Summer Art Events in Crested Butte Shaping Up

Art Events Schedule for Summer/Fall 2010

The visual arts are a permanent part of the Gunnison-Crested Butte, Colorado’s unique vibe. The communities have long celebrated creativity during three major art festivals set against the beauty of the Colorado Rockies: 38th annual Crested Butte Arts Festival, 37th annual Gunnison Art in the Park, and 22nd annual The People’s Fair. There is no admission charge for the festivals or gallery walk evenings held once a month.

Two well-respected arts centers—Gunnison Arts Center and Crested Butte Center for the Arts—also bring a wealth of cultural offerings and art exhibits to the communities throughout the year. Visit and

Schedule of Art Events

May 7, June 4               First Friday Gallery Crawl & Music, Gunnison

June 24                         ArtWalk Evening, Crested Butte

July 2                            First Friday Gallery Crawl & Music, Gunnison

July 11                          AWE Fest – Artists of the West Elks Festival, Elk Avenue, Crested Butte

July 16 – 18                  Rocky Mountain Plein Air Painters National Show, Crested Butte

July 25                          37th Annual Gunnison Art in the Park, Legion Park

July 29                          ArtWalk Evening, Crested Butte

July 31 – August 1        38th Annual Crested Butte Arts Festival, Elk Avenue

August 6                       First Friday Gallery Crawl & Music, Gunnison

August 15                     AWE Fest – Artists of the West Elks Festival, Elk Avenue, Crested Butte

August 21                     High Octane Arts & Crafts Festival, Legion Park, Gunnison

August 26                     ArtWalk Evening, Crested Butte

September 3                 First Friday Gallery Crawl & Music, Gunnison

September 4 – 5           22nd Annual The People’s Fair, Elk Avenue, Crested Butte

September 23               ArtWalk Evening, Crested Butte

October 1                     First Friday Gallery Crawl & Music, Gunnison

First Friday Gallery Crawl & Music, Gunnison, First Fridays All Year

To kick off each month right, enjoy great art in Gunnison at the First Friday Gallery Crawl & Music from 5 – 7 p.m. Refreshments, on-site artists and great socializing are highlights. Call Gunnison Gallery at (970) 641-6111 for participating businesses and more information.

ArtWalk Evenings, Crested Butte, June 24, July 29, August 26 & September 23

To wrap up the month in style, from June to September, Crested Butte’s ArtWalk Evenings bring art enthusiasts on a tour of the galleries on the last Thursday evening from 5 – 8 p.m. Light refreshments, music and on-site artists are featured at many of the locations. For a list of participating galleries, go to  

AWE Fest, Crested Butte July 11 & August 15

The Artists of the West Elks will hold two AWE Fests this summer, showcasing members work in conjunction with the Crested Butte Farmers’ Market on two Sundays. The festivals will be held on Elk Avenue from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. For more information, go to

Rocky Mountain Plein Air Painters National Show, July 16 – 18

Approximately 50 outdoor landscape painters will be in the Crested Butte area for approximately 10 days to create works of art and participate in a large gallery show at Oh-Be-Joyful Gallery on July 16 – 18. There will be various events for the public to interact with the artists. For information, contact Crested Butte’s Oh-Be-Joyful Gallery, (970) 349-5936 or visit  

37th Annual Gunnison Art in the Park, July 25

Gunnison’s Legion Park serves as the backdrop for this annual art extravaganza organized by the local chapter of American Association of University Women (AAUW). On July 25, from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., approximately 60 artists will exhibit and sell their creations during this juried event. Live entertainment, activities for kids, and food and beverage booths also are part of the fun. 

Proceeds from the event benefit AAUW’s local scholarship program for nontraditional students attending Western State College in Gunnison; AAUW’s national education foundation; and a local project that is selected annually. For more information, contact Carol Bennett at (970) 641-4230.

38th Annual Crested Butte Arts Festival, July 31 – August 1 

The Crested Butte Arts Festival (CBAF) is one of the biggest weekends of the summer, drawing world-class artists from all 50 states and several international exhibitors.  The festival recently was ranked the 35th best fine art and fine craft show in the country by the “Arts Fair Sourcebook,” the definitive guide to art festivals, and is listed as one of the Harris List’s top five fine art and craft shows in Colorado. 

Open-air booths line the three-block center of Crested Butte’s National Historic District from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. both days, featuring 185 artists who are selected through a very competitive jury process. New this year is a culinary arts demonstration tent. Returning favorites are an art auction, a hands-on “Art Alley” for kids ages 2 – 12, demonstration tent with exhibiting artists demonstrating their craft, culinary court, beer and wine pavilion, and live entertainment. For more information and a list of exhibitors and performing artists as the festival draws near, call (970) 349-1184 or

High Octane Arts & Crafts Festival, Gunnison, August 21 

The Gunnison Country Chamber of Commerce invites arts and crafts lovers to experience the High Octane Arts & Crafts Festival being held in conjunction with the Gunnison Car Show on Aug. 21. The festival showcases arts and crafts by approximately 80 artisans from around the region and will be held from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. in Legion Park, located across the street from Jorgensen Park where the car show will be held. Great food and fun for the whole family are on tap. Call (970) 641-1501 or visit

22nd Annual The People’s Fair, September 4 – 5

The Saturday and Sunday of Labor Day weekend marks the return of The People’s Fair in downtown Crested Butte. Hundreds of locals and visitors will stroll Elk Avenue on Sept. 4 and 5 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. to take in this homespun cultural experience and to soak in the last of the high-country summer. The People’s Fair features an eclectic mix of booths showcasing regional arts and crafts, collectibles and antiques, and preserved foods from local gardens as well as live music, a tasty fair food, and nonprofit organization booths selling books, CDs, baked goods and more. The festival coincides with the annual Labor Day Sidewalk Sale on Elk Avenue, making the day a shopper’s delight! 

Since 1988, The People’s Fair has been made possible by the volunteer efforts of the artist members of The Paragon Gallery, a cooperatively owned arts and crafts gallery in downtown Crested Butte, located at 132 Elk Ave. For more information, contact The Paragon Gallery at (970) 349-6484.

Visitor Information & Personalized Vacation Packages

To find out more about Gunnison-Crested Butte events and attractions or to book personalized vacation packages, call the Gunnison-Crested Butte Tourism Association’s official reservations center at (800) 814-8893 or visit During the summer and fall, air access to the Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport is provided by United Airlines.

About Gunnison-Crested Butte, Colorado

Gunnison-Crested Butte is nestled among almost two million acres of pristine wilderness in southwest Colorado. Winter sports enthusiasts know the area for its world-class alpine skiing and snowboarding at Crested Butte Mountain Resort, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and ice fishing. Gunnison-Crested Butte is also a haven for outdoor summer activities. In the warmer months, visitors can choose from recreational activities such as hiking, climbing, mountain biking, boating, whitewater rafting, kayaking, fly-fishing, camping and horseback riding. Year-round visitors enjoy distinctive restaurants, unique shops and stimulating cultural opportunities, and have a wide range of lodging options — from rustic inns to guest cabins and bed-and-breakfasts to full-service resort hotels. 

Gunnison, county seat and a real western town, is home to the Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport, Gunnison Whitewater Park, Gunnison Valley Observatory, Pioneer Museum and Western State College, which offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in liberal arts and sciences and pre-professional fields. Both Crested Butte and Gunnison have thriving historic central business districts packed with shopping and dining opportunities. 

Recognized as the “Official Wildflower Capital of Colorado” by the Colorado Legislature and one of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s “Dozen Distinctive Destinations” in 2008, Crested Butteis 28 miles from Gunnison and the site of rich mining, ranching and skiing heritage and home to the Crested Butte Mountain Heritage Museum and Mountain Bike Hall of Fame. Only three miles up the road is the resort village of Mt. Crested Butte, home to the ski area, an active base area, the area’s conference center, and outstanding hiking and biking trails. 

In Gunnison County, visitors will find the Curecanti National Recreation Area, where dinosaur fossils were recently discovered; the Blue Mesa Reservoir, Colorado’s largest body of water and home to the largest Kokanee salmon fishery in the United States; and The Black Canyon of the Gunnison, one of our country’s newest national parks. Gunnison County includes the quaint and historic towns of Pitkin, Gothic, Tin Cup, Marble, Powderhorn, Almont and Crystal, plus the better-known communities of Gunnison, Crested Butte and Mt. Crested Butte. Gunnison County is part of the West Elk Loop and Silver Thread Scenic & Historic Byways.

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