By Toni Tresca
Tucked away in one of Denver’s trendiest neighborhoods, The Highlands Art Festival presented by ColoradoArtWeekend (CAW) will treat visitors to an exciting two-day event centered around fine art and fine crafts on June 10-11. Festivities will be held on the scenic grounds of the historic Highlands Masonic Lodge at 3550 Federal Blvd.
Organizers promise that the location’s well-manicured lawn will be the perfect setting for the festival and a great way to kick off the summer season.
The area was chosen for the occasion because of its similarities to the Park Hill neighborhood, where CAW has hosted the Park Hill Art Festival for the past 10 years.
Following its annual Park Hill Art Festival the previous weekend, the first-ever Highlands Arts Festival will take place 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.
“(It’s) the first show of its kind in the Highlands,” said show director Darren Skanson. “(There will be more than) 100 Colorado and nationally touring artists from as far away as California, Florida and Wisconsin.”
All of the winners of the 2022 Colorado Art Weekend Award will be in attendance, Skanson said. Past winners who will exhibit their work at the Highlands Arts Festival include “Master Artist” award-winner Peter Freischlag, “Mixed Media Outstanding Innovator” award-winner Marilyn Quigley, “Outstanding Emerging Artist” award-winner Ray Goodluck and the “Distinguished Excellence” category award-winners Charles Sherman (Sculpture); Mark Jennison (Painting); Tina Hoffer (Elemental Materials, Wood, Metal, Glass or Ceramics); Paula Romero (Jewelry); Autumn Tenyl (Fiber); and Michael McGinnis (Photography).
“Nationally recognized artist Peter Freischlag created paintings specifically for the show, and he will be exhibiting them and offering them for sale for the first time at the festival,” Skanson said. “Local Highlands artist Brett Matarazzo is organizing several local artists to be a part of the show. Also, his not-for-profit organization, the BRG Project, is organizing a children’s art area for the show.”
People can stop by “Gourmet Alley” for delectable dining options from the food trucks Mama Kabob, Fanwich and Still Smokin BBQ Joint if they get hungry while browsing all the vendors. Additionally, check out the booths of Pastamore’s, Mile-Hi Sweets & Treats, Redemption Road Coffee and Albinelli Blends if you’re looking to purchase some individually packaged fine food.
CAW’s artist awards presentation will take place at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 10, before they hold the first drawing for a $1,000 art festival shopping spree at 3 p.m.
To claim a ticket, just ask an artist for a free one. Then, place your ticket stub in the tub on the steps of the Masonic Lodge building. In order to win, you must be 19 years of age or older and be present at the time of the drawing. And if you don’t win on Saturday, CAW is holding a second drawing on Sunday, June 11, at the same time.
Tickets placed in the drawing tub on Saturday are eligible for the 3 p.m. drawing on Sunday. Following the raffle drawing on Saturday, the Djembe Orchestra of Colorado will perform at 3:30 p.m. They are a community-based ensemble of 16 drummers who play a unique blend of world music using African drums while singing nostalgic songs with transfixing vocals.
CAW is hosting several other arts festivals across Colorado through 2023, including its next show, The Evergreen Mountain Art Celebrations on June 24 and 25, where attendees will get to see some of their favorite artists from The Highlands Arts Festival as well as plenty of fresh faces. Learn more about The Highlands Art Festival at ColoradoArtWeekend.com.