Seasonal celebrations in Durango, Colorado, are an inspirational experience. Whether it is the springtime sight of blooming wildflowers in a nearby National Park or the feel of solid, San Juan Mountain ground under your boots in the heat of summer, Durango’s unmatched natural offerings blend perfectly into seasons of artistic creativity and celebration. Just like its surrounding scenery, Durango’s art and culture scene is revitalized by the spirits of spring and summer--from exciting new performing and visual interpretations to live theatre, music and festivals. Spend your seasons experiencing the arts in Durango, Colorado.
While the natural splendor of Durango is a visual masterpiece, the nationally acclaimed galleries that enrich the town have a corner on the art market. From photography to painting to sculpture to jewelry, the mountain town is a hot spot for unique art finds that marry the historic beauty of the area with cutting-edge cultural offerings. Local galleries feature the best art the area has to offer, like the contemporary installations and authentic-southwestern art paying homage to Durango’s heritage at the Sorrel Sky Gallery, photography at Open Shutter, local artists at Studio &, and Native American arts at Toh Atin Gallery. Showcasing a new and unique perspective on mixed media, the Durango Arts Center welcomes Karen Riley’s creative interpretation, Ink & Wax: Intimate Surface Directions, to its exhibition space for the month of April. Stroll the city streets to view distinctive public outdoor art located around town, all celebrating the rich legacy and exceptional experiences that make up the Durango community.
Enjoy captivating performances at Durango’s live theatre venues. With authentic and atmospheric stages like the Henry Strater Theatre and the Durango Arts Center, the show is just as captivating as the historic stage. Witness a tale as timeless as the changing seasons with Fort Lewis College Theatre Department’s production of Trojan Women: A Love Story in the month of April. This May, Merely Players mounts a family friendly telling of a familiar tale, Shrek The Musical. Coming this summer, celebrate the spirit of the Southwest with a lively and entertaining western show, appropriately staged at the Victorian-influenced Henry Strater Theatre.
Durango’s recreational and cultural activities are underscored by the springtime sounds of rushing rivers, wandering wildlife and the strains of diverse live music featured around town. Spend an evening soaking in the orchestral melodies of the San Juan Symphony, featuring local instrumentalists and the music of Beethoven. From the Diamond Belle and The Office to The Balcony and Wild Horse Saloon, tap your toes and try the local cuisine at one of the many Durango culinary institutions that offer a variety of live musical offerings. During the summer months, head down to Monday’s on Main, and enjoy musical performances by Ovations, a local high school and junior high troupe. The Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College provides a stage for the eclectic traveling bands and productions on tour. Pack a picnic and bring a blanket to the Concert Hall @ the Park series, featuring live music outdoors at Buckley Park. With an authentic western atmosphere and lively cowboy music and poetry, the Bar D Chuckwagon features family fun and a cowboy-worthy supper. Showcasing a genre rooted in country, international and jazz influences, the Durango Bluegrass Meltdown features jam sessions, a barn dance and performances at venues across town and in the streets. In the summer, Music in the Mountains boasts over 40 of the town’s most clamored-for orchestral concerts over the course of three weeks. In the fall, the Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering celebrates the cow-roping, boot-wearing, saddle-slinging life of the American cowboy through poetry, music and storytelling.
Spring is a season of new beginnings, and what better way to kick off the time of natural transition than by learning an artistic skill? Children and adults alike can dabble in painting, pressing and performing with an enticing range of creative classes at the Durango Arts Center. The Clay Room knows the best kind of hands-on activities to get your hands dirty, and features the opportunity to create personalized pottery in a family-friendly setting. Whether you are in it for the canvas or the cocktails, painting pairs perfectly with Prosecco at the energetic and entertaining Cocktails and Creations, where fun-to-follow instructions produce masterpiece memorabilia.
With a diverse and rich range of offerings, cultural opportunities in Durango are as enjoyable and ever-changing as the seasons. From galleries to live music and theatre to hands-on educational classes, the charming town’s art scene has something to engage every art lover, from aficionado to amateur. Spend your seasons exploring the arts in Durango, Colorado.
About the Durango Area Tourism Office
The Durango Area Tourism Office is a not-for-profit organization operating with the mission to promote Durango and La Plata County’s multitude of tourism attractions, events and services. 1-800-525-8855, www.durango.org
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