OURAY – It will be a Golden Anniversary the week of July 30 to Aug. 7 as the Ouray County Arts Association celebrates the 50th annual Artists Alpine Holiday, the oldest juried visual arts show on the Western Slope, at the Ouray Community Center.
The nine-day event will feature a paint-out on Ouray’s Main Street, artists’ demonstrations, studio/gallery tours, children’s’ workshops, an anniversary concert, and a melodrama. There will also be an exhibition of the OCAA Permanent Collection at the Ridgway Library and other gallery venues around the county.
Local artist and newspaper publisher Joyce Jorgensen started the annual Alpine Artists’ Holiday in 1961, and with the support of various Ouray County nonprofit organizations the festival has grown into one of the most renowned shows in the region.
While the main art exhibition at the Ouray Community Center doesn’t begin until July 30, there is already art on display at the Ridgway Library where the OCAA’s permanent collection will hang until Aug. 12. Every year at the Artists’ Holiday the OCAA purchases one or two pieces of art from the main exhibition to be put with its permanent collection, and all of them are regularly displayed at various public buildings throughout the county. All of those pieces of art, from OCAA’s first purchase back in 1961 to last year’s purchase, can be seen at the Ridgway Library, which is located at Railroad and Charles streets in Ridgway.
“This is the first time ever that we have brought them all together in one place,” OCAA Secretary Vicki Caldwell says.
Opening day of the Artists’ Alpine Holiday will be July 30 with the national juried art show taking place at the Ouray Community Center. On display will be works in a variety of media including watercolor, oil and acrylic, mixed media, drawing, pastel, sculpture, student art (18 and under), and photography and digital art.
“At this point, there are approximately 200-plus artists that have registered for the event,” Caldwell says, adding that at last year’s Holiday, there were so many participants that they ran out of display space, so this year’s participants are limited to submitting two pieces of art. “Last year we had over 1,200 visitors to the show from 32 states and several countries. With the permanent collection on display in Ridgway and the show here in Ouray, we are hoping to share an artistic experience throughout the county.”
Caldwell says this year’s Artists’ Holiday is dedicated to longtime Ouray County artist Wayne Mayfield. “His entire life has been dedicated to the arts through creative advertising, design and painting,” Caldwell says. “His influence in Ouray County’s art community is incalculable.” Mayfield, who currently resides in Montrose, will have his 1984 “Window In Bodie” on display as part of OCAA’s permanent collection.
The juried show will be open Friday, July 30 through Friday, Aug. 6 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on the final day of the show, Saturday, Aug. 7 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Judging this year’s exhibition is New Mexico landscape artist John Cogan, who has won three awards including the first ever Collectors Award in 1995 and the Landscape Award of Merit in 1994. In 2000, Cogan was commissioned to paint a 10-foot by 4-foot painting for a new courthouse in Albuquerque.
Cogan’s work has also been featured in Southwest Art magazine and in Art of the West and in the past few years he has placed 12 paintings in the “Top 100” of the Arts for the Parks competition.
“It’s a huge honor to have him officiate for us,” Caldwell says. “We researched various well-known judges and he graciously accepted our invitation. It’s really exciting.”
Cogan will be hosting a Judge’s Workshop on acrylics on July 30 and 31 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30, p.m. For more information on the workshop or to register, visit weehawken.org.
Perhaps one of the most exciting events held during the Artists’ Holiday is the Paint Out on Main Street, where on Sun. Aug. 1 artists will take to Ouray’s main thoroughfare from 10-11:30 a.m. The newly-created pieces of art will be on display from 11:30 a.m. until noon at Elk’s Park where judges Don Radovich and Lee Johnson will award first, second, and third prizes for both adult and student categories. A live auction will follow with 30 percent of the profits going to OCAA’s scholarship fund.
“Anyone can come and watch the artists paint and then have an opportunity to buy the art at the auction,” Caldwell says. For more information on the Paint Out on Main Street event, visit ourayarts.org or email Judy Hazen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
During the Holiday, there is plenty of opportunity for the entire family to get involved in the arts festival, as there will be artists demonstrations held daily from Aug. 2-6 at the Ouray Community Center (ourayarts.org for schedule) and children’s art workshops held Aug. 2-6 at various locations from 10-11:30 a.m. (weehawkenarts.org for information).
The art celebration will continue with a musical performance on Wednesday, Aug. 4 when folk-Americana singer Sally Shuffield will take the stage at the Wright Opera House in Ouray with Pat Dressen on mandolin. Tickets for the musical performance, which is being hosted by the Ouray County Performing Arts Guild, are $15 for adults and are available at Buckskin Booksellers in Ouray, Cimarron Books and Coffee in Ridgway and Jovis Coffee in Montrose. General admission tickets are $18 at the door.
As if the musical performance weren’t enough, the Women In Support of Education melodrama for 2010, Dogsbreath Devereau, The Dastardly Doctor or Nurses, Foiled Again! will be performed at the Ouray School on Aug. 6, 7, and 8. The zany melodrama features the dastardly villain, the innocent heroine and a hilarious plot.
All proceeds from this production will go toward scholarships to Ouray County students for advanced education. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children, 12 and under. Refreshments are included in the ticket price. Evening performances begin at 7 p.m. and the Sunday matinee starts at 2 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at Buckskin Booksellers, Cimarron Books and Coffee, or at the door.
“I love seeing the various media and some of the changes that have taken place over time,” Caldwell says of the annual Artists’ Holiday. “It really enables the public to view all different art forms and really enjoy an artistic experience in Ouray County.”