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Get ready for what can only be described as a surreal experience. The month of July is deemed “Surrealism Month” in Salida with a unique abundance of creative activities, including an exhibit at the Paquette Gallery, workshops at Box of Bubbles and a Surrealism Soiree.

Photograph by Nora Petran.

Salida Goes Surreal (SGS) was originally conceived in 2020, when a collection of Salida creatives were chatting about Surrealism.  As the discussion deepened that day, there was the epiphany that this movement had developed shortly after the last pandemic, the Spanish flu, and WWI. “The Surrealist Movement was a  response to that chaos and the awareness that rational thought was no longer relatable as a means of expression,” offers Ken Brandon, organizer and proprietor of Box of Bubbles.

Surrealism was additionally fueled by Freud’s dream analysis and aimed  to “resolve the previously contradictory conditions of dream and reality into an absolute reality, a super-reality or surreality,” according to poet André Breton, author of the 1924 Surrealist Manifesto.  As shown through the well-known works of artists like M.C. Escher, Surrealism provides a pathway for expressing the unconscious mind.

“The more we talked about all the current correlations to that time period, the more the idea of a Surrealism event sounded like a cool idea,” added Brandon.  Staying true to its 100-year-old origins, SGS will encompass events embracing, not only visual art, but performances, poetry, and costumes.

For the month of July, the Paquette Gallery at the Salida SteamPlant,, 220 West Sackett Avenue, will host an exhibit of 2-D and 3-D artwork.  Submissions of up to 3 works are being solicited now and entry is free of charge.

Through June and July, The Box of Bubbles, 135 East Second Street, will hold workshops (for a donation) every other Monday at 6:00 p.m.

Saturday, July 23 the SGS Soiree will happen at The Sherman Market, 151 West First Street, with installations and performances by Mo Flow, The Monarch Madams, Salida Circus and The Salida Starlettes.  Guests are invited to dress as a favorite Surrealist.  Tickets will be available for $25 at The Velveteen Lounge, Bunny & Clyde’s and Box of Bubbles.

SGS is spearheaded by Colorado TINTS and Box of Bubbles.

To submit art or for more information, email or see their Facebook page.

Featured image: Image by Nora Petran