The Colorado College Arts and Crafts Fair is held every year on the first (or second?) weekend of December. It’s held at, you guessed it, Colorado College, which is a small, liberal arts college located in Colorado Springs, CO. And it is a fantastic show to participate in or go to.
For the past four years Plaidypus has participated in the show, making trunkfuls of Fuzzy Fingerless Mittens, Coffee Cup Cozies, Headbands, Hair Clips and Pins, and sometimes even throwing in surprise Sweater Sleeve Scarves or bags made from neckties. It’s always been a fantastic show for us, and we always love participating.
There are a number of reasons this is a great show.
First of all, I’m a little biased because I graduated from Colorado College in May and so I just really like the people who put it on. (In case you were wondering, I graduated with a B.A. degree in psychology and a minor in performance design.) For three of the four years I was a student at CC, I participated in this fair, and this year as an alumnus I did the same. So I do have a sort of loyalty bias for this fair.
But there’s more than just that to make this a great fair.
There are thousands of customers who come through this fair every year. Thousands. There are locals from the Springs, students at the college, people driving in from surrounding cities such as Denver or Boulder or Pueblo, and all those people are starting their holiday shopping. It’s a festive show to go to, whether you are selling or buying. Makes you feel like the holiday season has really begun and you can start your shopping and decorating and cookie-baking.
If you are an artist in Colorado, this is the fair to participate in. Especially if you’re a student at the college. They give students a great deal on the table fee so that they can learn what it’s like to sell their own goods without the terror of a large fee hanging over their heads. And alumni get a discounted table fee, so the support from the school continues there. But even if you don’t go to CC nor have you ever gone there, the table fee is minimal compared to many other fairs.
It’s three days of talking to artists or customers or both and finding your own gifts for family and friends (I found some particularly good items for my family this year) and seeing what other people can do. It’s a student center packed with inspiration and artists who are willing to help you out by giving you trade tips and sometimes free yarn (not kidding, I got two huge cones of undyed wool yarn from some very nice women this year so I could play with yarn dyeing techniques).
So look out for it next year. You can find great gifts there and great people who make them.
If you want to participate as an artist, I think applications are posted in September and due by October 1 for outside parties and alumni, so start snooping around then. It is juried, so make sure the photos you send in and the descriptions you write frame your products nicely.
If you have questions about the fair, direct them to the Colorado College Arts and Crafts Program. The people there are super nice.
And if you have questions about us, you can direct those to me in a comment below or on our Contact Me page.