Feedback from the visit of Estes Park studios | Spotlight on the Estes valley

The Studio Tour is in less than a month. The event offers residents and guests the opportunity to visit home studios: additions, modifications and rooms converted into manufacturing spaces. What would you do with a creative space? What tools do you want to play and explore?

This is the fifth year of the Tour. Each year features a combination of returning artists and new discoveries. There are three new artists on the Tour this year: stone jewelry artist Alice League; multimedia artist Annie Finley; and jewelry and knife silversmith (and turquoise lover) Erin O’Donovan.

League is a local jeweler whose work may be familiar to the Estes Park Art Center. She takes cut and polished semi-precious stones and designs a setting using 14k gold or sterling silver wire. The result is wire-wrapped pendants, bracelets and earrings with solid stones as the center of attention. League will be a guest artist of Susan Anderson in Little Valley.

Finley is also a local artist who some may be familiar with from her winter home sales. She works in watercolor, photography and mixed media. His love of nature and his avid travels influence the colors and culture represented in his work. European villages and Parc d’Estes are both reflected in his work. Memorable moments abroad and local spaces we know and love are depicted on maps, prints and plaque holders. Doing and creating can only happen in a ‘play space’, its whimsical angels are constructed from a variety of materials and delicious trial and error.

O’Donovan is the owner and designer of Independent Mountain Jewelry Co. in the Netherlands. Its rural, rustic setting in the deep woods of the Rockies inspires its jewelry and encrusted knives. She makes wearable and valuable art in silver and stones, mostly turquoise. She takes money and stones, draws ideas, consults with clients (some of her pieces are custom orders for weddings and gifts), cuts with a lapidary saw, jumps, polishes, polishes … her nails are definitely in tatters! Her work is a celebration of imperfections and the unpredictability of materials. O’Donovan will be new to most visitors; she will be the guest of Karen McPherson, also in Little Valley.

Ten local artists will open their studios to demonstrate their arts and crafts process: from driftwood constructions and furniture to oil paintings and energetic murals. The Estes Park Studio Tour takes place on Saturday and Sunday September 18 and 19. Visitors can choose the route that best suits you; visit one studio or all ten. Some places are right next to the highway; others are on a dirt road. Printed cards will be available two weeks before the event at Kind Coffee, Lumpy Ridge Brewing, and Bird & Jim Restaurant. There is a lot of information about the artists, examples of their work and an interactive map on

This event is founded and funded by artists. The aim is to provide locals and guests with the opportunity to meet their creative neighbors, see the process of making and purchase art. Real estate agent Heidi Riedesel, Aspen Brook Vacation Rentals, Dr Daniel Rauk, the East Arts District, Bird & Jim Restaurant and Kind Coffee provide additional support.

Long live Creative Culture!

About Bernard Kraft

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