Steamboat Springs John Koch, a fine-art woodworker from Rifle, has been a vendor at Steamboat's mid-July Art in the Park craft fair for years.
That festival is geared toward families, and Koch often longed for a fine-art event in Steamboat, similar to sales he attends in Breckenridge, Crested Butte, Aspen and Jackson Hole, Wyo. When Marion Ayer, human resources and finance director for the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association, called and invited Koch to participate in a new, fine-art focused sale, he jumped at the chance.
Koch is one of about 30 artists who set up shop Thursday afternoon for the Yampa River Art Stroll, a high-end art sale on Yampa Street between Fifth and Seventh streets scheduled for 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and today, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. The sale is the main daytime event of the inaugural Steamboat All Arts Festival, a Chamber-sponsored four-day celebration of local and national art in all mediums. Yampa Street is closed between Fifth and Seventh streets until 8 p.m. Sunday.
About an hour into the Art Stroll's first day, Koch said he was pleased with the turnout and the selection of artists.
"That's why I came here. Even though I'm fairly close (to Steamboat), I think this has some real potential," Koch said.
The All Arts Festival got going Thursday with a high-powered performance by The Avett Brothers for the last show of the 2009 Steamboat Springs Free Summer Concert Series. Through Sunday, the festival offers a wide-ranging schedule of music and dance performances, a film screening, culinary demonstrations and tastings, a painting competition and hands-on workshops in all areas.
At the start of Friday's Art Stroll, Chamber Executive Vice President Sandy Evans Hall said it was hard to gauge what traffic would be like through the weekend; Chamber staff saw ticket sales and calls increase in the week leading up to the festival, she said.
Although there was no increase in projected lodging numbers for this weekend compared to 2008, Evans Hall said projected numbers for most weekends this summer have been down compared to the year before. Relative to other weekends, numbers at the same level as 2008 are a positive sign, she said.
"I think it's achieving the goal we had, which is to attract people who are interested in the arts and be able to showcase local artists, as well as some national artists that we have coming in," Evans Hall said.
The lodging barometer released by the Chamber on Wednesday projected 4,500 pillows occupied, or 32 percent of area lodging. That number is down slightly from the forecast for the same weekend in 2008, which predicted 37 percent occupancy; the actual occupancy for that weekend was 53 percent.
Evans Hall said a 10- to 15-percent increase between projected and actual weekend lodging numbers has been normal this summer; last-minute reservations and walk-up traffic contribute to the boost.
The Chamber used online marketing, print and radio advertisements locally and on the Front Range, and it used word-of-mouth through participating arts organizations to promote the festival, Evans Hall said.
Don Heath, of Sugar Land, Texas, was in town on a timeshare trade with his wife, sister and brother-in-law. Heath said he saw an advertisement for the All Arts Festival and decided to come to the event.
Fort Collins resident Christina Applegate, who was looking at large works by Edwards-based painter Kevin Miles, said she was in town for Colorado Water Congress' summer conference with her husband. A newspaper ad in The Coloradoan persuaded Applegate to spend her last morning in town perusing fine art.
Local painter Robert Dieckhoff was working the crowd while selling paintings out of his tent. Dieckhoff planned to do two painting demonstrations Friday afternoon for the All Arts Festival, and he was among a group of arts advocates who met monthly at the Depot Art Center with members of the Steamboat Springs Arts Council for about a year to discuss a large-scale arts festival, he said. When the Chamber put the festival idea into action at the beginning of 2009, Dieckhoff was on board.
"It's a cornerstone for arts and culture to grow in Steamboat," he said. "It could be that little critical piece of the puzzle that encourages visitors to come to Steamboat for arts and culture."
All Arts Festival schedule
9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Irish dancing workshop with Nora Parker at Northwest Ballet Studio; $10
10 to 11:30 a.m. African dance workshop with the Steamboat Springs African Dance & Drum Ensemble at Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp; $5
10 to 11:30 a.m. Photography workshop with Paula Jo Jaconetta at the Art Tent in Torian Plum Plaza; $10
10 to 11:30 a.m. "Beyond the Artist's Way" workshop with Susan de Wardt at the library; $15
10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Yampa River Art Stroll on Yampa Street between Fifth and Seventh streets; $5 for a weekend pass
10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Steamboat Art Museum plein air quick-draw benefit and barbecue at Wolf Run Ranch on Routt County Road 33; $25 includes lunch and music by the Yampa Valley Boys
Noon to 6 p.m. Performances by local groups on the Yampa Stage during the Yampa River Art Stroll; requires $5 weekend Art Stroll wristband
11 a.m. to noon. Hip-hop dance workshop with Tina Buschmann at Northwest Ballet; $10
11 to 11:30 a.m. Public art dedication of "Let the Music Play" at Little Toots Park; FREE
Noon to 1:45 p.m. "The Art Nature of Photography" workshop with Ken Lee at the library; $15
Noon to 2 p.m. Beginner plein air painting workshop with Susan Gill Jackson at the Art Tent in Torian Plum Plaza; $15
2 to 2:45 p.m. "Behind the Scenes" workshop with John Sant'Ambrogio at the library; $15
2:15 to 3:45 p.m. "A Sense of Place" workshop with Susan de Wardt at the Art Tent in Torian Plum Plaza; $15
3 to 5 p.m. "There's No Business Like Show Business : Musicals" workshop with Stuart Handloff and Christel Houston at the library; $15
5 to 6 p.m. Lindy Hop dance workshop with Jenny and Brady Meier at Northwest Ballet; $10
5:30 p.m. "Film and Feast" with Dori Weiss at St. Cloud Mountain Club; $50; menu selections are paired with an American film, which Weiss will discuss before and after a screening
6:30 p.m. "Loco di Vino" benefit and wine tasting at Perry-Mansfield; $50; featuring wine and tapas, and music by Spanish bluegrass band Rojos Calientes
7:30 p.m. Steamboat Springs Orchestra concert at Strings Music Pavilion; $30; featuring Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5, and the theme from "Hook" and "Cowboys Overture" by John Williams
8 to 10 p.m. "Sips & Sweets" dessert and drink tasting at participating restaurants including 8th Street Steakhouse, bistro c.v., Cafe Diva, Cantina, Giovanni's, Harwigs, Mambo Italiano, Mazzola's, Old Town Pub and Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant; prices vary at each tasting, and votes for favorite drink and dessert pairing will be tallied after today's event
Yampa Stage performances, Seventh and Yampa streets; $5 Art Stroll wristband required:
11:45 a.m. Culinary demo - Steamboat Meat & Seafood Co.
Noon. Jasmir Belly Dance Troupe, Lindy Hop and lyrical dance presentations
12:15 p.m. Culinary demo - Bobby Aldighieri and Caroline Lalive
12:30 p.m. Yampa Valley Ceili Society traditional Irish dancing
1 p.m. Lyrical dance presentation
1:05 p.m. Culinary demo - bistro c.v.
1:15 p.m. Andy Pratt, jazz pianist and singer
2:45 p.m. Culinary demo - Cafe Diva
3 p.m. Steamboat Springs African Dance & Drum Ensemble
3:45 p.m. Culinary demo - L'Apogee
4 p.m. Organstein Jazz Trio
4:45 p.m. Culinary demo - Yepello Chocolates & Confections
5 p.m. Organstein Jazz Trio
10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Yampa River Art Stroll on Yampa Street between Fifth and Seventh streets; $5 for a weekend pass
10 a.m. to noon. "Getting Your Act Together" with Michael Brumbaugh at the library; $20
Noon to 2 p.m. Beginner plein air painting with Susan Gill Jackson at Artists' Gallery; $15
3 p.m. Emerald City Opera performance at Bud Werner Memorial Library; $20; featuring artists from the opera's main stage company and student company, performing "The Telephone," a comic, English-language, one-act opera, and excerpts from Gaetano Donizetti's comic opera "The Elixir of Love," also performed in English
5 p.m. Steamboat Springs Arts Council block party at the Depot Art Center; FREE; featuring free food from Steamboat Smokehouse, a cash bar, an exhibit of train memorabilia and live music by local youth orchestras and Steamboat Swings big band
What to know about the inaugural Steamboat All Arts Festival:
- The Steamboat All Arts Festival is a four-day event running through Sunday that highlights local talent in the visual, performing, literary, film and culinary arts while presenting national performing acts. The Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association is sponsoring the event.
- The Yampa River Art Stroll, a fine-art sale and showcase, serves as festival headquarters. Yampa Street between Fifth and Seventh streets will be closed until 8 p.m. Sunday. The Stroll features artists in a variety of mediums, live entertainment and a beer and wine garden.
- Volunteers from the local arts community will lead free, two-hour guided tours of downtown art venues. The tours meet at the Yampa River Art Stroll information tent every two hours starting at 11 a.m., and refreshments are provided. Participating venues are Artists' Gallery of Steamboat, Colorado Group Realty, Comb Goddess salon, the Depot Art Center, Dovetail Designs, East West Frame Shop, Gallery 11, High Mountain Sotheby's International Realty, Howelsen Place Gallery, K. Saari Gallery, the Mac Ranch, Jim Steinberg Photography, Sleeping Giant Gallery, Steamboat Art Museum, The Spa/Salon, Urbane clothing store and Wild Horse Gallery.
- Tickets for All Arts Festival events are available at the Chamber's Visitor Center at 125 Anglers Drive and at www.steamboatallartsfestival.com. The Chamber is looking for volunteers to assist with events through Sunday; contact Marion Ayer at 875-7008 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.