The Breckenridge International Festival of the Arts returns to the Rockies this weekend on a wave of positive expansion — but without any sign of growing pains. It’s going to be big and loud and in your face, with eye-popping interactive attractions from near (Denver’s Itchy-O marching band kicks off the festival on the evening of Friday, August 11) and far (giant ants from Australia’s Polyglot Theatre and the Dutch Close-Act Theatre’s illuminated prehistoric birds will roam the streets of Breck on select dates), with smaller-scale, side-tripping performances and art installations to be found mid-hike along mountain trails.
And then there will be Craig Walsh — whose eerie and inspiring projections of human faces on trees are already an Internet sensation. Known for these large-scale, site-specific installations that connect with communities by casting the faces of local heroes on familiar forms from the landscape, both natural and man-made, Walsh will bring Monuments — a tribute to three unsung yet intrinsic Breckenridge personalities — to BIFA, casting their likenesses like living topiaries in strategic spots around downtown Breckenridge. The spectacle will light up nightly in changing locations over the length of the fest, which runs through August 20.
For Walsh, who chooses to disengage himself from the business of art to focus on creating egalitarian experiences, the medium is the message: “I’m seeking out new paths for contemporary art,” Walsh says. “So my work is more experiential, as opposed to being object-based. My philosophy is to stay outside the commodity of art and create works that are purely about the experience, and not about the…
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