Artwalk colors downtown

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As winter tightens its grasp on Northwest Colorado and activities are at a minimum, the Downtown Business Association is hosting an event that provides respite to those with combatting bouts of cabin fever.

For the seventh straight year, downtown business owners are hosting the Downtown Craig Artwalk.

Artists of every medium display their work in Yampa Avenue businesses, giving residents the chance to get out, meet people and admire the talent of local artists.

The Artwalk will be from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Feb. 9.

"People get to see a lot of artwork without having to look for it," said Linda Booker, event organizer. "Plus it's good timing. There's nothing going on for close to two months and people are ready to get out. It's a social event."

Cold weather doesn't stop people from coming out by the hundreds. The event usually draws nearly 250 people from Craig and the surrounding areas.

"It's very successful. We're seeing more and more people coming from Steamboat Springs for the Artwalk," Booker said.

The event's first year boasted the greatest participation, despite sub-zero temperatures.

Twenty to 25 businesses participate, displaying the creations of nearly 40 artists. Mediums range from watercolors and acrylics to stained glass and carving.

This year's event will have two special features. There will be a glass-blowing demonstration at the Museum of Northwest Colorado, and for the second year, pottery students at Colorado Northwestern Community College will be selling soup in handcrafted pottery bowls at The Center of Craig.

"Basically we started partially to bring people downtown and partially to promote local artists," Booker said.

The event is always held on the Saturday before Valentine's Day.

"I think people are just ready to do something by then," Booker said.

The exposure is a benefit to participating artists. Watercolor artist Sis Pell has displayed her work during the Artwalk since the event's inception.

"I love to get out and meet people," she said. "This gives you a good chance to go out and visit people and show your artwork at the same time. There aren't many places to show artwork around here anymore."

Artists who have not been contacted to participate are urged to call Booker at 824-0032 to sign up. Organizers hope to see several new artists join the annual event.

"It seems like it gets better each year, and people come from all over," Sis said. "It gets your art out and your name out. It really helps artists."

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