Member of the Month - Alpine Arts Center

Posted on July 05, 2017

Eagle River Youth Coalition Alpine Arts provides a happy refuge for budding artists of any and all ages. With two new spaces located in the Riverwalk near Slifer Designs, there's truly something for everyone.

Owner, founder and artist Lauren Merrell opened the original space a few years ago to encourage the community to create art - there were a lot of art galleries but no place for amateur artists to create, explore and learn.

Over the years Alpine Arts has grown and become an integral part of the community, offering classes for preschoolers, teens and adults in myriad of disciplines.

When I stopped by, two little girls were engrossed in painting their canvas while grandma had a sweet break, teens were working on a larger art project and the staff was readying for a large project to take place later in the day in Beaver Creek. The vibe in this inviting, bustling space is relaxed with plenty of inspiration.

"The new space is great," Lauren shares. "It's nice to see people walking in and it's easier to let people know about the programs, so we can offer more programs."

New programs are happening all the time, Lauren adds. For adults, Alpine Arts is starting a Tuesday specialty series. For $5 you can learn a new technique (think painting with wax, a specific glazing technique or dying silk scarves). You're welcome to stay to try it out or take your newfound prowess home and work on it there. There's 'the very popular cocktails-and-canvases classes as well as private lessons and even corporate retreats.

Adults don't have all the fun, though. Alpine Arts is one of the few organizations that caters to the youngest artists among us too - with camps for kids ages 3 and up. "My 3-year-old recently got to attend the summer camp. There are such limited options for summer camps for toddlers! The Alpine Arts staff was patient and had a lot of energy with the little ones. The projects that they created incorporated learning and fun, and their new Riverwalk space along the river path is beautiful! Alpine Arts camp has been a highlight of our summer," says Michelle Stecher, executive director of the Eagle River Youth Coalition.

The camps, located at the Riverwalk by the river and amphitheater, run either half day or full day for a week and have a theme for the kids to focus on, whether it's nature or painting or creating runway fashions.

There aren't many places that welcome toddlers and teens but Alpine Arts created an airy nook for specialized teen camps. "The teen program is a week commitment for most. These are more-specialized camps, with plein air painting or mosaics throughout the week. It's more intensive," Lauren adds.

For those of us who don't feel worthy of any art space - well that's hogwash. "We're open for drop ins to come and create a project on the spot. You don't have to be an artist to drop by," Lauren says.

Local artists display, and sell, their work too for those looking for something super special and unique, she adds.

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Eagle River Youth Coalition - Making Youth a Community Priority
Physical Address: 34520 US Highway 6, C10 | Edwards, CO 81632
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 4613 | Edwards, CO 81632
Phone: 970.949.9250 |
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