Next weekend is going to be a huge one for the Durango arts community, with the fall gallery walk on Friday night and the Durango Autumn Arts Festival taking place on Saturday and Sunday.
In its 22nd year, the arts festival – an annual fundraiser for the Durango Arts Center – will offer a weekend of arts and fine crafts from 90 artists representing 17 states, as well as a food court, live music, a Creation Station and, new this year, a Healing Arts Plaza.
Festival Director Jules Masterjohn, who coordinates the festival on Second Avenue, said that this year, the number of artists who applied for a spot in the festival had to be whittled down from 212.
“We transform East Second Avenue into an outside art gallery,’ she said. “Nowhere in our area can you go and see such high-quality, diverse art and fine craft in one spot.”
Artists of all types will be in attendance: From Durango jeweler Carol Martin, to New Mexico woodworkers Jeff and Katrina Seaton to New Hampshire printmaker Patricia Castellini, Masterjohn said there’s something to fit every taste and price range.
Along with checking out the booths, you can also head over to the Creation Station, where people of all ages can participate in activities. There will be face-painting, henna tattoos, puppet-making and the chance to help fill in a 30-foot-long chalk drawing of a paintbrush.
You can also take in this year’s new Healing Arts Plaza, which will be available from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. There, you can watch demonstrations, attend talks and interactive sessions about topics such as healing herbs, acupuncture and massage.
And, because this year is also Steamworks Brewing Co.’s 20th anniversary, a special show by the band Atomic Punks: A Tribute to Early Van Halen will be played from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday on the main stage. Steamworks is also providing free transportation on Durango Transit to and from the festival on Saturday.
This year’s live music – including sets by The Pete Giuliani Band, Kirk James Blues Band and Stillwater groups – is being coordinated by Stillwater Music, and the festival is sponsored by First Southwest Bank.
Admission is free, and this is a family-friendly event.
“It’s an awesome opportunity for those people who like to buy handmade to get ready for holidays,” Masterjohn said. “It takes the stress off when you can go and stroll and listen to some music; it’s just a wonderful environment. Lots of community members show up, so it’s a great community interaction.”