Telluride Arts and Architecture Weekend in Full Swing

Telluride Arts and Architecture Weekend in Full Swing

IMG_5132Behind every work of art there is a story. At Telluride Arts and Architecture Weekend’s kickoff party Wednesday night, it was clear that this festival is about uncovering the stories behind Telluride – or at least behind the clothes, food, homes, and theater that are made here.

The party gave an introduction to what this weekend is about and included edgy skits led by Colin Sullivan and Josh Landis; drinks crafted by Andrew Tyler and Ben Knaus of There; music by DJ Ryan; and a fashion show showcasing clothes by local designers Danielle DeRoberts, Melissa Sumpter, Alexander (Sasha) Golovenenko and Brittany Anne Miller.

Two things struck me after the Wednesday night opener: For such an athletic town, we have a lot of fashion shows, and it is incredible how much art is created here. The weekend tagline could be “MADE IN TELLURIDE”.

The idea is that after the opening party, those participating in the weekend will visit the artists, chefs, and architects in their studios and restaurants to understand and experience their work more intimately; it’s a chance to learn their stories. Friday afternoon open houses focused on the valley’s artists and architects, Saturday focuses on the town’s culinary geniuses, and Sunday on local homes.

If you were walking around town Friday afternoon, you may have recognized rectangular, silver-framed signs with a number encased in a maroon circle. You may have also noticed small music duos playing and happy patrons perusing studios with a glass of wine. Keep looking for these signs throughout the weekend as they indicate participating venues and artists. It’s like a little treasure hunt, and you are rewarded with appetizers, wine, an artist or architect, and sometimes music, at each venue on the path.

I followed Friday’s path and found Melange, a boutique on Main Street that showcases the clothes and art of a collection of different artists, as a highlight. An exhibit called “String Theory” is strung throughout the space intended to “take the viewer on a journey through the ties that bind,” and the Melange designers and artists were on hand to interact with visitors.

One such artist, Danielle DeRoberts, a designer whose label Onerary was featured Wednesday night at the fashion show, and is available in Melange, discussed her inspiration and her label.

“Onerary, means ‘in a dreamlike state,’” she said uncovering her forearm, “see I have it as a tattoo.” DeRoberts wore a tailored white ¾IMG_5139 length coat with a silver design printed on the back. She explained that she liked the idea of a dreamlike state and chose it after her mom passed away. “I wanted to represent her and connect to her through my design,” she said.

Like a dream, DeRoberts clothes are whimsical and look mystical on her petite frame. Her painting series is displayed in an adjoining room and also encompasses a fantastical flair.

Fellow artist, Meghan McCormick, was also on hand displaying the reusable diapers she makes and giving out samples of the iced tea she crafted. Watching people peruse the store, she commented, “This is more people than we’ve ever had in here.” She paused then added, “Granted, we’ve only been open two months.”

As if on cue, fellow designer Brittany Anne Miller walked up to inform McCormick that she sold two of the blouses she designed.

The spirit of Melange appeared to be the spirit the weekend wants to capture. You felt these women would be creating and celebrating whether anyone was watching or visiting. Pure and simple, this is what they did. And you felt you were visiting an artist’s studio versus a store. And, yes, sipping wine, dishing with artists, and viewing beautiful clothes and art does lead to spending money.

The intimate visits continued East on Main Street, where I visited Sefra Maples Interior Design Studio and spoke with painters William Eckert, who listens to John Coltrain before he paints, and Regina Ciarfella, who includes bees in much of her work and commented on the magic of a “spoonful of honey”.

Following the maroon and silver trail West, I visited Tommy Hein’s architectural studio and viewed one of Hein’s designs currently being built in the Mountain Village. Local architect, Jim Berkowitz, whose office was also on the tour, was visiting Hein. “The most traffic we’ve had today is other design professionals,” one of Hein’s architects, Stacy Lake noted. “It’s a cool opportunity to get out and see other work spaces and projects and see what other people are doing.”

IMG_5130The Art and Architecture Weekend continues through Saturday with a culinary tour and Sunday with a home tour. Saturday Cosmopolitan, Flavor Telluride, New Sheridan Chop House, La Marmotte, and Arroyo will host local artists and musicians and offer inventive samplers from each restaurant’s respective chef. A pairing not be missed is the food from the Chop House’s Erich Owen, with the art and presence of Telluride’s iconic painter Roger Mason, and the sweet vocals of musician Taylor Clay.

To learn the stories and meet the people behind the vibrant arts scene in Telluride, you just have to follow the maroon and silver road. Grab a ticket, taste some food, sip some wine, and engage in intimate conversations with the creative forces of Telluride. At the end of it all, your opinion counts. Weekend participants have the opportunity to vote for an artist who will win the Audience Choice Prize, $5000 cash, and a full-page ad in Luxe Magazine.

For more information on the venues, featured chefs, artists, and homes teed up for Saturday and Sunday see TIO’s recent article, or go check Telluride Arts website. Gallery 81435 and Telluride Arts on Fir Street are the Festival’s basecamps.

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