As the City of Greeley, vendors and artists from around the US prepare to descend on Lincoln Park for the annual Arts Picnic over the weekend of July 30-31, the Tointon Gallery and the folks at Mariposa Plants and Flowers are busy preparing ahead of two events not to be missed by festival-goers – the Arts Picnic Fine Art Exhibit and the 8th St. Art Festival.
Until COVID closed the gallery in 2020 and 2021, the city held a call for community art to be featured in an exhibition in conjunction with the annual art picnic, explained Kim Snyder, public arts coordinator. Adults from the community are allowed to submit one artwork, while youth can submit as many works as they like.
Submitted pieces include a variety of mural and 3-D artworks such as photographs, paintings, sculptures, ceramics, drawings, and other types of art media.
“This is the only time of the year when it’s really a collective show. So once a year, we let everyone in Weld County submit an artwork,” Snyder said. “We always try to get student art, so we don’t limit the number of pieces students can submit. Difficult to get that in the summer because they are not affiliated with the school. But we have some returning student artists this year.”
Jennifer Finch, photographer and first-time Tointon Gallery exhibitor, will feature one of her pieces in the exhibition.
“I saw it on Facebook and thought maybe I’ll throw one of my things in there,” said Finch, laughing. “I’ve always loved the Arts Picnic and have been a photographer all my life, so I thought this would be a unique opportunity to be involved with the community.
“I think it’s great that they’re opening it up for the community to participate because it’s such a great event.”
While Snyder and Stan Scott, the gallery’s senior public technician, are willing to display 100 pieces, the gallery usually gets about 70 pieces at most.
“We’ve never had to turn anyone away. I think the biggest year we’ve had was 95 pieces,” Snyder said. “There’s a lot in this small space.”
In addition to exhibiting their work in the gallery, artists are eligible to receive the city’s “Purchase Award,” which allows them to become part of the permanent collection of the Greeley Public Art Program.
“We’ll have two or three pieces that we’ll pick and pay for and put in the city’s permanent art collection to hang in offices and lobbies,” Snyder said. “So every year we buy a few new pieces for the city collection.”
The gallery is hosting an opening reception on Friday, July 29 from 5pm to 7pm for people wanting to get a first look at the exhibition. Attendees will receive light refreshments as well as the opportunity to visit some of the performers.
“One of the nice things about the show is that it really showcases the community’s dynamic and creative community artworks,” commented Scott. “My goal is for each post to look good and what viewers will experience. So when you go in there will be an issue of cohesion.”
The exhibition is scheduled to run until Saturday 3 September.
Admission to the gallery is free and all ages are welcome to visit the exhibition.
“We’re breaking down all barriers to entry and showcasing a variety of looks, styles and mediums,” said Scott. “The more inclusive, the better the show.”
The Tointon Gallery is located at 651 10th Ave. in the first floor lobby of the Greeley Recreation Center. The gallery is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For more information about the Tointon Gallery, Arts Picnic Fine Art Exhibit or upcoming exhibitions and events, visit https://bit.ly/3B53JWn.
While Scott is busy exhibiting pieces at the gallery, the owner and staff of Mariposa Plants and Flowers, 801 8th St., Unit 110 in downtown Greeley are busy organizing the first 8th St. Art Festival.
“We just wanted to bring a few businesses to 8th Street and encourage local artists and craftspeople to be a part of this large community event that wasn’t chosen to be part of the Arts Picnic,” said Mariposa owner Danielle DeVore. “We always want to encourage local artists and craftsmen to be more part of our business, more part of downtown and more part of Greeley, period.”
The arts festival will be held at 8th Street Plaza on Friday, July 29 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Saturday, July 30 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and will feature a variety of local and regional artists and their works.
“Word just got around about the arts festival,” said Bailiff Campbell. “There are very different skills that participate in the festival. We have graphic artists, crocheters, a band, everything like that.”
Artists and vendors participating in the festival are set up on the sidewalks adjacent to the square.
Artists who will take part in the festival include:
- Envisoin Artstore
- Raven and Rabbit Studio
- I’m not sorry Kari
- Babu Tatoo
- The Lavender Archive
The Ginger Cat will also be one of the artists showing work at the festival. The Ginger Cat is a needle craft store located at 1335 8th Ave. in Greeley. In addition to classes in knitting, crocheting, and other needle and thread crafts, the shop offers a space where crafters of all kinds can gather and meet to socialize, work on projects, and share their knowledge and skills with others.
“I stopped by Mariposa one day because I don’t know too much about the downtown neighbors and when I visited they told me about the arts festival,” explained owner Lesli Anderson. “We want people to know we’re just around the corner from here, so this is a great way for us to do that. We will have a few products for sale, but mostly it will be about what we have to offer in the classroom and other things.”
In addition to arts, crafts and supplies, the festival features live music from the Eastside Blue Band.
“We’re hoping to reach the crowd at the Arts Picnic,” DeVore said. “It would be great to extend it to both places in the future. I know there are artists who want to participate in the art picnic but may not have the required amount of products or may have missed the application deadline.”
The 8th St. Festival is free to attend and all ages are welcome.
Space is still available for artists, crafters and vendors interested in attending the 8th St. Festival and those interested can contact Mariposa Plants and Flowers at (970) 356-1684.