PROMOTER: Fine Arts Guild of the Rockies

FEES: Jury $35, Booth $400 on Zapplication


MEDIUM: Leather (equine, canine, personal)

PRICE RANGE: $3-$4150


This was the 23rd annual Art Market of Estes Park. You can apply to the show on Zapp. The jury fee is $35 and standard booth fee is $400. The application deadline and notification are in March.



Estes Park is the eastern gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park.  Access from Denver and I-25 is by US-34 through Big Thompson Canyon or US-36 up the St. Vrain River.  Check the weather and road reports (www.cotrip.org). Trail Ridge Road crosses the mountains in the National Park, and the resort areas of Granby, Grand Lake and Winter Park are on the west side.  The road is usually opened Memorial Day weekend.    

“Parks” in Colorado refer to broad intermountain valleys.  You have all probably heard of South Park.  There are also North Park, Middle Park, Allenspark etc. Estes Park is one of these valleys at an elevation of 7,522’. Mountain weather can be unpredictable, and this is true of Estes Park.  It was all nice all three days with only brief afternoon showers followed by sunshine. There were a couple strong gusts of wind in the afternoon.

There are many summer homes around Estes Park and in the

foothills.  The area is a destination for metro Denver residents and both national and international tourists.  The crowd is middle class, many families with pre-teen kids, lots of dogs.  

     This year Trial Ridge Road over the mountains in Rock Mountain National Park was not opened on Memorial Day because of a late snowstorm. Also, there was street construction immediately west of Bond Park through the commercial area of Estes Park. Both affected attendance at this year’s show.  



     Setup started around 9:30-10:00 Friday morning. For most of the

Time you could drive to your site, unload and get out of the area. Ninety booths are arranged around Bond Park, and in and along the City Hall parking area. All booths are on hard surfaces.  A few special considerations about doing this show are altitude sickness if you are a “flatlander” and presence of wildlife: elk, deer, bears and the smaller critters. There was a designated trailer parking area with a shuttle back to the show. Take Down is similar after taxes were paid at 3:00 pm on Monday.



I have done the Estes Park Art Market eleven times since 2009. It started as a solid $2K sales show for me and in most years, sales were mid-$3K. Weather affected this year’s crowd and sales. Saturday started off with good sales but the wind came up and the temperature and crowd dropped. Some artists left the show Saturday when the wind came up and others were gone Sunday. This was typical spring weather in the Colorado mountains. Rather than a three-day show, the wind reduced it to a two-day show. My total sales with post show custom orders was mid $2K, my average sale was $58 and my margin was way down to 30%. I plan to return as this is usually a mid $3K show. Belts with utility buckles were my biggest seller followed by a mix of other leather goods: holsters, dog collars, checkbooks, and billfolds. Some sales were post show custom orders billed when completed.

The mediums were heavy on wall art (photography and 2-D) and jewelry but with diversity. There were about 2-3 artists in mediums of leather, ceramics, fabrics, wood, metal, and mixed media. I have a following at this show with returning clients and it was great to see clients who needed more adjustment holes in their belts.



     There was coffee and goodies every morning and a goodie bag with snacks for several days. There are clean accessible rest rooms in the City Hall and there was overnight security.  Food vendors are present.  There was a silent auction of donated art, and a high percentage of artists donated work. I donated with proceeds going to high school scholarships.



     Art shows in Colorado resort areas are mini vacations out of the studio. We have found it is less expensive to rent a modern cabin or condo in the area which in some cases are less expensive than motels. We eat in to save money. We rented a house with our daughter and family from western slope CO. The two grandkids helped with setup, take down and sales. Each was paid $100 for the weekend.

When sales were slow, I greeted and photographed many dogs who liked the attention.

     Estes Park has three major shows during the summer and fall. Rotary produces the Estes Park Art and Craft Show Labor Day weekend in September, and the Fine Arts Guild of the Rockies produces the Art Market Memorial Day weekend and the Arts and Crafts Festival in mid-September. There are other weekend events in the community.



Votes: 0
E-mail me when people leave their comments –

You need to be a member of Art Fair Insiders to add comments!

Join Art Fair Insiders


This reply was deleted.