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CMU Art Department announces fifth annual Artober Festival and community art interactive

More than five hundred attendees are expected during western Colorado’s largest community art showcase.

Small children often express an understanding of the world using chalk on the driveways of their family’s home. People throughout history have expressed their experiences through graffiti. Metallurgy changed human history as artisans began demonstrating the ability to abstract human experience through metal sculpture; and people have made clothing art for as long as textiles have existed. All of these artistic mediums will be on display and available for public partition during the CMU art and design department’s annual Artober Festival on Thursday, October 17 from 10am-3pm. 

The event will occur on the Delta Field at CMU and is meant as a community service to expand the number of people in western Colorado who call themselves artists. 

“From working with clay and screen printing to observing the most important historic art forms from history, CMU will offer opportunities to experience and learn about making art,” said Suzie Garner, Department Head for CMU's Department of Art and Design. “Being an artist isn’t an end-goal. Becoming an artist is a life-long journey and one that for many can begin during Artober. We encourage anyone interested in what art has to offer to join us and see what it's all about.” 

Students will be offering art for sale during the event including ceramics from the Clay Club. Portraits and caricatures will be offered for $5 while screen prints and t-shirts are also items available to raise money for CMU art students. 

Among one of the favorite festival attractions is the molten iron pour. Many people associate iron pouring with the history of modern western civilization and industrialization. The CMU art department demonstrates that molten iron is also be an age-old form of artistic expression. The iron pour will begin at 10am and continue until all molds are filled. Sculptures and other prizes will be given throughout the day to festival attendees. 

In addition to the iron pour Artober will include a sidewalk chalk contest with prizes for the top three teams.

Sidewalk Chalk Contest

In 2019 the department expanded its community presence by adding new supporters to the CMU art gallery, 437CO, located in downtown Grand Junction. The gallery hosts visiting artists and student exhibitions throughout the year. 

Meghan Bissonnette, Assistant Professor of Art History and the CMU Art Gallery Director believes that Artober is an extension of CMU’s ongoing community efforts to show that art can be a way to make a living while improving life for people and community. 

“Artober is a way to allow people to make contact with art and artists in a way that is an experience. That way when people get hands-on exposure art is no longer just abstract, but it becomes something they experience and then helps them grow,” said Bissonnette. “We believe that those who attend our gallery showings and/or our Artober Festival are likely the very people who may be future art students at CMU.

Special demonstrations are available for members of the media. Students, sponsors and community members should visit the CMU website for more details and event information. The chalk contest is limited to five teams or individuals, with prizes awarded to the top three. Chalk is provided. Pre-registration is required: please email Suzie Garner by October 14, 2019 to register. 


Written by David Ludlam