Last weekend was the much anticipated Denver cultural event, the Cherry Creek Arts Festival. According to their website it is “one of the nation’s most competitive outdoor juried arts festivals.” Well I have to admit until this year I never bothered to go.
I didn’t get a chance to see the entire show because a rather nasty thunderstorm shut things down an hour after my arrival but I saw enough to convince me I probably won’t be coming back. As Alyson mentioned on her blog, the booths weren’t in the greatest shape – in fact I thought they looked pretty ratty as a group. It just felt like a suboptimal environment for viewing quality art.
I had checked out many of the artists websites prior to attending and went specifically looking for Todd Van Duren as I found the work on his website appealing. I did enjoy his work and bought a small wind blown house to live amongst a pile of rocks from the Oregon coast on a table in my bedroom.
I also enjoyed some of the work by Nanci Erskine and was pleased to see a Colorado artist exhibiting at the festival.
Cherry Creek is one of the trendy expensive areas in Denver, and my son said seeing the woman in Ugg Boots on a Segway looking at jewelry in one of the booths pretty much summed up for him what the event was about. Let’s just say I didn’t see very many folks buying art although the falafals were tasty.
I guess when the slogan of the festival is “Art! That’s The Point” it makes you wonder if maybe the art isn’t the point but they’d sure like it to be. What exactly is that supposed to mean?
There is a very interesting comment on Alyson’s blog with a link to this article about why folks attend art festivals and other cultural events. The article is titled The Diversity of Cultural Participation: Findings from a National Survey and is definitely food for thought
The experience confirmed I will never be a festival artist. I just don’t make work at price points that can compete with a Ben and Jerry’s ice cream bar. Nor would I want someone viewing my work with one in their hand. Well except me, in the comfort of my own studio.
Cherry’s Garcia anyone?