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Popular festival is all about affordable art

All fine arts and crafts will be $100 or less

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The scene will be colorful and crowded as 150 artists from Colorado and the nation set up on Arapahoe Community College’s west lawn for the Affordable Arts Festival, which takes place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 27.

Rows of tents will be filled with examples of fine arts and crafts selling for $100 or less. Included will be some smaller sized works — and some larger ones that have perhaps been in the artist’s inventory for some period of time.

Art lovers will want to get up early and buy an admission ticket for $10, (children admitted free). Proceeds go entirely to the ACC Foundation for scholarships for art students, among others. Tickets are also available online.

Jim DeLutes, who has directed the Denver Arts Festival on Memorial Day weekend since 2007, saw a successful event like the Affordable Arts Festival elsewhere and decided to bring the idea to Colorado. The appeal to artists is the potential for selling a lot of art — such as a painting once priced at $4,000 — in a few hours, he said.

People start lining up two or three hours in advance for tickets, in hopes of scoring a real deal, DeLutes said, so there will be an entertainer on hand as well as a coffee cart. Later on, food trucks also will be there for shoppers who have an attack of the munchies.

Denver artist Tate Hamilton will have a space to display and sell his paintings, created with just five colors on his palette. He shows at sales nationally. A former musician, he recalls watching an artist paint at a fair he attended with his parents when a young child and thinking it was a cool way to earn a living. His parents bought several works by this artist while Hamilton registered that this was a possible way to build a life.

South suburban-area artists involved include Patricia Barr Clark of Highlands Ranch; Tracy Haines, Littleton; and Peggy Crago, Englewood. Paintings, drawings, sculpture, prints, ceramics, jewelry and items crafted from wood and glass will be exhibited and sold at the 2017 Affordable Arts Festival.

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