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Evergreen Fine Arts Festival showcases local, national talent

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By Sandy Barnes

 As a gentle rain fell on white tents filled with artistic creations, Beth Erlund, director of the Evergreen Fine Arts Festival, talked about the importance of the event on Sunday afternoon.

 

“I’ve done this show for 34 years,” she said. 

Like many other artists, Erlund said, she relies on arts festivals to market her work. By bringing her batik creations to Evergreen and other festivals, Erlund has brought in enough income to be self-sustaining.

After a career as a zoologist and chemist, Erlund decided to become an artist, with encouragement from a friend.

“I had a friend who was a painter and said, ‘You can do this for a living,’ ” said Erlund. 

Two years later, Erlund said she found that prediction to be true. When she was offered a job as a chemist, she turned it down because her work was generating enough money to support her.

Erlund’s works were among those of 100 artists who participated at the festival on the grounds of the Hiwan Homestead Museum this past weekend.

A vast array of various art forms from paintings and photography to sculpture and jewelry were on display at the festival, which was sponsored by the Evergreen Artists Association.

Artists from across the nation traveled to Evergreen for the festival. Sculptor Eric Slocombe of San Marcos, Texas, was beside his tent working on a new piece in clay, which he would later cast in bronze. 

Slocombe said this was his first year at the Evergreen event.

“I hope to get invited back next year,” he said.

Sarah G. of Castle Pines was also working on a new creation, using wood as a base.

“I hand-saw and cut all the wood myself,” she said. “I love the process.”

Hanging inside her tent was a large three-dimensional rose mounted on wood, the petals of which Sarah said she had torn from watercolor paper and painted. Beside the rose was another three-dimensional work called the Infinity Tree.

“The tree is an idea I had for a long time,” she said.

Stained-glass artists Randy and Terry Romanin of Conifer brought a collection of glass mosaics to the festival.

“We don’t use any patterns. We just start cutting,” Terry said while standing beside a bright mirror bordered with a stained-glass pattern.

“We’ve come here a lot of years,” Terry added. “This was the first show we ever did.”
“This is our fund-raiser for the year,” said Lynne Milliken of the Evergreen Artists Association. “We’re all about helping artists to be artists.”

Milliken said the money from the festival is used by the association for a scholarship program for young artists, as well as to promote and encourage established professionals.

Contact Sandy Barnes at sandy@evergreenco.com or call 303-350-1042.