More than 260 artists exhibit work in more than 13 mediums at the Cherry Creek Arts Festival, giving art-lovers much to choose from — Photo courtesy of Liz Levy Figueroa / Cherry Creek Arts Festival
Denver is a city that supports art, artists and the notion that everyone should have access to art. And the Cherry Creek Arts Festival – scheduled in 2015 for Friday, July 3, through Sunday, July 5 – is one of the city’s best examples of that.
This annual festival has brought art and artists from around Colorado, the country and the world to Denver for 25 years, and if one thing is clear, it’s that art takes many forms.
Fiber arts bring vibrant color and texture to a home, and the Cherry Creek Arts Festival is an excellent place to find just the right piece — Photo courtesy of Bruce Ryman / Cherry Creek Arts Festival
This year, more than 13 different media categories are represented, including ceramics, digital art, drawing, fiber, glass, jewelry, metalworks, mixed media, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture and wood.
Of the 260 national and international juried visual artists exhibiting this year, 28 are from Colorado, giving a boost to the state’s own arts community. In fact, the festival supports Colorado arts in many ways, not the least by helping to provide year-round arts education programs that reach more than 20,000 students annually.
Twenty food vendors will demonstrate their edible art during the festival — Photo courtesy of Phil Rubino / Cherry Creek Arts Festival
In addition to visual arts, the festival includes culinary arts and performing arts, too. Some 20 culinary vendors and food trucks will offer a wide selection of cuisines for festival-goers to try. And 15 musical performances are scheduled throughout the three-day event, too.
Hero by Betsy Youngquist was the winner of the 2014 Arrow Five Years Out Art Challenge — Photo courtesy of Betsy Youngquist / Cherry Creek Arts Festival
For the third year, the festival is partnering with Arrow Electronics to provide the Arrow Five Years Out Art Challenge, which gives select artists an opportunity to express what they think art will look like five years from now.
Last year’s challenge winner, Betsy Youngquist, says this about Hero, her winning piece: “I remember being with my father and watching a man set foot on the moon through our television. What a wondrous and hopeful moment. Today, when I look up into a star-filled night, I feel the same sense of possibility.”
Youngquist adds that Hero honors the call for a view of the future.
“Our ship’s pilot is assisted by an abundance of hands that connect, explore and communicate. Hands are conduits of power symbolizing creation, transformation and friendship," she says. "Through the twists and turns of Hero’s journey, we are reminded to better tend to our environment, embrace the diversity of life on our planet and encourage technology to flow in a way that honors our interconnected and interdependent global home.”
Who knows what form this year's winning piece will take, but it's sure to be intriguing and thought-provoking.
The festival includes activities for families and kids, including a chance to be creative — Photo courtesy of John Sadler / Cherry Creek Arts Festival
The festival is not just about looking at art, however; it’s also about creating it. Onsite activities include Artivity Avenue, a full block of hands-on, interactive activities for children and families on Steele Street between 1st and 2nd Avenues.
If buying art is a priority, the place to be is Clayton Street and the Artist Preview Event, schedule for Thursday, July 2, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. That’s when 28 artists will display their work before the festival officially kicks off the next day. The preview gives art-lovers a chance to see which works and which artists they’re interested in.
And for those who do purchase a piece of art, there's no need to wonder where to get it framed. The festival’s official framer, Frame de Art, runs a framing booth on-site.
Fifteen musical performances are scheduled to take the stage at this year's Cherry Creek Arts Festival — Photo courtesy of Patty Penta / Cherry Creek Arts Festival
The festival is expected to attract 350,000 visitors over the weekend, which is just one reason to embrace Denver’s cycle culture and arrive by bike.
In addition to four Denver B-cycle stations in the area, the festival also offers valet parking for bikes at the “bike corral” on 2nd and Steele. By using the WishforWheels.org bike valet service, you’re also supporting the nonprofit’s mission to positively impact the lives of low-income families.