by Julia Wright, Festival Coordinator
Commonwheel Artists Labor Day Art Festival is a three-day weekend event filled with exceptionally high quality artwork, talented musicians and fabulous food. For 43 years Commonwheel Artists Co-op has helped create an awareness of American-made original fine arts and contemporary crafts by bringing quality artists to this art festival. These artists and local musicians converge upon Manitou Springs Memorial Park to create an incredible art focused festival over this holiday weekend.
A jury of professional artists chooses the artists that be showing this year. Only the finest handcrafted work created by the artists are accepted to be present at Commonwheel’s Art Festival. About 30% of the artists are new each year. Come meet the creator of the artwork you will fall in love with and want to purchase to grace your home or body.
The line-up of original music by local performers who are showcased on our stage offers a variety of music styles that will fit everyone’s musical tastes. Art and music patrons can sit and listen to their favorite entertainer while enjoying a tasty treat and a cold drink or listen as they wander the booths filled with fine art and contemporary crafts.
Eco-friendly food service and delicious treats make this a great place to meet friends for lunch before exploring the art booths. Enjoy a wide variety of exotic and familiar fun foods at the 10 food booths you will find in a tree-shaded food court. The food booths are diverse and offer some tasty treats rarely found at other festivals. This will be the eighth year that our food vendors, sponsors and many community volunteers have worked with Commonwheel to create a Waste-Wise Event. The 2016 Arts Festival was 80% Waste-Free. Learn more about sustainable life practices at the Pikes Peak Permaculture’s Sustainable Booth.
Stimulate your child’s imagination by encouraging them to experience various kid-friendly art-related activities around Memorial Park. At our Kid’s Art Activities Booth children are invited to express their creative side with a hands-on art projects. Here kids of all ages can also have their faces painted. Kids of all ages will enjoy watching Dwayne Faux twist up some fun balloon creatures and hats to wear. Jim Jackson from the Millibo Art Theatre helps children add color to the air by creating giant soap bubbles. These activities introduce children to art in fun and exciting ways that encourages them to make art a part of their lives forever.
Local patrons all along the Front Range describe the Commonwheel Art Festival as their favorite place to find high quality art and fine crafts for themselves to wear and display in their. Savvy art patrons arrive early on Saturday morning to purchase the best artwork or craft items offered by their favorite artists each year. This is also a great time to discover new artists showing in Manitou Springs for the first time. Many visitors come to purchase Holiday gifts that they know will be unique and please their art appreciating friends and family.
Local businesses have donated art, entertainment or dining prizes for a free prize drawing. Sign up to win a dinner in Manitou Springs or in Cripple Creek, a 10-person wine tasting, free soaks, theatrical performances or artwork at the Commonwheel Information Booth.
The Commonwheel Art Festival starts at 10 a.m., which makes it ideal for people attending the Colorado Springs Balloon Classic to make a day of it. We invite art patrons to come over after the last balloon has disappeared in the blue Colorado sky and enjoy our live music, have lunch at a table in the food court, then stroll among the beautiful art filled booths in Manitou Springs’ Memorial Park.
Put it on your calendar to take a trip to historic Manitou Springs this Labor Day Weekend. This would be a great way to support American artists as you experience a day filled with high quality artwork, fabulous food, art projects for kids and talented local music performers.
Check out our website at: www.commonwheel.com/festival to discover which artists will be displaying, what prizes are offered and the schedule of musicians who will be playing at Commonwheel Artists 43rd Annual Labor Day Weekend Art Festival.