In summer, walk along the Blue River bike path in downtown Breckenridge, Colorado, and you’ll likely spot outdoor sculpture faster than you can find the first T-shirt shop. Impressive, considering the amount of cotton housed in the shops along Main Street.
“Sculpture on the Blue,” a summer seasonal exhibit of massive art along the Blue River, includes pieces on loan as well as items in the town’s permanent collection. Several sculptures stand in the Blue River Plaza and others are placed along the Riverwalk’s paved pathways. Additional pieces, part of the Breckenridge Public Art Collection, have been installed throughout town. These large displays are just several of many examples of efforts to bolster the arts community in recent years.
Adopted in 2004, the Arts District Master Plan seeks to strengthen and consolidate existing arts district facilities. As part of that plan, the town has restored several historic buildings for use as resident and guest artist studio spaces, cultural events
and ongoing arts workshops in a variety of mediums.
Fuqua Livery Stables: Renovated in 2007-2008 and funded in part by a grant from Colorado’s State Historical Fund, the Fuqua Stables date back to the 1880s. Reportedly used as both horse stables and storage for mining equipment, the building was disassembled during restoration so that the foundation could be repaired. Today, the stables house an art studio that provides classes on textiles, painting and drawing.
Quandary Antiques Building: This cabin is home to a blossoming ceramics studio that holds workshops for kids and adults. Fully restored and now located farther up Ridge Street, the cabin was moved from its original location across from the post office. Long-time locals played a big part in this little studio: Jim and Maureen Nicholls donated the structure, and the kiln was a gift from Grace Keeling.
Tin Shop: Thanks to a collaboration with the local nonprofit Saddle Rock Society, the Tin Shop opened its doors in 2006 to visiting artists. With an art studio downstairs and furnished
apartment upstairs, the historic Tin Shop welcomes guest artists for free under the condition that the artist opens the studio to the public and provides workshops and community learning experiences.
Robert Whyte House: Purchased by the town of Breckenridge in 2002, this historic building is home to many workshops offered by the Breckenridge Arts District. More than 100 workshops – geared for kids, teens and adults – are offered throughout the year at the district’s various facilities.
If You Go
The Breckenridge Arts District is at the intersection of South Ridge Street and East Washington Avenue. It is anchored by the Breckenridge Theatre (home to the Backstage Theatre Company) and the Riverwalk Performing Arts Center. For information on workshops, events and visiting artists, visit townofbreckenridge.com.
Rachel Zerowin is a freelance writer who lives in Breckenridge.