Avalon Arts Fest returns with a ‘carnival atmosphere’ that patrons can explore on foot – Boulder Daily Camera
In September 2020, 60 artists set up booths in the parking lot of the Avalon Ballroom as part of the Avalon Drive-Thru arts event, which drew around 900 visitors – in vehicles – in four hours.
The free festival will return Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. – this time, allowing participants to explore on foot, listen to live music from local musicians, experience haunting choreography from several dance groups and to purchase unique works from creatives across the state.
“The big difference this time around is that we’re a festival of parks and walks,” said Rick Dallago, Boulder-based artist and founder of the Avalon Arts Festival. “The Avalon parking lot has a huge covered roof, which provides much needed shade.”
The past year has taken its toll in the arts, with several in-person performances suspended due to the pandemic. Dallago, along with the Boulder Art Association, were inspired to organize an event that adheres to safety guidelines and still allows artists to exhibit new works and connect with potential buyers.
This year’s event, a more traditional pre-COVID art fair, got a call from a number of people eager to be a part of the final installment.
“Several hundred artists, from top to bottom of the Front Range, applied for the 60 booths, proving that artists are hungry for opportunities to showcase and sell art in Boulder,” said Dallago.
The festival takes no commission on the pieces sold and the chosen artists pay a small fee of $ 25 to participate.
From works of glass artists and sculptors to ceramists and painters, the diversity of the art exhibited is wide.
“I look forward to our partnership with the Denver Art Society, named ‘Denver’s Most Innovative Gallery’ by Westword Readers in 2021,” said Dallago. “Their 20 artists will bring a new wave of creativity to Boulder.”
As creatives from Longmont, Boulder and Denver settle into the vast lot, artists from Fort Collins, Loveland, Erie, Arvada, Aurora and beyond will also make the trip.
Among the various artists is Logan McKnight, a Denver-based designer, whose hauntingly detailed pieces evoke further thought.
“This is my first in-person presentation,” McKnight said. “So I am very excited for this new experience and the chance to share it with other art lovers.”
Sometimes his work reminds of the macabre essence of a Tim Burton film, at others it reminds of visionary artist Alex Gray or surrealist MC Escher.
“The complexity of my work is kind of a reflection of my personality, which I’m sure most artists can relate to,” McKnight said. “As much as I hate to admit it, I am by no means what you would call a simple man. It goes without saying that my art embodies my complexities and channels them in healthy ways. “
While he leaves some pieces in pen and ink with a black and white color palette, others that he fills in with spray paint, creating a vibrant look. From goddess-like mermaids to elegant grayscale flowers, her mysterious pieces are rich with the organic wonders of nature and also manage to be quite otherworldly.
“I hope what we artists create inspires others as well as myself,” McKnight said. “Art is a true inspiration and the feeling of falling in love – a love that is worth its weight in gold thanks to the gift of sharing.”
He used skateboards as canvases and McKnight – a snowboarder – hopes to branch out into both markets.
“I am inspired by many things that have come across the zeitgeist of the people and experiences that have impacted me the most in my life, both good and bad,” McKnight said. “The most influential are my love of cartoon illustration and graphic art. As a child, I collected comics not for their stories but rather for their art. “
Drenched in symbolism and possessing a sort of spiritual depth, McKnight’s work has the ability to stay with viewers long after they have left their gaze.
McKnight credits Ohio-based graphic design and airbrushing to Steve Chaszeyka, with whom he studied, which motivated him to pursue his passion more deeply.
“He took me under his wing at a very turbulent time in my life and became my longtime friend and father figure,” McKnight said. “With the help and support of him and his wife, Carol, I was able to channel my energy into a healthy outlet. Without these influences, I wouldn’t have gotten to where I am now.
The Pennsylvania-born designer is excited to interact with festival goers.
“Attendees can expect to have a very personal and intimate experience at my booth,” said McKnight. “My fiance and I have a deep passion for the arts and look forward to sharing it with others. You can also expect to see new originals, as well as many sizes of mat and framed prints.
From whimsical and funky ceramic birds by Colleen Miller to handcrafted jewelry by Nina Brandin, the variety of art at the Avalon Arts Festival is vast.
“I’m mostly looking forward to meeting people in person and talking about art, mine or whatever,” said Boulder-based artist Paige Brown of Peanut Butter Arts, who also had a booth at the driving edition of the festival in September. 2020. “Of course I’d like to sell work too, but we’ll be outside, playing music, people hanging out… it’s a solid Saturday for me. “
Brown’s paintings run the gamut from infiltrating freewheeling abstractions with colors to stylized depictions of root vegetables that seem like they can be easily found in the pages of a bestselling cookbook.
“I don’t think there was ever a specific time when I said, ‘making art will be my career,'” said Brown. “I just recognized that being creative was my nature and I didn’t want to use my energy on things that I wasn’t passionate about anymore.”
A metaphysical experience in Bayou State motivated Brown to become more serious in creation.
“I had my runes read in Louisiana – about two years ago – as I was trying to change my life, they told me there was a creative path ahead of me and if I didn’t pursue it , I ‘I would lose everything.
Whether she creates a delicate watercolor of a vase filled with flowers or an acrylic painting in bold hues of a sleeping Dorothy Gale in the middle of a bed of poppies, Brown’s work always reflects her inner essence and dialogue.
“When it comes to inspiration, most of my job is to process what I am and how I am,” Brown said. “There is a lot of emotion in my art and I use color theory to help me say how I feel.”
Brown is currently working on a project she hopes to exhibit in a local park. She sees the future exhibit as one that people can visit often and take photos under.
“I get these ideas for interactive 3D projects that seemingly have no reference or purpose – I just really want to do them,” Brown said. “I like to make art that you can touch.”
On Saturday she will have several new original pieces for sale, prints available and will take pre-orders of prints.
“I might also be selling herbal products, like lotion bars and bug bars, because it’s the season,” Brown said.
As well as being a place to buy art for wall space, the festival will also be a celebration of pride month, in a way.
“Out Boulder County will have a booth in Avalon during their pride festivities weekend,” said Dallago. “Out Boulder is an incredible asset to our community. We are very grateful to partner with them. They also know how to throw a big party.
Denver-based musicians include Moosgh, acoustic alternative rock ensemble Paranoid Image, indie rock band Fat Brando, and DJ Eastern Medicine.
Broomfield Symphony musicians will return to the festival to serenade the guests.
The skilled belly dancers of Tribal Misfits will once again provide hypnotic movements as well.
Dogs on a leash are also welcome.
“I am excited about all the artists,” said Dallago. “We want a fun carnival atmosphere.”