Arts Council events tea off |

Arts Council events tea off

Teapot sale and Holidays in the Rockies happen this weekend

Margaret Hair
"Westcoast Rain Forest," by Meira Mathison, is just one of several teapots being sold at the Steamboat Invitational Teapot Show from 5 to 8 p.m. today as part of First Friday Artwalk at the Depot Art Center.
Courtesy Photo

On Monday afternoon, Linda Laughlin was somewhere near hour 20 of unpacking teapots.

Each packaged in plastic foam peanuts and bubble wrap, the 81 pieces in the Steamboat Invitational Teapot Show and sale had to be unpacked, checked, packed again, unpacked again and put up for display in the Depot Art Center.

“This is a very labor-intensive show, just by the nature of it,” said Laughlin, director of visual arts for the Steamboat Springs Arts Council. “It’s a lot of work putting on these kinds of shows, just because it’s so fragile.”

Out of 82 teapots submitted for the show, there was one casualty, with a piece from British Columbia not quite making the trip intact. The show and sale came together when Deb Babcock, a ceramic artist and longtime docent for the Arts Council, put out a call for potters from around the country to send a teapot to Steamboat Springs for a holiday exhibition.

The response was overwhelming, Laughlin said, as Babcock’s connections in the world of ceramic arts drew replies. Some of the teapots are functional, and some are made of found objects or came packaged with tea sets. On Monday, Laughlin had sorted them by design, collecting the earth tones in one place and the teapots shaped like fish or cats in others.

“Just when you thought you knew what a teapot was,” Laughlin said, explaining the artistic quality of the collection. The teapots will be on display at the Depot through the end of January.

Holidays in the Rockies

Holiday shoppers will have access to 58 arts and crafts vendors Saturday at the 21st annual Holidays in the Rockies fair and sale. The event has moved to Christian Heritage School from Strawberry Park Elementary School, allowing space for more vendors than the Arts Council fundraiser has hosted, said Arts Council events and facilities coordinator Rachel Radetsky.

“It’s gotten more popular, and we are at a new venue this year, which has given us the opportunity to expand and include more artists,” Radetsky said. She also hopes the U.S. Highway 40 location will be easier for visitors to find.

Booths at Holidays in the Rockies are available on a first come, first serve basis to local and regional artisans and nonprofit groups. Saturday’s selection of crafts and gifts cost anywhere upward of $1 and include jewelry, photography, paintings, wooden toys and clothing. Because the show is not juried, any local artist who applies in time has a chance to sell work, Radetsky said.

“It really gives local, emerging artists an opportunity to have a venue and display their work,” she said. “There might be some people who don’t get accepted into juried shows, so it’s nice to have a non-juried show, as well.”

Booth fees and donations from Holidays in the Rockies will go toward the Art Council’s developing educational programming, which so far has featured a two-week children’s theater workshop. Radetsky said she would like to get a mentoring program in photography off the ground some time in 2009.

“All of our educational programs are hopefully low-cost or free, which is why we’re having all of these new fundraisers, to get it going,” Radetsky said.

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