The Wild About Colorado Plein Air Art & Outdoor Festival is back in Breckenridge this weekend for its ninth year running. From Friday, Aug. 5 through Sunday, Aug. 7, the events will feature 15 nationally-acclaimed artists painting Summit County’s wild landscapes and scenic vistas en plein air. The festival also includes a variety of hikes, workshops, parties and activities for the whole family.
The Wild About Colorado Festival is the signature annual fundraising event for the Continental Divide Land Trust. It’s an opportunity for the organization to highlight the natural resources in and around Breckenridge, raise awareness for keeping lands natural and to highlight the organization’s conservation work.
“The Wild About Colorado Plein Air Art and Outdoor Festival is unique in that it is one of the only events in Summit County that features plein air art and raises awareness of natural land protection,” said Rachel Winkler, program manager for the Continental Divide Land Trust.
Funds raised at the event directly benefit the organization’s land conservation programs.
Participating artist Emily Wahl said the event is a “wonderful partnering of all forms of art with nature.” Numerous events over the weekend include birding tours, guided wildflower hikes, workshops for painting and planting pots, photography and painted art.
Throughout the week, artists will be scattered all over the county painting. The public will be able to see live painting in Wakefield Meadow if they join the 9 a.m. Friday morning hike.
On Friday from 4-7 p.m., the Art Happy Hour Art Show and Sale will include hors d’oeuvres, live music from Stung High String Band, a cash bar with beer from Broken Compass Brewery and spirits from Breckenridge Distillery, and a chance to view and purchase works of art created during the festival. Art can be purchased through Saturday at the Carter Park Pavilion on 400 S. High St. in Breckenridge.
New activities this year include a Quickdraw on Saturday morning from 10 a.m. until noon. At this event, artists will have two hours to paint at the Riverwalk Center lawn. These paintings will be available for sale through a silent auction at Carter Park Pavilion until noon on Sunday.
Also new this year, the festival will close with a Sunday morning brunch with the 2016 Wild About Colorado artists.
“On Sunday morning there will be a brunch and visitors have the opportunity to view great art and talk with the artists,” Wahl said.
Artists are invited to participate. Artist coordinator, Joanne Hanson, said the event always adds one or two new artists each year, but that there is a core of artists who have done it every year since.
“They like the cause,” she said, “and of course, love to paint in Summit County.”
The list of artists includes: Cliff Austin, Kim Barrick, Sandi Bruns, Rita Cirillo, Marianna Duford, Beth Erlund, Jeanne Hougen, Scott Lines, Debby McAllister, Karen Ramsay, Marty Rohde, Emily Wahl, Ann Weaver, Ginger Whellock and Anita Winter. The emerging local artist is Chris Burkhart.
Judge Teresa Vito will select the best-in-show winner, as well as second and third places.
“The artists vote on the artists’ choice awards, and we ask the public to do the same for people’s choice,” Wahl said.
Tickets to the Friday Night Art Show & Sale are $20 per person and available for purchase online atcdlt.org. To register for activities and workshops, visit WildAboutColorado.org.