December 9, 2022


Adorn your Feelings

Lyons art fest returns to River Bend after COVID hiatus

3 min read


Birds panted from the heat in the treetops, but the shade below and the backdrop of the North St. Vrain Creek created a serene feel Sunday for the return of the Art at River Bend show in Lyons.

A collaboration between Boulder County Arts Alliance (BCAA), Lyons Arts and Humanities Commission, and the town of Lyons, the event returned from a two-year COVID hiatus with almost 40 area artists, art demonstrations, and several food trucks at the Lyons Farmette and River Bend space.

Boulder artist Cheryl Walker enjoys her first art show in Lyons on Sunday (Jennifer LeDuc / staff Writer)
Boulder artist Cheryl Walker enjoys her first art show in Lyons on Sunday (Jennifer LeDuc / staff Writer)

For some creatives, it was their first return to the post-pandemic art show scene, and for some, it was their first show as an artist.

Kathleen LeRoy is a psychotherapist. She took up painting about seven years ago and describes her style as otherworldly.

“I just don’t know what’s coming until it’s coming out,” LeRoy said.

Two weeks before the Marshall Fire, in mid-December, LeRoy completed an acrylic on canvas painting she titled “The Arrival.”  The large piece has abstract figures juxtaposed against a horizon painted in strokes of reds, gold and orange.

“To me they feel like refugees,” LeRoy said.  And through her smile, she tears up. “It makes me weep just talking about it, to know how people are still displaced.”

Although she felt a little vulnerable putting the piece in front of the public for the first time, the support from the BCAA and the arts commission made her first show easier.

“I love being here on the river. Lyons is so supportive of the arts,” LeRoy said.

A few feet from the river bank, former Lyons Arts and Humanities Commission board member Mystie Brackett was exploring the wearable art of jeweler Leslie Maya-Charles.

“It’s beautiful to be here today. I just wish I had a few grand to spend on jewelry,” Brackett said, putting down a pendant made from silver and a cerulean wedge of two thousand year old sea glass imported from Israel. She said it was important to the community and to the artist to have the art show return.

“Lyons is basically an art town,” said Brackett, a Lyons resident. “Whether it’s visual art, or music, art is the weft of Lyons. And it’s important we get back out and reconnect with the arts.”

Boulder artist Cheryl Walker was hoping to draw a buyer for her painting of Boulder’s Flatirons.  A few hours into the show she’d yet to make a sale, and despite the heat, was glad to be among other area artists. Walker moved to Boulder from Los Angeles in 2020.

“The Boulder art scene is like a small town,” Walker said. “It’s so much easier to make connections here, and when you see each other again, they actually remember you.”

Benjamin Zink, of Berthoud, was thrilled to be back at the show, one of the few he and his wife Charlotte, committed to this year.

“It’s just so good to be back,” Zink said. “It’s textural. You can feel it.  We’re not shaking hands and giving hugs, but it’s smiles all around.”


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