The Ouray County Arts Association was initiated in 1960 as the brainchild of Joyce Jorgensen, former owner and Editor of the Ouray County Plaindealer. Joyce, being an artist herself, thought there should be a local show for local artists. Others agreed. The Artists’ Alpine Holiday began that year, and the rest is history.
The Association has presented a judged art show, the Artists’ Alpine Holiday, each year since that time. The show is open to any artist’s work, and over the years it has attracted artists from many states, but most of those contributing are from Colorado and surrounding states. It is one of the oldest juried art shows in Colorado and runs for nine days each August.
Almost 300 artists enter the Artists’ Alpine Holiday each year bringing over 400 works of art, including sculpture and photography, and there is a special category for students. The show is generally attended by close to 2,000 visitors from foreign countries and more than 30 states. Approximately 10% or more of the art is sold during the show’s run each year. Proceeds from percentage of sales, as well as, monies received from entry fees, memberships, and cash donations, are used to support ongoing shows, including the awarding of prizes and payment of the show’s judge. All of those involved in the planning and operation of shows are volunteers – including the officers and committee chairpersons.
The Association encourages student artists and offers scholarships to deserving seniors in Ouray and Ridgway schools.