Art and Nature come together in weeklong celebration

WESTCLIFFE – The arts take center stage in this iconic mountain town in late September, with two premier events and a celebration of the arts for all ages.


Peaceful Valley by Kate Kiesler, 2018 featured artist

 Art for the Sangres, a fine art sale and reception, showcases remarkable art for a vital cause – helping to protect land, water and wildlife while there is still time. The show will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29, at A Painted View Ranch just outside Westcliffe.

This special event is the San Isabel Land Protection Trust’s largest fundraiser. The land trust has protected nearly 41,000 acres of working ranches, agricultural and forest lands, water resources, wildlife habitat and scenic open spaces throughout southern Colorado.

Leading up to Art for the Sangres is Alla Prima Westcliffe, a six-day paint-from-life event that culminates in a juried show and sale from 3 to 5 p.m. Sept. 29. The artist named best of show will receive an invitation to the 2019 Art for the Sangres.

Arts Hullabaloo, also on Sept. 29, showcases all things artistic with a day-long celebration of the visual, performing and musical arts, including demonstrations and special events for children. 

Westcliffe, at the foot of the majestic Sangre de Cristo Mountains in the Wet Mountain Valley, is at its best in the fall. The weeklong celebration offers a marriage of the arts and nature found in very few places. “Art and natural beauty go hand in hand, and nowhere is that more evident than in Westcliffe and the Wet Mountain Valley,” said Larry Vickerman, president of San Isabel’s board of directors.

The 2018 Art for the Sangres features 11 returning favorites and 10 new artists from across the region. Artwork includes oil paintings, watercolors, pastels, pencil drawing, photography, bronze and ceramic sculptures, forged-iron outdoor art and woodturning. This year’s featured artist is Kate Kiesler of Breckenridge, whose impressionistic painting is collected around the country. 

Forty percent of every purchase supports San Isabel and its efforts to protect land, water, wildlife and the region’s scenic beauty.

Tickets for the sale and reception are $50 before Sept. 21 and $60 at the door. They can be purchased online at The public is invited to preview the art during open admission from 1 to 3 p.m. Sept. 29. There is no charge for the preview. You can also learn more about the artists and view their work at

At Alla Prima Westcliffe you can treat yourself to six brilliant fall days of painting. The event features alla prima painting created from life in the manner of plein air, but not necessarily done outdoors. Subject matter includes landscapes and ranch life, as well as figurative and still life. All paintings are created during the event. Historic ranches and special sites will be open for landscape artists. Indoor painting is available if there is inclement weather. 

Registration for Alla Prima is $50 if received or postmarked by Sept. 1; $60 after Sept. 1. You also can register online. Go to to register and for more information.

San Isabel Land Protection Trust is a nationally accredited nonprofit conservation organization, working with landowners to protect their land and water in Custer, Fremont, Pueblo and Huerfano counties. Its mission is to ensure that the region remains a beautiful and wild landscape with a strong agricultural foundation and a vibrant, healthy community. To become a member or to learn more, visit

Alla Prima Westcliffe and Arts Hullabaloo are sponsored by the Sangres Art Guild, a non-profit organization that promotes the arts in the Wet Mountain Valley. To learn more, visit

Janet Smith

Posted in News


We have protected more than 42,000 acres through 134 conservation easements.

Conservation easements guarantee long-term protection – through generations of landowners.