Orchard Fest returns to old Westminster

Even without home, South Westminster Arts Group hosts annual festival

Posted 9/10/18

The South Westminster Art Group doesn’t need a building to host their signature end of summer festival, group President Jana Boutwell said. “We’re doing okay,” Boutwell said. “We’re just …

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Orchard Fest returns to old Westminster

Even without home, South Westminster Arts Group hosts annual festival

Posted

The South Westminster Art Group doesn’t need a building to host their signature end of summer festival, group President Jana Boutwell said.

“We’re doing okay,” Boutwell said. “We’re just hanging in there but we can do our activities. We don’t need a place to do that.”

The arts group will be back downtown Sept. 15 for the Orchard Festival, featuring live music, a beer garden and fun and games for kids.

“Mainly, we’ve been busy getting everything set up — the music, the vendors and the artists for the show,” Boutwell said.

The festival will be located at 3915 W. 73rd Ave. in the art garden next door the Rodeo Market building at 73rd and Osceola — the building the group called home for 11 years.

This is the ninth year the group has hosted Orchard Fest

SWAG moved during the last week of May after losing their lease from the city.

But Boutwell said there are no hard feelings. The group is continuing to offer art programs for kids through the Aar River Gallery and is in talks with local school districts.

“We have so many people interested, that we may need to find a new place to put that,” Boutwell said.

The arts group, nicknamed “SWAG,” ran a cooperative art center for member artists out of the building, providing gallery space. The group also maintained a sculpture garden next door, and that space is now under the City of Westminster’s control.

Rodeo Market is owned by the city’s Housing Authority, and the arts group had called the space home since 2007. The group did not pay rent on the space and the city covered utility expenses.

The city and the arts group could not come to terms when the contract expired in March 2017.

The group began moving out in May divesting itself of temporary walls, display lights and other items. The group did not have permanent collections but provided space to member artists to display and sell their pieces. Most artists collected their works in May, Boutwell said. Any leftover art was donated, she said.

“We are a little art cooperative, not a gallery,” she said. “Everybody was in charge of keeping track of their own art. That’s is what a cooperative is about.”

Members are not actively looking for a new home, she said.

“We don’t make a lot of money, so we can’t afford a lot,” she said. “But we can talk to people. Maybe we can get someone to help us out.”

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