Nora Larimer

Nora Larimer with “Vernazza, Italy,” her watercolor piece that took home the top prize at the 34th annual Chaffee Arts show.

The revitalized Chaffee Arts non-profit in Buena Vista is looking for artists to participate in the 35th Annual Open Awards Show this May.

In its new expanded location at the Heritage Museum on East Main Street in Buena Vista, this premier art show May 3-15 promises to be bigger and better than ever, say sponsors.

They expect the works of more than 50 artists to be showcased.

The show also features art demonstrations and art sales.

Artists can apply online and submit two entries in any category including oils, watercolor, acrylic, pastels/drawing/printmaking, photography, mixed media 2D and 3D, jewelry, glass, ceramics, sculpture, diber and digital art.

A total of $3,300 in awards will be distributed across 12 categories at the artist reception from 6-8 p.m., May 3, for the Best in Show Award, the Judges Award and Business Choice Awards.

Visitors to the show can also vote for the People’s Choice Award.

Artists do not have to be Chaffee County residents but do need to be members of Chaffee Arts to participate.

“We want to get as many artists to enter as possible,” says Terry Stevens, president of Chaffee Arts, “and of course we want people to come out, relax, enjoy the mountains and be inspired by the art being created here.”

Stevens says the art community in Buena Vista is strong and getting stronger.

“We have a lot of really phenomenal talent here. We have several nationally-known artists making a living with their art here and many others on their way.”

Chaffee Arts (formerly Chaffee Council on the Arts) is in the midst of an exciting rebuilding year. In the past year, membership has more than doubled. The non-profit organization exists to educate and encourage a love of the arts.

“Artists need places to connect and support one another. Our vision is to do everything we can to encourage and support them,” says Stevens.

Buena Vista is a natural draw for artistic types.

“The artists just love being here. They are inspired by the mountains, by the incredible surrounding beauty. It is a picturesque town with great shops, great restaurants. It’s such a great place to live. To create. The river is a big draw. Outdoor adventures are all around. And the people are so friendly,” says Stevens.

Chaffee Arts is a non-profit organization founded in 1985 to engage and celebrate artists in our community. We serve members throughout Chaffee County.

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