Column: Golden’s biggest fine arts event is coming up

Avenue Flashes

John Akal
Posted 8/10/22

When someone walks into my house, the experience can be a little bit overwhelming for anyone who is not, shall we say, artistically inclined.

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Column: Golden’s biggest fine arts event is coming up

Avenue Flashes


When someone walks into my house, the experience can be a little bit overwhelming for anyone who is not, shall we say, artistically inclined. Why? Well, it’s so filled with every kind of art imaginable that you can’t look in any direction without seeing multiple pieces displayed some way or other. Now, I know that there are plenty of artists and art lovers who live in a similar situation, but ours is compounded by sort of a legacy effect. 

So, think about this: My mother was an artist and an art teacher, so we have all of her huge paintings as well as the things she collected. My father also was an artist who worked in stained glass and wood, so we have lamps, clocks and tables and stuff in the windows of his. My wife is an artist that works in multimedia and jewelry. We have her complete studio, inventory and various wall hangings, sculptures, paintings and drawings everywhere, including leaning up against the wall on the floor because we ran out of wall space. Then there’s me. Aside from my music and the home music studio, I was a professional photographer for over 20 years, so the entire hallway is lined with prints of my pictures as well as various other things I created because, well…Your parents were artists, your wife is an artist, you aren’t going to just sit on the couch and not give creating something new of your own a shot, are you? 

And then there are all the things we have acquired by various other artists. Some are friends, others we have never met, but trust me, there’s plenty of handcrafted pottery, paintings, sculptures and fiber art covering all the gaps that our own imaginations failed to complete…yet. This house will always be a work in progress. Some people decorate with a Zen experience in mind, we have basically got an artistic clutter-fest going on around here.

Yes, we do occasionally take something down and replace it with something else. OK, we do that about once a week around here, but you get the idea. Saying that art is our life would be a gross understatement for us.

That’s why I always get so excited about any of the upcoming art shows and markets that pop up around town and make sure to include them in Avenue Flashes. Next week we have the biggest fine arts event in Golden scheduled to open for the weekend. This one usually draws about 30,000 people, so you know it’s popular.

It’s the 32nd Annual Golden Fine Arts Festival happening from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 20 and 21. It’s going to be featuring 100 artists with booths showing and selling their works. And I’m talking about 100 of the top artists from across the country, because this show is juried and only the best of the best are included. It’s not just an art market, it’s is also a competition with cash prizes awarded to the winners in nine different categories. Usually about half of the artists travel here from out of state but there are plenty of talented local artists represented as well.

So, what are those categories? Painting, sculpture, photography, ceramics, jewelry, glass, fiber art, 2D and mixed media. As you can see, they pretty much cover all the bases with this show.

But it wouldn’t really be a “festival” without a few other things that make it more, uhm, festive! In addition to the art, there will be food and drink vendors, beer and wine gardens and live entertainment. And the cost of admission? It’s all free to attend. 

The Golden Fine Arts Festival will be located downtown on 11th Street here in Golden and is set up from Arapahoe Street west to Maple Street along Clear Creek. That’s one block west of our main street, Washington Avenue. It’s sponsored by the Golden Chamber of Commerce and Coors Light. No, I have no idea why it’s just the “Light” and not the entire brewery. Maybe it’s because it’s less filling and leaves you more room to carry away extra art treasures you may purchase. I’m just going with what it says in the press release.

If you need more information, visit Meanwhile, I’ve got to roam around the house and see what I can replace with something new and awesome that I’ll probably find there. It never ends.

John Akal is a well-known jazz artist/drummer and leader of the 20-piece Ultraphonic Jazz Orchestra. He also is president of John Akal Imaging, professional commercial photography and multimedia production. He can be reached at


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