Things to Do

Art Attack

Randy Moore's "Little Art Critic" personifies the spirit of the Cherry Creek Arts Festival.

The Cherry Creek Arts Festival has been going strong for seventeen years, and it's not hard to see why this annual arts event is one of the most competitive juried arts showcases in the country, inviting 232 artists out of more than 2,400 applicants. I attended the fest on Saturday with my mother and my youngest brother, who is sixteen years old. All three of us saw numerous works we'd be happy to carry home, which is an endorsement in and of itself when you consider that although we come from the same family, our tastes are extremely different.

We wandered around the festival for a good couple of hours, sipping lemonade and finding a new cache of treasures every few minutes that one of us simply had to check out. I love arts festivals, but this was my first time at the prestigious CCAF, and I was overwhelmed. I couldn't believe how many booths of magnificent art filled up the space; there were objects of beauty crafted for every type of discerning eye.

Did I buy any? The expense was the only thing I found disappointing about the CCAF, although I anticipated it. On my income, I really can't justify forking over $250 for one of the haunting photos of New Orleans mansions that I fell in love with, or $70 for a gorgeous vase when I don't even have a flower garden. But it was a window shopper's wet dream.

I didn't get a chance to see the touted Australia's Swaypole, and the little live music I heard seemed dull. A handful of people had toted their dogs along, and I couldn't help but feel sorry for the pooches sweltering in the heat while their owners obliviously browsed the booths. My poor brother had a hankering for a real-deal Philly sandwich, but the offerings from Philadelphia Filly were totally weak; he was given a hoagie with a mere sprinkling of meat after a twenty-minute wait. They claimed a Westword Best of Denver award, and I had to wonder what we were thinking, and if the Philly offerings in Denver are really that sad that this place ranked at the top. And Cherry Creek seems empty without my beloved Tattered Cover.

But none of that was important in the face of all the magnificent art to behold. Now I know to start saving up for whatever treasures I might find next year. -- Amber Taufen

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Amber Taufen has been writing about people, places and things in Denver since 2005. She works as an editor, writer, and production and process guru out of her home office in the foothills.
Contact: Amber Taufen