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.
by Julia Wright, Festival Coordinator
43 YEARS OF FINE ART, ORIGINAL MUSIC AND GREAT FOOD CHOICES
Commonwheel Artists 43rd Labor Day Weekend Art Festival is held in historic Manitou Springs’ Memorial Park. Art patrons will discover a wide variety of high quality sensational artwork, talented musicians, fabulous food and local craft beer at this year’s art festival.
Festival vistitors are invited to enjoy a variety of diverse and unique food booths located in a tree-shaded food court. Our food vendors will be firing up their grills and hot plates to create tasty treats that are sure to satisfy every art patron’s appetite.
Everyone needs to have their hunger satisfied before or after they wander among the 100 plus artist booths at Commonwheel’s Art Festival. Kids will work up an apettite while having a fun day creating art at the Activity Booth, making giant bubbles or watching balloon creatures come to life before their marveling eyes.
When hunger strikes, it is time to take a food break and enjoy the local live music. Quench your thirst with a fresh-squeezed lemonade or limeade. Add some strawberries to make it extra special. Or try pineapple smoothie to cool down a plate of homemade Tamales at Brenda’s Mexican Tamales booth. To satisfy our over 21 art patrons taste for something a bit stronger, a local brewery will be offering its craft brew across from the stage.
Bring a smile to your child’s faces when you buy them a funnel cake, a candy treat or a bag of kettle korn to munch while you visit the artists’ booths.
Whenerver someone orders “Monkey Balls” at the Thai Pepper booth a bell is rung. Discover why his food patrons return each year to indulge in this unusual food offering or fill their plate with his creative Thai Food offerings.
More traditional festival food offerings can be found at Big Papa’s Grill where he offers traditional and veggie hot dogs with 25 different condiments to dress them up with. For a hearty meal try Island Style BBQ’s pulled pork or Teriyaki Chicken sandwiches. Pescatarians can enjoy a plate of Fried Fish.
For over 30 years, the Ballas family has brought Greek Food to the art festival! Come enjoy a freshly made gyros or Greek Salad. Add Spanakopita or indulge in their heavenly baklava – but hurry, they sell out every day.
Eco-friendly food service and delicious treats make this a great place to meet friends for brunch 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. This will be the ninth 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.
There is a variety of foods available beyond what we mention here. Check the web site to discover more treats to tempt you while at the Art Festival. Invite your friends to meet you in the food court to enjoy an unusual food treat together. Then take some time to wander through the over 100 booths filled with artwork by juried artists showing in Manitou Springs Memorial Park.
The Commonwheel Art Festival is anticipated by local patrons all along the Front Range as their favorite place to find high quality art and contemporary crafts for their homes and gifts. Art patrons will once again find many past favorite and new artists that bring their unique talents to add to the diversity of fine art and contemporary crafts found at this juried Festival. And don’t forget, the Holidays are coming soon. Purchasing gifts here is a great way to support and encourgage American artists to keep on creating.
Check out our website to discover which artists will be displaying, menus describing what will be offered in the food court and the schedule of musicians playing at: www.commonwheel.com/festival
--2017 Food Vendors--
-Big Papa’s Grill serves traditional and veggie hot dogs with 25 condiments to jazz them up.
-Big Squeeze Lemonade creates cold, refreshing Fresh Squeezed Strawberry Lemonade and Limeade to order.
-Brenda’s Mexican Tamales brings her Homemade Mexican Tamales for a South of the Border treat and Pineapple Smoothies to cool you down.
-Cowgirl Kettle Corn has pops up traditonal Kettle Corn and Carmel Corn.
-Dionysos Greek Food once again will be serving tasty Gyros, Spanakopita, Greek Salad, Dolmathes and his divine Baklava.
-Island Style BBQ cooks up delicious Kahlua Pork & Teriyaki Chicken Sandwiches, Fried Fish, Rice Bowls and many vegetarian choices are available.
-Goldminer’s Candy offers samples of Roasted Almonds, homemade fudge and a variety of candy treats.
-Pemco Concessions helps keep children happy by offering Ribbon Fries and Twisted Taters.
-Pikes Peak Brewery brings their craft beers or has glasses of wine for adults to sip while enjoying the live music on stage.
-Thai Pepper grills delicious Spicy Chicken Stir Fry and Thai Seasoned Wings. His Pad Thai can be vegetarian or have some chicken added. Spring Rolls make you order a complete meal. When you order the Monkey Balls, he’ll ring a bell.
by Julia Wright, Festival Coordinator
FILL YOUR LABOR DAY WEEKEND WITH ORIGINAL LOCAL MUSIC, FINE ART AND CONTEMPORARY CRAFTS
Come visit Manitou Springs to “Celebrate the Arts” in many styles and forms at Commonwheel Artists Labor Day Weekend Art Festival. This festival not only features exceptionally beautiful and affordable arts and crafts, it brings together some of the finest original local musicians the Pikes Peak region has to offer. A regional craft brewery rounds out the unique offerings to be found at the art festival this year.
If you enjoy listening to original music, come listen and dance to a variety of talented local musicians on Labor Day Weekend. Sarah Hope, who plays in “Edith”, created another incredible line-up of talented musicians to perform original and uniquely styled music at Commonwheel’s Art Festival.
Take a break from shopping and get motivated to dance to your favorite local band. Put on your dancing shoes to spend a day, or three, dancing and listening to innovative local musicians playing in Manitou Springs.
All three days you can enjoy a variety of musical styles: Jazz, Celtic, Indie, Jazz, Vintage Pop, Rock & Roll, Folk Pop, Gypsy Tango, Classical and much more. Whatever style of music is your favorite, you are likely to find it here.
Saturday starts with the mellow sounds of Alicia Archibald playing and singing musical renditions of pop and jazz standards. She is followed by High Mountain Duet who will be playing their original Folk and Bluegrass music. Then you can enjoy a bit of Gypsy music when Ryan Flores takes the stage. Ending Saturday’s musical line-up is local favorite, “Edith”, formerly known as “Edith Makes a Paper Chain”.
Sunday begins with the First String Classical Trio playing beautiful classical music. Picking up the music pace a bit A Pick, A stick and a Chick plays Jazz standards for an hour then Skean Dubh takes the stage to play lively Celtic music in the afternoon. The Alt Country band, Beans and Wheels takes the stage at 4pm to get you swiging your partner until the festival ends for the day at 5pm.
Ben Pratt starts Monday’s musical offerings by playing his original Aggressive Dinner Music that always fascinates his audience with his unusual, very entertaining style of music. Blue Grass fans of the The Kinnikinkiks know their music is always enjoyable and quite danceable. Mizmar Madness Tribal Belly Dancers will entertain young and old with their mesmerizing movements to traditional tribal music. They are followed by Blue Moll, for an hour of a classic rock with an amazing female lead singer. Mo Mungus plays with Reggae and Calypso music that will get you moving to the groove on Sunday afternoon as this band closes out the musical line-up for this year’s Art Festival.
There are many reasons to spend Labor Day Weekend in Manitou Springs! Engage your imagination by chatting with the artists who created each piece of art displayed in their booths. Relax with fun food while you enjoy great music created by local entertainers. Stimulate your child’s creativity when they join in the fun at the free Kids’ Art Activities Station.
So don’t miss it. Come and enjoy one, or all three days at the Commonwheel Artists Art Festival that fills historic Manitou Springs Memorial Park with beautiful art created by over 120 artisans and and original music.
-Saturday, September 2-
2:00 pm-1:00 pm Alicia Archibald
1:20 pm-2:15 pm High Mountain Duet
2:30 pm-3:40 pm Ryan Flores
4:00 pm-5:00 pm Edith
-Sunday, September 3-
12:00 pm-1:00 pm First String
1:20 pm-2:20 pm A Pick, A Stick & A Chick
2:40 pm-3:40 pm Skean Dubh
4:00 pm-5:00 pm Beans and Wheels
-Monday, September 4-
12:00 pm-12:45 pm Ben Pratt
1:00 pm-1:45 pm The Kininkiniks
2:00 pm-2:20 pm Mizmar Madness
2:00 pm-3:20 pm Blue Moll
3:40 pm-5:00 pm Mo Mungus
Entertainment Coordinator: Sarah Hope
Sound System Provided by: KRCC
Sound Managed by: Thos Lesser
Line-up is subject to change. Find updates on the Website commonwheel.com/festival
by Leti Wesolowski, contributor
Celebrate with the artists at our opening reception this Friday, August 18th from 5 to 8 pm at the Creekside Gallery. Show runs from August 18th through September 11th, 2017.
Julie Kirkland grew up in an artistic family in California, but it wasn’t until she relocated to Colorado that she started painting. She first worked with watercolors but most recently she has switched to oil paintings. She paints still life, landscapes, people and animals, but her true focus is the contrast created by light and shadows. The light, or the lack of it, is essential for her to tell a story with otherwise ordinary subjects. Many of her paintings capture whimsical subjects that entertains and delights her audience, and this is the case with her latest “About Face”, a show of 100 small portraits of the back of people’s heads, instead of the more traditional portraits of faces. Julie noticed that we recognize our family and friends from the back as easily as from the front, so why not feature local residents and artists that we know. Even if you don’t know them all personally, some of these portraits are bound to remind you of someone! Spoiler: Chris and Liese Chavez, Phil Lear, Deb Komitor and Sean O’ Meallie are local artists among them.
Joining Julie are local potters Arlene Woods and Nancy Morse with face-related pottery. Arlene is one of the oldest Commonwheel members and she enjoys working with clay because it challenges to explore many possibilities. For this show she has created clay masks and vases with faces, and depending on her choice of glazes you’ll discover imaginative, humorous, meditative, childish and some just playful bold and colorful personalities. Nancy is also a Commonwheel member and a potter who loves the sculptural quality of clay. She has created whimsical coffee mugs with interesting and funny gestural faces that would remind you of old men.
A little bit about Julie Kirkland and her inspiration for this show.
Julie, how did you get interested in painting?
My grandfather was a sculptor, and my grandmother and aunt were painters, so I’ve always been interested in art. I started painting 19 years ago and now can’t imagine life without it.
What are your proudest achievements as an artist?
“About Face” is my proudest achievement. The sheer number of portraits and the fact that it took 2 years to complete weren’t something I knew for certain that I could stick to without losing interest. Instead, each portrait made me more excited to do the next, and the next. In fact, I’m still painting them.
What has inspired your artwork for this show?
My inspiration for the show was the fact that we all recognize people we know just as easily from behind as by seeing their faces. I’m always looking for a slightly different take on things and the whimsical concept of painting people from behind just tickled my fancy. What I didn’t think about as I began the series was that I was going to learn so much about painting skin tones, hair color and textures. I painted from photographs that I took of family, artist friends and strangers on the street. Approaching strangers turned out to be fun. After explaining to them who I was and what I was doing, I only had one person not allow me to photograph him. While a majority of people protest when you ask to take their pictures, people are completely comfortable with allowing you to photograph them from the back. That says a lot about how anonymous we feel we are from the back; only friends and family can recognize us, making these portraits of the back of heads somehow very intimate.
What emotions/reactions/thoughts do you want to cause/explore/achieve on the public looking at your artwork?
The portraits make me smile when I see them, and I’m hoping that they will bring smiles to the faces of others who view them and remind them of people that they know. After seeing “About Face”, perhaps they might even take a closer look of the back of their friends and family’s heads.
What is your favorite piece of this show and why?
Right now, I’d say that the portraits of my parents are dear to me. Two others would be the young man with blonde dreads and a young Southern girl I met in Garden of the Gods. I’ve also painted a few surprising portraits, and I include all of them amongst my favorites.
Where else can we find your artwork?
My work can be found in The Hunter Wolff Gallery on W. Colorado Avenue in Old Colorado City, and also in my working space in The Second Floor Studios that’s just down the street. Online, you can visit me at http://juliekirkland.com and follow my latest works on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/KirkandFineArt/
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Additional information about Julie and this show can be found through RMPBS at