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Salida Colorado Art Events

Art and Salida are synonymous. Our Central Colorado mountain town was recognized as one of the top three small art towns in Colorado and among the nation’s top 30 in “The 100 Best Small Art Towns in America,” by John Villani.

A stroll along the quaint downtown streets quickly reveals the reason why—galleries, restaurants, and shops display a plethora of artistic pieces, from the curious to the creative. The compact downtown, designated as Colorado’s largest historic downtown area, is easily walkable…and quite enjoyable.

Want to be inspired on a larger scale? Then be sure to stop by the annual Salida Art Walk, a 3-day art celebration held every year in late June. This event brings out both the locals and visitors who pack the streets, enjoying the sights and sounds of the visual and performing arts showcased in downtown Salida. More than 12 art galleries and hundreds of exhibitors are typically on hand to display their wares. Each year brings an even bigger and better art-filled weekend in which nationally known artists, sculptors, and jewelers present their unique creations.

Other Art Venues Nearby

Buena Vista has a growing artist community and artistic presence as well. In early July, the town hosts “Art in the Park,” an event that showcases arts and crafts of regional artists. The venue is held by the lake in Buena Vista’s McPhelemy Park. For details, call (719) 395-8761. Later in the year—in mid-December—the Buena Vista Holiday Artwalk brings a weekend of art, music, and holiday cheer to the downtown streets of Buena Vista.

Also in Buena Vista, the 1883 Courthouse Gallery and Museum features works of artists of Chaffee County Council on the Arts (CCCA) with exhibits that change on a regular basis. During the summer season, the Courthouse Gallery is open seven days a week. The Arkansas Valley Art Center, a division of CCCA, recently moved to a new facility on the Colorado Mountain College campus in Buena Vista, where it hosts art shows, events, and workshops. This Center focuses on the visual arts and in addition to its role in promoting the work of its member artists, plans to develop and provide educational art classes for the regional youth. The Center is located at 27900 CR 319, Buena Vista, CO, and can be contacted by phone: (719) 395-8372.  

For those who don’t get their fill of Chaffee County artwork over the summer, be sure to visit the Chaffee County Open Awards Art Show. Held in early Fall, this event features the competing works of local artists.

Besides these annual events, there are ongoing art displays at some of the businesses in downtown Salida. One such place is Pueblo Bank and Trust (PBT) on F Street. The PBT exhibition is sponsored by Art of the Rockies and CCCA.

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All content ©1998-2020 and Monty Content written by Rita Washko (RMW Enterprises), technical and science writer.