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The creative pulse of downtown Breckenridge and a crucial point of community pride, the Breckenridge Arts District is a buzzing hub for workshops and festivals. Thanks to the nonprofit BreckCreate, a full lineup of artistic opportunities are on tap any day of the week. Step into woodworking, get your hands dirty, take a walking tour and dive into Breck’s famous interactive festivals.
Workshops to Try This Summer:
Beginner Ceramics Series
Arts district instructor Melissa Michel invites ceramic newcomers to the studio for this Friday evening drop-in series. The class covers wheel throwing and hand building techniques, wedging, trimming and attachments. Never touched the stuff? That’s ok. Classes begin with a specific skill demonstration followed by guided practice and instructor support. Students progress each week and can expect to learn something new in every class.
Head to the Fuqua Livery Stable for this Tuesday evening beginner-focused series. Learn basic woodworking techniques and how to take a regular piece of wood and transform it into a functional item you’ll use every day, or a simple piece of art for your favorite person.
Aspiring, novice or trained, all artists are welcome to this Friday evening series in the Randall Barn. Brush up on your oil painting skills with hands-on instruction and plenty of fun paints and materials to test out.
Edible Foraging + High Altitude Gardening
Beloved Breckenridge herbalist, yoga instructor and bodyworker, Erica Ragusa of Ambika Herbals leads this Tuesday evening series on edible plants and gardening in the mountains. She breaks the sure-to-be-popular series down into the following topics:
July 2: Marmalade: Ways to eat your weeds and discussion on local edible plants
July 9: Oxymels: Herbal honey featuring herbs from the garden
July 16: Infused Vinegars: Bitter and nutritive herbs with wild crafted herbs
July 23: Soap-making: Lavender garden soap
Second Saturdays for Families
Get creative with your crew the second Saturday of each month from 10am to 1pm. Roam the Breckenridge Arts District campus, beginning with mimosas and exhibits at Old Masonic Hall and move on to the Quandary Antiques Cabin for kids’ crafts that include scratch board window paintings and watercolor carp windsocks.
For the full summer event and workshop lineup, view the BreckCreate summer magazine.
Public Art to Seek Out:
Breckenridge boasts an impressive open-air art collection with dozens of public art displays strategically placed around town. View an interactive map to plot your self-guided tour or pick up a hardcopy map at Old Masonic Hall or the Breckenridge Welcome Center.
Be sure to visit these local favorites:
Find this upcycled futuristic robot near the Riverwalk lawn and bridge. Automotive and industrial steel come together in a larger-than-life statue that stands for creativity and sustainability.
Named for the largest gold nugget ever found in Colorado, this bronze sculpture of a proud miner rests in Prospector Park along Main Street. Rub the nugget for luck and learn a little about local mining history. Stick around and the kids can play on the park or visit the Edwin Carter Discovery Center right along Main Street.
Breckenridge loves the Norse god of skiing and snow so much, we’ve hosted a festival in his honor every year since 1963. Find the valiant steel Ullr sculpture ready to strike along Park Ave.
Art Fests Not to Miss:
BreckCreate’s festivals draw visitors from states away with massive installations, glowing spectacles, music in the trees and much more.
WAVE: Light + Water + Sound – May 30-June 2, 2019
WAVE: Light + Water + Sound has become a multi-day Breckenridge tradition pulsating with art installations and music throughout the Arts District and Blue River Plaza. Play with hundreds of new friends under the large-scale interactive Cloud installation sculpted from 6,000 incandescent light bulbs. Visit the hanging neon sculpture with an interactive Instagram platform and join in the community bike parade—glowing, decorated bikes and costumes encouraged. Four days of fun unfolds with pop-up performances, artist talks, workshops and late-night experiments.
Street Arts: Spangled – July 4, 2019
Breckenridge Creative Arts and the Town of Breckenridge combine forces to host one incredible Independence Day celebration, Street Arts: Spangled. It all kicks off with a bike race and parade and rolls right into a pie-eating contest, dog fashion show, denim bedazzling, chalk art contest and summer games on the Arts District campus.
Breckenridge International Festival of Arts – August 9-18, 2019
In its fifth year, Breckenridge International Festival of Arts (BIFA) explodes on the end-of-summer arts scene in a thrilling lineup of aerial artistry, in-river performances, hike-to concerts, outdoor films, gypsy folk-punk music and the return of the famous troll. Look for eco-minded performances and exhibitions scattered around town and along trails.
Lisa Blake is a regular contributor. The Breckenridge-based freelance writer, editor and mom enjoys researching and sharing stories on health, wellness, dining and the outdoors. Find her work in Breckenridge Magazine, The Purist, 5280.com, and at lisablakecreative.com.