Tag Archives: Telluride Fire festival Student Program

Latest News – July 25

Fire Festival Open to Saguache Students

Saguache Today readers may remember the great success that local students demonstrated at last January’s “Telluride Fire Festival.” Add to that a life lesson about the satisfaction in seeing a project to completion, especially when it’s a beautiful piece of art that lights up the Colorado night sky .


Max Zapak is at the controls of the Saguache student-created, three-headed sculpture which was on display at the 2017 Telluride Fire Festival last January.

Last week, the Telluride Fire Festival in collaboration with Coldharbour Institute, announced that this program is again open to students in Saguache County. The partners have received a micro-grant from the Burners Without Borders Community Program to produce the Second Annual Two-Day Fire Art Program for Youth.

For those unfamiliatr with the event, each year, The Coldharbour Institute and Telluride Fire Festival collaborate to bring a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) program, which engages historically underrepresented (economically, racially, physically) students from three rural areas of Colorado and bring them to Telluride for two weekends. In November they bring them to Telluride to work in the Deep Creek Experimental Mine (https://www.facebook.com/deepcreekmine) with experienced burner artists to develop and execute an amazing fire sculpture. In January, students are invited back to participate as exhibitors at the Telluride Fire Festival (www.telluridefirefestival.org) and experience the other spectacular fire artistry. 


The arts are alive at Mountain Valley Schools in Saguache. Pictured here are students who participated in the sculpture project for the 2017 Telluride Fire Festival. From left to right—Andy McKim, clay instructor from Moffat Consolidated School District 2, Ryker Poor, Taleb Nelson, Ida Green, Casey Groom, Alyssa Chavez, Jodeelee Rigdon. Photo: Telluride Fire Festival

With the goal of engaging students in the wonders of science, technology, engineering, art and math in a way that sets their synapses to popping, the group once again will invite 15 students from the Saguache County/San Luis Valley, Gunnison Basin, and San Miguel County. At least four artists/crafts people/professionals from various areas of art and engineering – metal, pottery, drawing, painting, structural engineering, etc. – are brought in to mentor and teach.

Over the course of two and a half days in November, the kid’s research, design, plan, and build the sculpture. They learn not only the academic bases of STEAM, but also the very real job preparation of welding and engineering, as well as an immersive introduction into art.

While they have 15 kids building the sculpture, thousands have the pleasure of experiencing the final project at the January Telluride Fire Festival. In addition, the sculptures also take a tour for viewing in various student regions. The program has artists, engineers, fire safety experts, educational experts, graduate students, college students and high school students all working together to develop the sculpture, STEAM knowledge, as well as leadership and educator skills at all levels. 

Here are the details:

  • Dates: November 17-19
  • Time: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Locations in Telluride: Ah Haa School for the Arts, Artists Collaborative in Deep Creek Mine
  • Cost: $400 (Scholarships are available)
  • Tuition includes lodging, meals, transportation, and materials. The class is limited to 15 participants.  


Student can apply for a scholarship by submitting two paragraphs about why a scholarship is needed for student participation to erin@telluridefireferstival.org. The deadline to request a scholarship is November 1.

More About the Telluride Fire Festival
The Telluride Fire Festival, a 501c3 organization, is an interactive fire art experience offering workshops and outdoor displays of fire artistry to attendees to enable all to immerse themselves in fire arts. Dates for 2018 are January 19-21.

For more about the Festival, to give a student scholarship donation, volunteer, or submit a fire installation for consideration, or subscribe to their enews, visit www.telluridefirefestival.org or email erin@telluridefirefestival.org.