Steamboat Springs West Lincoln Park became a tromping ground this weekend as large numbers of locals and visitors wandered between 146 booths at the 26th annual Art in the Park.
The art booths showcased items ranging from decorative horseshoes to cypress-wood hanging garden planters to ceramic figurines. The food booths, ranging from Santa Fe, N.M., tacos to Italian ices, were popular attractions as the scents of grilled vegetables and pepperoni pizza wafted through the air.
"I live overseas and you see a lot of the same art there, but everything here is so different it's a treat for the eyes and the spirit," said Anne Howley, a part-time Steamboat and Ukraine resident. "There's something for everybody."
From local art, such as Jalynn and Perry Hoffman's hand-painted ceramics, to art from around Colorado and dancing entertainment from as far away as Africa, Art in the Park was a two-day celebration of creativity.
Randy Dannelley, a blacksmith artist who specializes in decorative horseshoes, had an original art booth that offered handcrafted Western artwork. Dannelley's pieces are made from used farrier rasps and horseshoes that are heated, pounded and shaped into a variety of customized pieces, such as candelabras, wine racks and hoof picks.
"I do phenomenal (at Art in the Park), but for me it's not a way to make money," Dannelley said. "It's showing a craft to the public and to generations that may not see it again."
Dannelley's booth displayed his pieces but it also housed an anvil and forge so that he could heat and shape pieces on the spot. He said he's not the type of person to sit around, so he uses his equipment to customize pieces while at the arts and crafts shows.
"T-shirts last a little while, but these (customized horseshoes) last forever," he said. "Kids come back the following years and tell me that they have their horseshoe still hanging on the wall."
The first time Dannelley came to Art in the Park, he said that business was overwhelming and he sold everything he brought. Years later, after making the event an annual show on his calender, Dannelley said that people are still responding well to his pieces. He enjoys seeing kids' eyes light up as they watch him contort iron into a piece of art.
The variety of Art in the Park's booths was not just a factor of the different types of crafts available. The artists' demographics also were quite unique.
The Colorado Wildflowers and Aspen booth was run by 14-year-old Brittany Baker and her 17-year-old sister, Heidi. Brittany and Heidi, both natives of Colorado, offered hanging flower arrangements that were pressed between beveled glass and closed off with a copper-foil technique.
They have been making and selling the items for about six years, said their mother, Cheryl, who had the business for about 10 years before she became allergic to the flowers and handed it down to her children.
To reach Larissa Keever call 871-4208 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org