Greeley town center is buzzing with the 43rd Annual Art Picnic, the first 8th Street Art Fest and the return of the Community Fine Art Exhibition at the Tointon Gallery
The 43rd Annual Greeley Arts Picnic kicked off under sunny skies Saturday in Lincoln Park in downtown Greeley with more than 160 artists and artisans showcasing a variety of work from photography and pottery to personalized drinking horns and salsa dancing.
Tom Segura, owner of TS Designs at Eaton’s, has released a variety of his work in custom photo mats, picture frames and other creations.
“We did really well. It’s always been a good show for us. It’s been very busy,” Segura said. “We do a lot of custom work, but we brought a variety of things, which appeals to people.”
And attracting people was exactly what the event did. The aisles around the artsy picnic were filled with visitors browsing the various products, chatting with artists, listening to live music and enjoying treats from food and drink vendors including Grammy’s Goodies and Old Tyme Concessions.
Wildlife photographer Fi Rust, from Longmont, is a four-time Arts Picnic vendor. Mounted photos in various formats lined the walls of its stall, including a stunning photo of a 1,200-pound bear, while matted prints were neatly stacked in crates, waiting to be leafed through by visitors.
“I’ve been doing this for over 30 years, back in the days of film and manual focus. I have an artistic background, so I’m very picky about how I present everything,” Rust said. “Most people never see some of these animals. I am grateful every day to have found this passion. I’ve had animals come and sit next to me, and it’s a privilege that they let us into their lives.
Young people of all ages had the opportunity to flex their artistic muscles at the Kids Creation Station. The station offered different craft projects such as paper bag puppets, garden bouquets and coloring sheets.
Between strolling past vendor tents and soaking up the warm summer sun, visitors could view artwork created by community members at the Arts Picnic Fine Arts Exhibition at the Tointon Gallery, located in the first floor lobby of the Greeley Recreation Center, 651 10th St.
“It’s the only time of the year when it’s really a community show. So once a year we allow anyone in Weld County to submit an artwork,” said Kim Snyder, Public Art Coordinator. “We always try to get works from students, so we don’t limit the number of pieces students can submit. It’s hard to have that in the summer because they’re not connected to school. But we have student artists coming back this year.
The exhibition features a variety of different types of artwork including fiber arts, sculptures, collages and more from artists of all ages.
The exhibition will run until Saturday, September 3 and admission is free.
The gallery is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday.
For more information on the Tointon Gallery, the Arts Picnic Fine Art exhibition or upcoming exhibitions and events, please visit https://bit.ly/3B53JWn.
The artwork was not just limited to the Art Picnic and the Tointon Gallery.
The first 8th Street Art Fest kicked off along 8th Street Plaza Friday night during Friday Fest and ran until 5 p.m. Saturday.
The event, organized by Mariposa plants and flowers owner Danielle Devore and her staff, gave local artists and artisans the opportunity to display their work and products outside of the arts picnic.
Dawn Swanbom, owner of Dawn til Dusk Gifts from the Farm, had two 4-month-old goats on her stand with her lotions, creams and other products. Swanbom uses milk from goats to make the products.
Swanbom has previously served as a vendor at the Arts Picnic, however, this year she was unable to attend the Saturday and Sunday events. The new 8th Street Art Fest allowed him to still be able to go out and showcase his products without having to commit to the full weekend.
“It’s fantastic. Hopefully they can grow that and make it across the square,” Swanbom said. “When you do events like this, there’s so much learning And so it gives people a chance to learn.
Sitting at a small card table under an awning, 16-year-old Ren Noffsinger busily worked on her pearl jewelry while chatting with passers-by. The art festival was an opportunity for the young woman to showcase her work in a public place, without having to pay hefty vendor fees or have a certain amount of product.
“All of these items are handcrafted by me. I use very small and very minimal beads, but I also do very large projects,” she said. “It’s the first time I’ve done a show like this. It really helps because we don’t have to compete with it. It’s all very local, very small. It’s awesome. This gives local artists the chance who may not have the funds to attend the arts picnic, a space to show and sell their work.
If you missed the Saturday festivities, the Greeley Arts Picnic is set to continue from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Admission and parking are free and all ages are welcome.
For more information, visit https://bit.ly/3qo6kD7.