To see and hear all the musical acts Stewart Oksenhorn did during his 20 years at The Aspen Times would take a lifetime. And then some.
Phil Lesh, Ray Charles, Carlos Santana, B.B. King, David Byrne, David Crosby, Lyle Lovett and George Clinton are just a few of the artists who appear in Oksenhorn’s archives, a mountain of images, black-and-white and in color, from the 1990s through 2014. There are also photos, in a packed cardboard box at the Times office, of Oksenhorn’s jam sessions, party supplies and family. Looking through the collection, you get the feeling that this was a man who truly lived.
And this month, those visiting the Wyly Art Center’s new Annex gallery will get a glimpse into that life, as Oksenhorn’s best work — at least on the photography end — will be on display. About 30 pieces, some printed and framed by Oksenhorn himself, were handpicked by Wyly program director Dasa Bausova, wife Candice Oksenhorn, longtime friend Josh Behrman and the Wheeler Opera House.
“This exhibition is really meant to be a celebration of his achievement,” Bausova said of Oksenhorn, who died in February. “Actually, he was on our list of artists to exhibit prior to his death. So he was somebody we were going to show anyway. It’s just sad that he can’t be here.”
Bausova said that while photography was secondary to Oksenhorn’s writing, the talent was no less apparent.
“He really captured an emotional quality,” said Bausova, who worked with Oksenhorn both professionally and artistically for 16 years. “His photos really communicate something about the artist he was photographing.”
Today, from 5 to 7 p.m., marks the opening reception of the exhibition, “Stewart Oksenhorn: photographer.” For the rest of July, it will be on display from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, with Digital Arts Aspen sponsoring. It is free and open to the public. The Wyly Annex is located at 174 Midland Ave. in Basalt.
Bausova, who dug through about 1,300 digital images and handpicked 11, said she was “struck by his training, the way he composed the images.” In writing and in photography, she said, Oksenhorn took the time to understand his subject and deliver it in a way that was both clear and entertaining.
Through Aug. 28, the Wyly Art Center also is showing “Inside Out,” a site-specific installation of ceramic sculpture and encaustic paintings by K. Rhynus Cesark that will be on display at the Wyly gallery space at 99 Midland Spur.