The ReFind Art Festival at the Grand Mesa Arts and Events Center (GMAEC) was born into a world riddled with COVID-19. Though plans for this event, which challenges local artists to make art out of recycled materials, had been planned since before the pandemic, it was ultimately altered and also delayed by the unexpected pandemic.

So this year, in its second year, ReFind was refined, taking the form of what it was meant to be in the first place.

ReFind took place on Saturday. It was an open invitation for the public to come in and take a gander and not only to look at the innovative transformations, but also to purchase pieces.

As part of ReFind, there were awards for three participating artists based off of a decision from a team of judges. The three categories were professional, general and student.

In the general category, which GMAEC Executive Director Deborah Shaffer said was the category with the most artists, Rylee Frost took top place for her storage chest. The box was entirely recycled wood, higher end wallpaper and an antique doorknob which came from her aunt’s house.

In the professional category, Lucas Davis won for his welded metal creation, “Octopus Reaching.” Davis’ convincing sea creature display was created exclusively from nuts, bolts, other miscellaneous small shop pieces, some stretches of heavy duty chain and, notably, a massive wrench.

Finally, the awardee of the student category was KK Komives, who was recognized for her porch bench converted from pieces of an old bed, including segments of the headboard.

Judy Fairchild, organizer of ReFind, and Shaffer emphasized that the unique wooden awards which were given to Frost, Davis and Komives that morning were in themselves made of recycled material, carved and provided by Steve Kelsey of Main Street Market.

The ReFind Art Festival spanned the entirety of the side lot of GMAEC and wound through the theater area inside. The available pieces of art surpassed 500.

As of Monday morning, GMAEC announced on Facebook that several items left over from ReFind are still available to be purchased by the general public. They will be in the theater area through June 23. Until then, people can browse during GMAEC’s business hours, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Saturday noon-3 p.m. Sunday.

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