Anderson Ranch.
Photo: Courtesy of Anderson Ranch

Anderson Ranch Arts Center’s Summer Program Kicks Off the Jam-Packed Season in Aspen

July is a busy month at the multidisciplinary arts center with a live auction and conversation series

A throng of international galleries and auction houses have set up shop in Aspen over the last few years, allowing it to evolve into a must-stop destination for the annual art circuit. This summer, the glitzy ski town’s newcomers as well as established cultural institutions have been pushing forward their calendars with more ambitious programming than ever.

And while ski enthusiasts may flock to the snow-filled hills during the winter’s high season, the summer belongs to the art crowd and every year, a slew of artists, collectors, gallerists, and museum professionals touch down from across the country to explore Aspen when the pillowy snow leaves the stage for the bright Northwestern sun.

Summer is made yet another season-to-be in the small-but-mighty Colorado town with a plethora of annual events, such as art fair Intersect Aspen at the ice skate rink Aspen Ice Garden and Aspen Art Museum’s week-long gala Art Crush, in addition to numerous gallery shows in close proximity. In this packed network, the Anderson Ranch Arts Center’s Recognition Week is a long-standing tradition that blends any art week’s innate social opulence with the aim of fund-raising for the center.

Anderson Ranch. Photo: Courtesy of Anderson Ranch

Anderson Ranch Arts Center has indeed been among the earliest institutions in Aspen with a history that dates back to the surge of the ski industry in the mid 1960s. Inspired by the surrounding vista’s inspiringly lush fauna on Snowmass, the center is a place for exploration of a range of mediums. The ranch’s residents delve into expanding their materials with the visual stimuli from a wondrously green backdrop: the natural forms that envelop the Rocky Mountains may intrigue a glassblower, or a printmaker may absorb the bright hues of the nearby fauna, while for a dancer, the inspiration may stem from the freedom granted by the fresh mountain breeze.

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This year’s summer-long programming is spearheaded by an auction that raises funds to support young artists working in among which is among the center’s primary focuses for medium. Arlene Shechet, Katie Stout, Bari Ziperstein, Kazunori Hamana, Yukiko Kuroda, and Hun Chung Lee are among the artists whose work in ceramic will be up for bidding on July 13 when the week crescendos with a gala to honor celebrated video artist Christian Marclay and art patron Dana Farouki.

Arlene Shechet, Large Slipping Bowls, (2012). Photo: Courtesy of Anderson Ranch

A work by Katie Stout. Photo: Courtesy of the artist

“Recognition Week at Anderson Ranch is an especially important time for the organization,” Andrea Jenkins Wallace, vice president of artistic affairs, tells Galerie, “when we take a moment to celebrate two individuals who have been globally recognized for their achievements in the contemporary art world.” Marclay who receives the International Artis Award is among the artists with an unmistakable style, which, in his case, is extensive edits of sequences with strong commonalities, each cherrypicked from the entire history of cinema. Most recently, the west coast artist had the fairgoers at Art Basel sit for long minutes in front of his new video piece which seamlessly combined door-opening scenes from hundreds of films. The Service to the Arts Award winner Faroucki on the other hand champions contemporary Middle Eastern art through curating and her board of trustee member roles at Creative Time and MoMA PS1 as well as being the founding chair of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation’s Middle East Circle.

A work by Hun Chung Lee. Photo: Courtesy of the artist

Kathy Ruttenberg, Delirium, (2022). Photo: Courtesy of the artist and Lyles & King, New York

Celebrations will later continue into the month with the annual Summer Series talks. Every year, each conversation pairs an artist with a colleague, a critic, or a collector, and this year’s lineup is diverse in its storytelling as well as mediums. Abstract painter Rebecca Morris for example caught up with curator Jenelle Porter on July 6, and for Morris, visiting the center for the first time was a part of the Aspen experience: “Touring the campus, seeing the studios, and meeting some of the staff and faculty that continue to be such a resource for the artistic community was very exciting.”

The series will continue on July 20 with a conversation about the representation of womanhood between curator Jasmine Wahi and art world star Mickalene Thomas, followed a week later with a chat between video installation artist Paul Pfeiffer who is also known for his videos of meticulously-edited boxing scenes from films and curator Douglas Fogle who has also selected this year’s lineup.

Cover: Anderson Ranch.
Photo: Courtesy of Anderson Ranch


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