The Richard Schmid Fine Art Auction - How It All Got Started
World renowned artist Richard Schmid, who was a resident of the mountain community at the time, organized the first auction as a way to raise badly-needed funds for his volunteer fire department. Since its humble beginnings in 1996, over 940 pieces of original art have been auctioned for over $1.5 million dollars, generating over $600,000 for the all-volunteer fire department that protects people and property in 100 square miles of rugged foothills west of Fort Collins, Colorado.
The art auction / festival sprawls across several acres in a picturesque mountain valley. One art collector described it as "An amazing, magical city that seems to sprout up overnight in one of the most beautiful places you can imagine." The hundreds of bidders who fill the Big Top are an eclectic mix of experienced art collectors, patrons of the arts, and members of the community whose main motivation is to help the fire department raise money for a good cause.
In Rist Canyon on Labor Day Sunday, art is for everyone.