Log In

Reset Password
Arts and Entertainment

Your favorite fall festival is here

Brenda Macon

What are a few of your favorite things? Forget raindrops on kittens or dashboards and mittens. I don’t remember how that old song goes, but I do know that Starbucks nailed it with pumpkin everything because we all fall hard for autumn. This weekend, you can come have all the autumn feels at the 29th Annual Durango Autumn Arts Festival from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday along East Second Avenue. The smells, the flavors, the way the shadowed areas of the street are cold and the sunny patches are toasty – they’re all delicious and cozy.

One hundred carefully selected artists from across the country are bringing you a chance to get your holiday shopping done early before it’s an obligatory rush. Shop while it’s lovely and you can breathe in the crisp air, see beautiful things you’ve never seen before, meet friends and take your sweet time. The jewelry, paintings, pottery, textiles, glass, sculptures and rugs are all unique, made by hand, and represent thousands of hours of trade, skill, talent and love. There are local artists, too: Durango’s own Tad Smith won best of show in fine art last year with his abstract and whimsical paintings of faces. I call Cindy Coleman (Duck Girl Art) the Queen of the Clouds because she has masterfully re-created the movement and color of inspiring skyscapes. Sara Gump (Gumpshawphotos) photographs iconic images of the Southwest and presents them on canvas. These are just three local examples of many. From out of town, Mel Mendez will be back with his intricately woven rugs that took in the best of show in fine craft last year. Lana Dura creates felted rugs out of four-horned Navajo-Churro Sheep wool, one of the most important animals from this region that have been lovingly saved from near extinction.

Art brings people together. Some years ago, I discovered that two of the festival artists who had neighboring booths actually fell in love and got married! Every year since then, they celebrate this festival as their anniversary. This event is the largest regional celebration of life, love, the power of creative expression, and of some ancient and fascinating artforms you won’t see anywhere else.

In the theater
  • “The Odd Couple, the Female Version,” 7:30 p.m. Sept. 22-23 and 29-30; 2 p.m. Sept. 23-24 and Sept. 30-Oct. 1.. Tickets $20/$10
  • Adult Improv Showcase Class, four weekly sessions begin Sept. 27, 6:30-8:30 p.m.; show date Oct. 20. $100/$60 for student, teacher and service discount.
  • Silent Sundays with Swanson, 2 p.m. Oct. 22.
  • “Rocky Horror Show,” 7 p.m. Oct. 27-29, 31, Nov. 3-5; 10 p.m. Oct. 28 and Nov. 4.
Art classes and gallery events
  • 29th Annual Durango Autumn Arts Festival, Sep. 16 & 17, along E. 2nd Ave.
  • “That’s So Durango!” art exhibit, open through Sept. 19.
  • Call to Artists for submissions: “The Night Gallery, A Terrifyingly Creative Community Exhibit,” see website to submit work.
  • Artisan’s Market, open noon-6 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday.
  • Adult and youth art and theater classes fall online registrations now open.
Special Arts Week Adult Classes:
  • Slump Glass Bottle Cheese Trays, 2:30 and 4:30 p.m. Sept. 19.
  • Basic Jewelry Making Techniques, 2:30 and 4:30 p.m. Sept. 20.
  • Intro to Adobe Lightroom, 10:30 a.m. Sept. 21.
  • Pots & Pints, 4:30 Sept. 22. Mad Hatter teacups. $35.
  • Intro to Wildlife Photography, 10:30 a.m. Sept. 23.
  • Figure Drawing of Dynamic Dogs, 1 and 3 p.m. Sept. 23.

Email info@durangoarts.org Buy tickets, donate, become a member and register for classes at DurangoArts.org.

Brenda Macon has been executive director of Durango Arts Center since 2018.