Castle Pines art fest raises funds for autisim

Percentage of proceeds help special Denver school

Mike DiFerdinando
Artist David Hickman,25, hangs his work during the Village at Castle Pines Fine Art Show June 15.
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Artists from around the country came to Castle Pines to show their work and help raise money for Denver-based Firefly Autism this past weekend.

The Village at Castle Pines Fine Art Show featured pieces for 25 different artists, kicking off with a private dinner June 13 and concluding with a weekend-long public exhibition.

Tickets for the dinner cost $75, with all of the proceeds directly benefitting Firefly Autism. A percentage of all artist sales over the next two days also went to Firefly. Up for sale were bronze sculptures, paintings, glass, photography and other mediums.

“All the restaurants (at The Village) participate,” said Jessie Ogas, vice president of social development for Firefly Autism. “They donate wine; we have Miller Coors donating beer. We have great music. Everybody has a great time. It's really cool.”

Local artist Tim Zadee started the festival three years ago.

“Three years ago, I came to this area to start an art show that would be available to the public. I had in mind an upscale, but small and quaint show,” Zandee said.

“I had a lot of clients that live in the area, some of them were the store owners here, and when I said that I wanted to have a benefit or a charity working with the festival one of them mentioned Firefly Autism. Ever since then it's been a great partnership. Some of their children have even attended Firefly Autism, so it's been great to be able to help the cause.”

Zandee said he tries to bring in artists, not just form Colorado, but form around the country.

“It's usually about 50 percent returning artists and 50 percent new artists. The returning artists do well every time they come back,” he said.

Firefly Autism uses Applied Behavior Analysis to work with children ranging from 18 months to 21 years old. They currently serve between 150 and 200 children in metro Denver and along the Front Range in their year-round school and average 18,000 sessions of year with clients.

According to Firefly Autism, children are currently being diagnosed at a rate of one in 42 for girls and one in 68 for boys. Ten years ago the combined rate was just one in 10,000.

For more information on Applied Behavior Analysis or for information on how to donate, visit www.fireflyautism.org.