Artisans Market celebrates 25 years | SteamboatToday.com

Artisans Market celebrates 25 years

Jan Lomas, owner of the Artisans Market of Steamboat, was all smiles Friday evening as she celebrated her store's 25th anniversary in Steamboat Springs.

— Artisans Market owner Jan Lomas was rifling through some paperwork when she realized her business was about to turn 25.

“It just hit me that it had been 25 years and that I needed to do something, because not too many businesses have survived 25 years on Lincoln Avenue, let alone galleries,” she said.

Artisans Market, at 626 Lincoln Ave., began in June 1982 as an artist co-op in the former Harbor Hotel. The market, which featured young and experimental artists, moved into its current location 18 years ago. Lomas has owned the business since 2001.

“We’ve been here ever since,” Lomas said Friday as she prepared trays of chocolate treats for a reception. “This is for all of our artists – past and present – and the public to help us celebrate.”

Throughout the years, Artisans Market has continued to support new and young artists by giving them a place to display their creativity, Lomas said. There currently are 130 local and Colorado artist members whose work is represented at the market.

“We have offered our artists the opportunity and the chance to sell their art. It’s an environment we’ve worked hard to preserve,” she said. “It’s been a sort of testing ground for artists to try out new designs and new colors. It’s been a starting point for a lot of people.”

Jill Bergman, an artist member and Artisans Market employee, said it’s been inspirational for her to work alongside Lomas and the other artist members.

“All I need to do is walk around here for inspiration,” she said. “It’s been good for me as an artist to talk to all the different people that come in here and want to take a piece of Steamboat with them.”

While some things have remained the same, the biggest change Lomas has seen in 25 years is how much the art community has grown.

“I think the recognition of art in Steamboat Springs will continue to grow,” she said.

Although downtown Steamboat Springs is experiencing an unprecedented summer of growth, Lomas is confident her store will continue to thrive.

“Of course we’d love to be here another 25 (years) and continue to watch the art community grow,” she said. “We’d love to support it because we have great culture here.”

Lomas said she would be remiss not mentioning the people who have continued to support the business.

“My loyal customer base is what has kept me in business,” she said. “Thank you for all the support. I appreciate it.”

– To reach Alexis DeLaCruz, call 871-4234

or e-mail adelacruz@steamboatpilot.com