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Fine Arts Fest: Beautiful art in a perfect place

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By Sara Miller

After 43 years of doing something, one would think that you could make it almost perfect. Such is the case with the Evergreen Fine Arts Festival, set for Aug. 29-30. Annually, the Evergreen Artists Association hosts this two-day event, tucked among the old-growth Ponderosa pines in Heritage Grove near Hiwan Homestead Museum.

One of the oldest juried art shows in Colorado, the Fine Arts Festival is sure to have something for all — whether it is the world-class art, the music and dining, or simply the chance to enjoy the beauty of fine art shaded by some of the finest art in our state — our natural surroundings.

Watercolorist Carmel Walden, who will be part of the festival, draws her inspiration from natural settings just like Heritage Grove. Born in Glenwood Springs and living in Castle Rock, Walden roams her family ranch in Gypsum every chance she gets — finding inspiration for her art in waving aspen trees and tiny wildflowers.

“I wasn’t happy with any of my paintings until I figured out that I needed to paint what moved me, and that’s nature,” Walden says. “When I am outside and take the time to open my eyes, something always seems to hit me with a wallop of emotion. It’s such a mysterious, amazing gift, and when this happens, I know I’ve got something to paint.”

Peggy Corpeny, a photographer and painter, also finds inspiration in nature. Corpeny was once a psychiatric social worker who worked with children and adolescents, and she took up art in search of a less stressful lifestyle. Corpeny’s artistic work ranges from landscape and wildlife photography to whimsical pen-and-ink drawings. Her work is available as originals, prints, or in her smaller-format note cards, which she carries under the umbrella of her company, Heart Bow Press.

Regardless of the artistic format, one theme runs throughout all of Corpeny’s work: the beauty and detail of the world around us.

“Whether it is the dramatic play of light and shadow in some images or the magic right under our feet captured in others, I hope that everyone is touched by the wonder of this world,” says Corpeny.

In total, more than 120 artists will take part in the show. The EAA selection committee works to create a balance of jewelry, sculpture, pottery, textile art, photography, wood creations, mixed-media works and glass creations, as well as paintings of all types.

Attendees can also enjoy musical entertainment throughout the weekend. Facing Sunday, an acoustic trio from Denver, will perform on Saturday. The trio describes their music as “indie acoustic laced with funkified folk and hints of soulful jazz.” On Sunday, visitors will hear the sounds of Andean Nation, a group specializing in the music and instruments of the South American highlands.

The Fine Arts Festival is a fund-raiser for the Evergreen Artists Association. EAA holds exhibitions throughout the year, promotes arts in the schools through scholarships, and give annual grants to deserving local artists.

Sara Miller, a freelance writer and a resident of Evergreen, lives with her husband, two children and a dog.

43nd annual Evergreen Fine Arts Festival

presented by the Evergreen Artists Association

Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 29-30 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Heritage Grove along Meadow Drive, near the Hiwan Homestead Museum

Free to the public. For more information, visit http://www.evergreenartists.org/fineartsfair.html.