Rain dampens Art in the Park
Steamboat Springs — Rain or shine, art must go on.
A sudden and prolonged rainstorm drove many attendees and vendors from the 32nd annual Art in the Park on Saturday, but it wasn’t enough to dampen everyone’s spirits.
Local musicians The Yampa Valley Boys had to be torn from the stage as they attempted to continue playing through the rain.
The band sang “You are my Sunshine” to the group of die-hard fans who huddled under umbrellas to stay dry.
Steamboat Springs Arts Council executive director Nancy Kramer tried to remain optimistic about the weather.
“Forget about the weather. We live in Colorado. It’ll change in, oh, about five or 10 minutes,” Kramer said. “I really thought all this was going to hold off, but I guess it’s not going to happen. We’re grateful for the rain but maybe not today.”
“For the sake of our artisans and our vendors, we hope all of this lets up, but we have no control of it,” she said.
New artist Ross Mazur said he had great crowds all morning, though they diminished after the rain began.
“I had a great showing all morning. It was unbelievable how responsive everyone was who entered the tent,” he said. “It certainly slowed up quite a bit after the rain started, and you really need people for an art show.”
Fortunately for Mazur and the 136 other vendors at Art in the Park, today brings another chance for better weather and big crowds. The event is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. today in West Lincoln Park near Bud Werner Memorial Library.
Mazur, from Sedona, Ariz., was a last minute addition to the 136 vendors. His work consists of brightly painted and intricate Southwest-style murals. He only uses pressed cotton paper for his work, a papermaking method that is more than 2,500 years old.
“We use a six-ton press, and that’s what makes it paper. If we didn’t have that, it wouldn’t be paper. This method has brought us full circle,” he said.
Mazur’s art pieces ranged in price from several hundred dollars to several thousand dollars.
Artists like Mazur are what make Art in the Park such a rich art and crafts festival, Kramer said.
“The variety of artists we have this year is excellent. The overall quality of the show continues to improve every year,” she said. “We’re really thrilled to have all of our new artists.”
Art in the Park officials love bringing in new talent, and they also love having the old back.
Former Steamboat resident Fred Comlon said bringing his recycled military art back to his hometown is always a pleasure.
“Steamboat Springs is a great place to live and a great place to visit,” he said.
Comlon’s non-traditional lawn art is made mostly of recycled military surplus equipment, including helmets, fuel tanks and other metals that Comlon guarantees will rust.
The lawn art turtles made of helmets, flying pigs and planters made of fuel tanks and new pieces “Gnome be Gone” were popular with visitors, Comlon said.
The Gnome be Gones are little creatures that carry away lawn gnomes. The pieces serve as a hint to lawn decorators.
“I like the ‘Gnome be Gone’ because it’s a cool piece of art, but it’s also making a statement to do away with the glass orbs, pink flamingoes and gnomes,” Comlon said.
Inspiration for his art came from Comlon’s grandfather’s experience of being in Pearl Harbor when the Japanese attacked.
“I remember he said to me, ‘War happens quickly, peace moves slowly,'” he said.
Thus was born the turtle made from the World War II helmet.
“It’s neat to take something that was used in war and give it a second life as something peaceful,” he said.
Although the rain may have sped up the rusting process for Comlon’s art, he wasn’t too concerned.
“There were a lot of people here this morning. I imagine if this lets up, they’ll all be back,” he said.
— To reach Alexis DeLaCruz, call 871-4234
or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
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Steamboat Springs is expected to finish off July with slightly more precipitation than in previous years.