A summer staple for art lovers

Art Students League of Denver’s Summer Art Market returns Aug. 28-29

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Local artist Lauri Dunn has discovered a whole world of interesting insects through her art.

Her favorite is the praying mantis, she said. This is because of their “fun-looking heads,” Dunn added.

Dunn, of Denver’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, is a photographer and digital artist who creates abstract art pieces by digitally editing photographs of insects. She is one of nearly 100 artists participating in this year’s Summer Art Market — an event put on annually by the Art Students League of Denver.

“I’m looking forward to doing shows again,” Dunn said, adding that in normal years, 90% of her art income comes from selling her work at art fairs. This is the third year for Dunn to participate in the Summer Art Market. “It feels so good to be out and talking with people. I enjoy seeing the familiar faces and meeting new people.”

This is the 28th year for the Summer Art Market, which takes place on Aug. 28 and 29. It was canceled last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are excited to bring back the Summer Art Market,” said Harry Utter, event chair, in a news release, “as it is an opportunity to highlight the work of artists and share the mission of the Art Students League of Denver.”

The ASLD is a nonprofit arts organization that got its start in 1987. Today, it annually serves about 14,000 students of all abilities and ages through its various community engagement programs, and its fine arts classes, workshops, teen studios and summer camps.

“Something we’re passionate about,” said Tessa Crisman, communications specialist with the ASLD, “is that art is real work, and artists should get paid for it.”

What is unique about the Summer Art Market is that it showcases all the mediums that people can a take a course on at the ASLD, Crisman said. These mediums are ceramics, fiber arts, mixed media/book art, painting, drawing, photography, printmaking, jewelry and sculpture. All will be represented at the Summer Art Market, Crisman said.

Additionally, the Summer Art Market, which is a juried show, highlights the ASLD community, Crisman said. Each participating artist has some sort of tie to the ASLD, whether they be a member, volunteer, faculty or student, she said.

“The Summer Art Market is a staple of so many peoples’ summer,” Crisman said. “While the art market is different each year, it’s a touchstone that people always remember.”

Joe Higgins, a monotype artist and ASLD faculty member who lives in the Sloan Lake area, believes people in the Denver area like to decorate their homes with unique art.

But they especially enjoy being able to meet the local artist who created it, Higgins added.

The Summer Art Market has earned the reputation of being a good show to attend to buy art, Higgins said, and added there will be affordable price points for everyone.

Higgins has participated in at least 25 Summer Art Markets and he expects there will be a lot of positive energy at this year’s event.

“This show is focused on art,” Higgins said. “For us artists, it helps knowing that people who come (to it) are generally looking for art. It’s the type of show all artists want to do.”

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