Winter art and wonder

Barbara Lawlor, Gilpin County.  The whole purpose of art is to have people see it, appreciate its creativity, composition and pleasing color. Each year, the Gilpin Elementary School has a Winter Arts Festival, in which student art is hung on the walls and school choirs entertain, a few weeks before winter break. There is a reception for the artists, musicians and their families, but it doesn’t end there.


When the artwork has had its allotted time to be on display, it is plucked off the walls, put into boxes and carried to the Gilpin County Recreation Center where it is hung again; this time for the many shoppers that will stream into the center looking for good deals. The Annual Gilpin County Arts and Music Festival was underway on Saturday, as shoppers poured into the GCR looking for deals, treasures and the perfect gift for a favorite aunt.


Vendors filled the gym with their handmade wares; a few dogs on leashes greeted people at the entry, looking hopefully into visitor’s faces. Will you take me home? Will you be my forever person?


The Friends of Charlie’s Place, the animal shelter in Clear Creek County, attended the event with a few handsome dogs and volunteers, hoping to touch someone’s heart.


In the senior dining room, breakfast burritos and chili were served, and large sugar cookies begged to be decorated with as many sprinkles and chocolate chips, and as much frosting and peppermint, as they could hold.


The sound of Christmas music drifted up from the gym to the track on the second floor. Looking over the edge, one could watch the vendors and shoppers mingle, a pleasant buzz of conversation flowing out of the gym, up the stairs and into the hallways.


A climbing wall challenged the athletic, agile kids to spend a little energy going vertical instead of horizontal.


The balloon lady from Gilpin County took custom orders as she pulled and twisted skinny balloons that she filled with a hand pump. No plumping of cheeks for her.


She and her father worked together, she created delightful creatures and he created soothing aloe salves and creams for the skin.

Shoppers left satisfied, one step closer to the gift-giving deadline, and vendors counted their cash, another holiday season headed to its end. Time to get busy for the summer art fair season.



(Originally published in the December 14, 2017 print edition of The Mountain-Ear.)

Barbara Lawlor

Barbara is a reporter for The Mountain-Ear.