography students worked with local photographer Nathan Bilow to produce photographic canvases. The entire project was a great experience – the kids enjoyed learning the process and were immensely proud of their finished pieces of art. In addition, it was a wonderful opportunity for the students to see a professional at work and to have his guidance.

 

 

 

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