John Gardner
Snowmass Sun

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March 27, 2012
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S'more fun at Anderson Ranch

Each fall and winter, more than a dozen artists from around the globe congregate in Snowmass Village at Anderson Ranch to discover more about art - and themselves.

Some of the artists come as painters but end up working in another mediums altogether, according to director of ceramics, sculpture and woodworking, Doug Casebeer.

"It's a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary residency where the artists live on campus," Casebeer said.

It creates a community and establishes an artists' dialogue that inspires new art.

This past winter residency welcomed 14 national and international artists from seven different countries, including the United States, Iran and Spain. The group was selected out of more than 450 applicants, Casebeer said.

The residency is a celebration of artistry, and the ranch holds an annual open house to celebrate the artists themselves at the end of their residency.

"The open house celebrates the work of the artists who have been here for the 10-week residency," said Anderson Ranch executive director Barbara Bloemink.

But celebrating the artists isn't the only reason to open the doors to the artist community; it's also a way to connect with the community and allow locals to see what the ranch is doing.

"Plus, it's just a lot of fun," Bloemink said.

The Anderson Ranch Open House on April 3 is the first of two annual events the ranch hosts; one in April and one in December to showcase the artists. It's a popular event with hundreds of people attending every time it comes around.

"I think the community comes to appreciate us opening our doors and letting people walk through the studios and get in the artist's mind," Casebeer said. "We have a very supportive community."

Casebeer has worked at the ranch for 27 years and said that the ranch has hosted open houses celebrating the residency program since shortly after its inception in 1987, he said. The open houses have been going on for so long that Casebeer considers it a tradition.

"The best part is actually seeing the community be inspired or getting excited about what is going on in the studio," Casebeer said. "That always, on some level, brings me some great joy."

At this spring's tours 14 artists-in-residence will display original works created during a 10-week residency at the ranch over the winter.

Visitors can tour the studios and visit with the artists and learn about the experience. The artworks is also available for purchase.

The event also includes an exhibition by contemporary Colorado photographers that explore the landscape, people and culture that distinguish the state. And there will be plenty of family activities to entertain the children, including a children's craft activity starting at 5 p.m. and, later in the evening, a fire pit gathering complete with S'mores and beverages. The Spring Open House is free and open to the public.

"It's just a wonderful night," Bloemink said.

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The Aspen Times Updated Mar 27, 2012 04:30PM Published Mar 27, 2012 04:15PM Copyright 2012 The Aspen Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.