For the love of art

Downtown businesses sponsor annual Artwalk

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Sculptor Don Beeler has sold three pieces in the eight years he's participated in the Downtown Business Association's annual Artwalk.

And, since his bronze and clay sculptures will be displayed in a store owned by the couple who bought them, there's a chance that he'll leave this year with fewer pieces than he came with.

Beeler is one of an estimated 16 artists whose work will be on display from 5 to 9 p.m. Feb. 11 during the 11th annual Artwalk. Residents are invited to stroll the streets of historic downtown Craig to meet local artists and see their work.

The deadline for entries is Feb. 8, so Downtown Business Association President Karen Brown said she's not sure how many artists will display their work in which downtown stores.

There will be artwork in The Giving Tree.

"I'm always surprised by how many people turn out for the event," owner Mary Kay Sherman said.

Beeler's work will be on display in Trinkets, Trash and Treasures. He plans to bring nearly 11 pieces and hopes to finish in time a six-piece, 90-inch sculpture of hunters carrying packs out of the mountain.

He doesn't expect to find many people willing to pay the $4,500 to $6,500 for the sculptures he brings.

"Art doesn't always sell well in Craig," he said.

But, he enjoys the opportunity to meet people and talk about his work.

"People are really inquisitive," Beeler said. "I'll be busy talking all night."

A popular display sponsored by the Colorado Northwestern Community College pottery students will return to The Center of Craig. Students sell chili and hot chocolate and the buyer gets to keep the handmade bowl or cup it comes in. Proceeds help support the pottery program.

Pottery instructor Susan Fredrickson urges participants to arrive early because bowls and mugs go fast.

New to this year's event, KS Creations will offer cookie decorating.

"That should be really fun for the kids especially," Brown said.

Brown isn't sure why the event was started, but she said its continued popularity drives the business association to continue sponsoring it.

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