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Art Center of Estes Park

Art Center of Estes Park

Art Center of Estes Park
Art Center of Estes Park
Address for Donations by Check: 
517 Big Thompson Avenue Estes Park, CO 80517
Mission Statement: 

Our mission is to provide a facility that supports and promotes regional artists; to present opportunities for education in the visual arts; and to act as an advocate and partner for community arts development.


Art classes are offered to both adults and children to provide opportunities for growth in a variety of mediums. Our educational initiatives include art education/history community lectures, a mentoring program for youths and adults, and a scholarship given annually to a local graduating senior pursuing a course of study in the visual arts.

Eight featured artist exhibitions are held annually. These exhibitions, featuring a juried Art Center member, are always opened with a public reception for the artist. This allows for a variety of art to be available for the visual arts education of community members.

Over 30 classes were offered during 2013 for adults/children and intergenerational groups. 28 artists were mentored by 12 Art Center mentors during 2013 and they presented their work in a six week show at the Art Center in February 2014 along with two of the college students who were recent recipients of the annual Art Center scholarship for study of the fine arts. 6000 clients were served through the agency programs in 2013.

Goals & Outcomes: 

Our goal is to raise $8500 in order to:

  • Provide larger scholarships to local students pursuing fine arts degrees (we currently offer one $1000 scholarship each year)
  • Make much needed repairs and improvements to the gallery and classrooms
  • Replace antiquated technologic equipment
  • Gain additional exposure for exhibiting artists through outreach and promotion in Northern Colorado

The Art Center strives to engage the community and nurture an enthusiasm for and appreciation of the visual arts. Our palette has lots of colorful opportunities for folks at all levels of interest and skill: to learn, to volunteer, to mentor or be mentored, to receive scholarship assistance in the pursuit of higher education in the arts, and to enjoy fresh, exciting exhibits of art created in a variety of media in a comfortable year-round gallery setting.


"From the beginning of the Art Center in May 1987, we have used a phrase, "ART is for EVERYONE." Along with non-profit status within several months of opening, EDUCATION, has been and continues to be, of major importance. Over 400 artists have shown and sold their work in the gallery. Artists are the "heartbeat" of the Art Center. Their commitment to help with committees plus sit the gallery makes a difference. Openings occur every 6 weeks, with a new featured artist(s) each time along with changing displays/new works. It's exciting to see what's new. I believe in the Art Center for our community -- always have, always will."

—Chris Switzer, founder

"Ever since I retired from medicine and became a serious student of pastel and watercolor painting, I heard wonderful things about the prestigious Lines Into Shapes Art Show that the Art Center of Estes Park presented each fall. It was widely known in the arts community that this show "set the bar high" and was professionally presented in a warm and friendly gallery located in a welcoming community set in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. After several tries, I was eventually thrilled to have my work accepted into the show for the first time. Everything I'd been told about the Art Center Gallery, the warm and friendly supporters of the arts in Estes Park and the national Lines Into Shapes Show was true! And the enthusiastic spirit of the Art Center is infectious. It wasn't too long before I became a juried artist member... and then a committee chair... and now I'm on the Board of Directors."

—Diana Wade, Loveland, CO

"Eighteen years ago, I became a resident of Estes Park and quickly found the Art Center of Estes Park. I was employed there for six years as the director. What impressed me most about the Art Center were the artists. The Art Center was established by artists for local and regional artists to exhibit their artwork and that tradition has been carried on since it opened. The artists don’t just drop off work and wait for a check. They are involved in the Art Center and are dedicated to keeping their doors open by participating on the Board, staffing the gallery, teaching classes, participating in fundraisers, hanging the exhibits, and being involved in the community. The artists of the Art Center make the Art Center a unique and ever growing gallery of local artists' artwork."

—Pauline Bustamante