Long time local artist, Randy Smith, displays his unique and hand crafted lamps

You’ve hiked, you’ve biked, and you took a ride up the mountain gondola – check, check and double check.  You enjoyed the view down Main Street from a horse drawn carriage and you, your family and your closest (newly formed) friends put the pedal to the metal and pedaled your way down the street on the Breckenridge Bike Bus – double check.  (What, you don’t know about the Bike Bus?  Get the 411 here.)  And all of this has left you feeling like you’re missing out on artistry, culture and the finer things in life?  Never fear – plan to visit Breckenridge during one of the annual art festivals that are held in the summer and renew your appreciation for the finer things in life.

Breckenridge plays host to a variety of art festivals during the summer months.  For 18 years, Mountain Art Festivals has been consistently ranked among the top art festivals in the country.  Mark Beling and Judith Pollock, Directors, are long time residents of Breckenridge.

They have an amazing ability to attract fantastic artists to exhibit during these art festivals.   And you are in luck, as there are still two more to be held in Breck this summer.   These festivals feature incredible artists from not only Colorado, but all over the country that are experts in their mediums.  Watercolors, ceramics, metal smithing, mosaics, glass and sculpture, you name it; you can find and enjoy it at one of these festivals.

Two favorite artists have made the area either their home, or their home away from home, for a number of years.  Local artist Randy Smith, showcases his handmade exquisite lamp work of Foxtail Design Lamps.  His lamps are crafted of 500 year-old roots from a limber pine and mounted on pieces of granite talus.  Randy’s designs give the illusion of a tree growing out of a rock.  The hardest part of his art is selecting the right pieces of the natural root system to incorporate into his designs.  Randy, who is a long time ski instructor at Breckenridge Ski Resort, has lived in the area for 17 years with his wife Gail.   As much as Randy enjoys creating his masterpieces, he looks forward to the winter when he can again ski some of the most majestic terrain to be found in the US.

Dichroic glass artist Holly Sokol exhibits one of a kind jewelry pieces that are simply stunning.

Holly Sokol, a Colorado native currently living in Prescott, Arizona, has been coming to art festivals in Breckenridge for so many years, she now makes the area her summer home.  Holly originally earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Colorado State University, working with design and painting.  Holly takes those skills and incorporates them into her work with unique and one of a kind dichroic glass jewelry creations, that are stunning works of bold colors and rhythm.  Her designs are so admired that they have earned awards in the dichroic and art glass industry.  If you cannot make it to Breckenridge, be sure to check out Holly’s work at http://www.hollysokol.com.

So head up to Breckenridge from July 27-29,2012, or September 1-3, 2012 and check out these fabulous mountain art festivals.  For complete information, visit www.mountainartfestivals.com.

– Jenise Jensen

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