What is it about the Alpine ArtAffair that keeps artists and visitors interested? Karen Vance said, “The artists love the warm welcome they receive and the locals love the sense of community the event provides.”  Vance added, “Some say they come to the ArtAffair just to see the friends they’ve been too busy to see all year.” And for Karen Vance, local painter and mentor to many inspiring artists, “I just love the ArtAffair, it is one of my favorite events all year!”

The Winter Park Alpine ArtAffair is a long standing tradition of art and crafts, music and food and camaraderie, but the art itself is the event’s backbone. This juried event brings a high caliber of artists who compete for ribbons, prestige and bragging rights. Photographers, jewelers, painters, sculptors, potters, glass artists, woodworkers and more – all with a never-ending flow of creativity come to this event to compete and sell their work. Other artists offer porcelain, metal work, textile, carving, and candle artistry.

This year marks the 45th Annual Winter Park Alpine ArtAffair and will be held from 9 am to 5 pm, Saturday, July 14, and from 9 am to 4 pm, Sunday, July 15. More than 80 booths will be located in Hideaway Park at the Rendezvous Event Center. Admission is free.

A highlight of the event for most of the patrons is talking with the artists, and learning about their craft.  You can pick up some great tips or ideas to get your creative juices flowing. Grab a card and refer to them later for that special gift or home decor piece for your castle. Many of the artists do custom work. You never know, you might see something you want to purchase next year or even online.

The Alpine ArtAffair is made possible by the efforts of the all-volunteer committee. They glean the best from a wide field of applications and deal with all the details required for an event of this magnitude.

Artist booth and jury fees fund scholarships for local college-bound art students and local arts programs.

There is something for all age groups. Children’s activities include arts and crafts and mini-workshops for the crafty individuals and, of course, free face painting.

Hawkquest returns with rescued birds of prey, giving demonstrations. This is a great opportunity to be up close and personal with amazing raptors and to learn more about their beauty and the part they play in the ecosystem.

Local artists exhibiting their creations at the Alpine ArtAffair this year include Vance, Callie McDermott and Sunnyside Pottery, Rachel Rayburn of Altitude Jewelry, Cathy Rapp and Anne Buel of Red Fleece Studios, painters Deborah Loftness and Jeffrey Bartholomew, photographer Gary Piper, Stanley Loftness of Sunrise Flutes, and Katie and Rob Plutt of Plutt Designs, LLC.

Returning veterans of the creative showcase include photographer Roger Doak (15+ years) and Rocky Stiers of Stiers Jewelry Designs (25+ years).

The Alpine ArtAffair is also excited to welcome a dozen new artists this year, but on a sad note, one less; potter John Burnett (20+-year veteran) of Burnett’s Pottery passed away in December, 2017. “He will be greatly missed, as I know he had a local following of patrons,” said Cheryl Day, board president and event coordinator since 2008.

This is the third year for the Alpine ArtAffair’s new schedule and location at the Rendezvous Event Center at Hideaway Park. With its own weekend (instead of during JazzFest), the Alpine Art Affair is one of the main events this weekend in the Fraser Valley. The board has been excited about these changes and the public has been very receptive to them.

The music of Weston Smith (Saturday), and Red Dirt Hill (Sunday), is set to intermingle with the creative vibes along the grassy walkways through the park, starting at 2 pm each day. Meanwhile, children’s face painting and community and charitable booths are also planned (including ones from Grand County Wilderness and Grand County Advocates). The Lions Club is set to flip flapjacks for breakfast 7:30-11 am both mornings, with other food vendors to include Smokin’ Moe’s, Rocky Mountain Lemonshakes and White Water Kettle Corn.

Come early, have breakfast, stroll through the park and be stimulated with art and entertainment; visit with the artists and your friends. And possibly take home a one-of-a-kind piece of art that speaks to that creative part of your soul.