Downtown Greeley is in turmoil with the 43rd annual Arts Picnic, the first 8th Street Art Fest and the return of the Community Fine Arts exhibition at the Tointon Gallery – 71Bait

The 43rd annual Greeley Arts Picnic kicked off Saturday under a sunny sky in Lincoln Park in downtown Greeley with more than 160 artists and craftspeople presenting a variety of work from photography and pottery to custom drinking horns and salsa.

Tom Segura, owner of TS Designs in Eaton, brought out a variety of his custom photomat work, frames and other creations.

“We did it really well. It was always a good show for us. It was really busy,” Segura said. “We do a lot of customization, but we’ve brought a variety of stuff that people wear.”

And that’s exactly what the event did. The walkways surrounding the Art Picnic were packed with visitors perusing the various merchandise, chatting with artists, listening to live music, and enjoying treats from food and beverage vendors, including Grammy’s Goodies and Old Tyme Concessions.

GREELEY, CO – JULY 30: Artwork at the TS Designs booth is on display during the annual Greeley Arts Picnic at Lincoln Park in downtown Greeley on July 30, 2022. The event features performances, exhibitions by local artists, food and activities for children. (Alex McIntyre/Staff Photographer)

Longmont wildlife photographer Fi Rust is a four-time art picnic host. Photos mounted in various formats lined the walls of their booth, including a stunning photo of a 1,200 pound bear, while frosted prints were neatly stacked in crates waiting for visitors to browse through.

“I’ve been doing this for over 30 years, in the days of film and manual focus. I come from an artistic background, so I’m very picky about how I arrange everything,” Rust said. “Most people never get to see some of these animals. I am thankful every day that I found this passion. I’ve had animals come up to me and sit next to me and it’s a privilege that they let us into their lives.”

Young people of all ages could flex their artistic muscles at the Kids Creation Station. The station offered various craft projects such as bag dolls, garden bouquets and coloring sheets.

GREELEY, CO - JULY 30:Visitors walk through rows of booths during the annual Greeley Arts Picnic at Lincoln Park in downtown Greeley on July 30, 2022.  The event features performances, exhibitions by local artists, food and activities for children.  (Alex McIntyre/Staff Photographer)
GREELEY, CO – JULY 30: Visitors walk through rows of booths during the annual Greeley Arts Picnic at Lincoln Park in downtown Greeley on July 30, 2022. The event features performances, exhibitions by local artists, food and activities for children. (Alex McIntyre/Staff Photographer)

While strolling past the vendors’ tents and enjoying the warm summer sun, visitors could view artworks by parishioners at the Arts Picnic Fine Art Exhibit at the Tointon Gallery, located in the first floor lobby of the Greeley Recreation Center, 651 10th St .

“This is the only time of the year when it’s really a collective show. So once a year we have everyone in Weld County submit an artwork,” said Kim Snyder, public arts coordinator. “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.”

The exhibition features a variety of different types of artwork including fiber art, sculpture, collage and more by artists of all ages.

GREELEY, CO - JULY 30: Artwork is on display at the Art Picnic art exhibit at the Tointon Gallery in downtown Greeley on July 30, 2022.  (Alex McIntyre/Photographer)
GREELEY, CO – JULY 30: Artwork is on display at the Arts Picnic Fine Art Exhibit at the Tointon Gallery in downtown Greeley on July 30, 2022. (Alex McIntyre/Photographer)

The exhibition runs until Saturday 3 September and admission is free.

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.

The artworks weren’t just limited to the Art Picnic and Tointon Gallery.

The first 8th Street Art Fest began Friday night during the Friday Fest at 8th Street Plaza and lasted until 5 p.m. on Saturday.

GREELEY, CO - JULY 30:A goat named Honey looks at the camera at the Dawn Til Dusk Farm booth at the 8th Street Arts Festival at 8th Street Plaza in downtown Greeley on July 30, 2022. The event was held concurrently with the Greeley Arts Picnic allows more local artists to take part in the celebrations.  (Alex McIntyre/Staff Photographer)
GREELEY, CO – JULY 30: A goat named Honey looks at the camera at the Dawn Til Dusk Farm booth at the 8th Street Arts Festival at 8th Street Plaza in downtown Greeley on July 30, 2022. The event coincides with the Greeley Arts Picnic, allowing more local artists to participate in the celebrations. (Alex McIntyre/Staff Photographer)

The event, organized by Danielle Devore, owner of Mariposa Plants and Flowers, and her staff gave local artists and craftsmen the opportunity to display their work and products outside of the art picnic.

Dawn Swanbom, owner of Dawn til Dusk Gifts from the Farm, had two 4-month-old goats at her booth alongside her lotions, creams and other products. Swanbom uses the goat’s milk to make the products.

Swanbom has previously been a vendor at the Art Picnic but was unable to attend both the Saturday and Sunday events this year. The new 8th Street Art Fest gave her a chance to still come out and showcase her products without having to commit to the full weekend.

“It’s fantastic. I hope they’ll be able to grow this and grow on the other side of the square,” Swanbom said. “There’s so much to learn at events like this. And that gives people a chance to learn.”

GREELEY, CO - JULY 30:Ren Noffsinger speaks to the grandstand at the 8th Street Arts Festival at 8th Street Plaza in downtown Greeley on July 30, 2022. The event, held concurrently with the Greeley Arts Picnic, makes it possible more local artists to take part in the celebrations.  (Alex McIntyre/Staff Photographer)
GREELEY, CO – JULY 30: Ren Noffsinger speaks to the grandstand at the 8th Street Arts Festival at 8th Street Plaza in downtown Greeley on July 30, 2022. The event, held concurrently with the Greeley Arts Picnic, makes it possible more local artists to take part in celebrations. (Alex McIntyre/Staff Photographer)

Seated at a small card table under a canopy, 16-year-old Ren Noffsinger busily worked on her beaded jewelry while chatting up passers-by. The art festival was an opportunity for the young lady to showcase her work in a public setting without having to pay high selling fees or have a set amount of produce.

“Everything is handmade by me. I use very small and very minimal beads, but I also do very large projects,” she said. “This is the first time I’ve done a show like this. It really helps because we don’t have to compete with it. It’s all very local, very small. It is great. It gives local artists who may not have the funds to attend the art picnic a space to display and sell their work.”

If you missed Saturday’s celebrations, the Greeley Arts Picnic will continue on Sunday from 10am to 4pm. Admission and parking are free, and all ages are welcome.

For more information, see https://bit.ly/3qo6kD7.

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