ALAMOSA — Art enthusiasts of all ages can celebrate every medium this weekend at the annual Alamosa ARTsFestival.
The two-day festival begins Friday and continues Saturday on Main Street and at Society Hall, 400 Ross Ave., in Alamosa.
“For the city, we feel like art is very, very important,” said Alamosa City Manager Heather Brooks. “When we say art we mean all art – so performing art, visual art, music, sculptures, paintings – so just every type of art is very, very important.”
Brooks said celebrating local and regional artists also is important to the city. With art being a tough business to make money in, Brooks said it’s important to honor those artists who help improve the quality of life in a community.
“(Art) makes Alamosa that much more special because we have a strong artistic community,” she said.
First Patron of the Arts Award to be given at reception
The festival kicks off Friday when City of Alamosa street crews and artists begin installing sculptures throughout Downtown. Residents have until November to vote for their favorite installation, which is awarded Peoples’ Choice.
The Celebration of the Arts Reception then begins at 5:30 p.m. Friday outside of Society Hall. The reception allows the public to meet and talk with artists participating in the weekend festivities.
“It’s a really unique opportunity to meet the artists who have come all across the United States to install their artwork and the artists who are participating in the art walk on Saturday,” Brooks said. “I’m most proud to see the interaction and the support that artists get as well as the interaction with the Downtown merchants and the artists.
“I’m proud to see the community all come together.”
The reception also will mark the presentation of the first Patron of the Arts Awards. The awards will be presented to the San Luis Valley Dumb Friends League and Konnie and Damon Martin.
Dumb Friends League bought the Blues Dog sculpture which is in front of their shelter. Brooks said the organization has lived up to its word in supporting the community.
“When the Dumb Friends League came and built their shelter they really wanted to focus on supporting community and one of the first things they did was to purchase one of the pieces shown in the art program,” Brooks said. “So they have the Blues Dog and I thought them buying it and placing it in front of their shelter was very intentional. They wanted to support local efforts and art at the same time.”
The Martins also have made a significant impact in Alamosa and Alamosa’s art world, purchasing three different pieces from three different festivals then donating to San Luis Valley Health.
“If you go and drive around the parking lot at the hospital, you'll see these three pieces prominently displayed,” Brooks said. “And so it's been just amazing to see them support the art program and, and these artists who have created such great pieces of work and then donating it to the hospital, which then beautifies and gives such personality to the hospital as well and makes it a much more inviting environment for people.
“Some of the pieces are inspiring.”
Brooks said it’s important to honor and acknowledge those in the community who have supported both Alamosa and its artists.
“I'm really excited that the city has created this Patron of Arts Award because we do have some in our community who really have gone above and beyond to support art,” she said. “It's amazing that we're going to start recognizing that.”
Saturday festivities include ArtWalk, Society Hall concert series
The ArtWalk begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday and features artists displaying and selling their work, vendor booths, the Salida Circus, the Wet Paintbrush, face painting, balloon twisting, live music and more.
“I enjoy doing the Art Walk,” Brooks said. “I enjoy walking and interacting with the artists and seeing all the activities.”
Society Hall will present a night of live music and celebration beginning at 4 p.m.
The event will celebrate the 100-year anniversary of Society Hall’s building, its fall fundraiser and the festival.
Sol Boys will perform at 4 p.m. followed by Salt & Pepper at 6 p.m. and the Chris Arellano Band at 8 p.m.
Brooks said that the ARTsFestival has something to offer everyone, even kids.
She said that art is inclusive and the festival is made for the entire family.
“Yes, we're talking about art but there are activities for the kids,” Brooks said. “(The festival) really is for all ages. So just because someone hears the word art, it's not stuffy. It's nothing like that. It's, it's really just a fun time.”
For more on the Alamosa ArtsFestival, contact Jasmine Husman at 719-587-2024.
Luke Lyons is the managing editor of the Valley Courier. He can be reached via email at [email protected]