50 Years in the Making: Openings, artists, talks and music to honor Anderson Ranch | AspenTimes.com

50 Years in the Making: Openings, artists, talks and music to honor Anderson Ranch

Andrew Travers The Aspen Times

From some of the world’s most influential artists to homegrown Roaring Fork talents, the Anderson Ranch Arts Center has reached a wide swath of the art world over its 50 years.

Fittingly, over the next week, as the nonprofit celebrates its 50th anniversary with art exhibitions, artist talks and more, it’s touching a spectrum of media and style.

The Ranch has collaborated with arts presenters up and down the valley for anniversary exhibitions throughout 2016, beginning with shows at the Art Base in Basalt in April and the Red Brink in Aspen in May. Over the next week, 50th anniversary shows are open or opening in Aspen, at Colorado Mountain College, and in Carbondale, with daily action on the Ranch’s Snowmass Village campus.

As Anderson Ranch executive director Nancy Wilhelms put it when the week-long celebration was announced this spring: “It contains something for everyone.”

What follows is a run-down of the free and open to the public anniversary events.


A throng of locals and local artists filled the Colorado Mountain College (CMC) Aspen campus building last month for the opening of “Celebrating Community We Share,” a collaborative and eclectic exhibition featuring works by 48 artists who have been either students or faculty at Anderson Ranch or CMC.

The show includes more than 70 pieces sprawling through the campus gallery, main lobby and through hallways (one even appears to have taken over a trash can). Curated by CMC’s ceramics and studio coordinator K Rhynus Cesark and Anderson Ranch’s associate director Doug Casebeer and program associate Genoa Faber, the show is a testament to the wealth of local artistic talent, with works from artists including Isa Catto, Tania Dibbs, Dave Durrance, Jody Guralnick, Sam Harvey, Nancy Lovendahl, Sara Ransford, Andrew Roberts-Gray and Lara Whitley.

The show runs through Aug. 12.


The Roaring Fork Valley has been a launchpad for some of the great nature photographers in the world. Anderson Ranch artistic director of photography Andrea Wallace has curated “From Our Valley to the World,” showcasing photos by four locals shot on assignment for National Geographic. The show at the R2 Galley in Carobondale includes work by David Hiser, Peter McBride, Dick Durrance and Nick Devore.

“From Our Valley to the World” runs through July 29.

Also in Carbondale, the Carbondale Clay Center is hosting “Mentoring Artistic Excellence,” a collection of works by Anderson Ranch ceramics interns from the last three decades. It runs through July 29.


Anderson Ranch’s summertime “auctionettes” and community picnics have been a lively Snowmass Vilalge tradition for decades, and the big annual auction on the ranch (Aug. 6 this year) is it’s biggest fundraiser, with some 200 works donated by artists, collectors and galleries. This year’s 50th Celebration & Recognition Dinner has an auction of its own at the July 21 gala, which will honor Carrie Mae Weems and Eleanore and Deminco De Sole.

The public is invited to a free preview of the works up for auction at the Recognition Dinner in a show running Friday, July 15 through Wednesday, July 20 in the Patton-Malott Gallery on campus. It includes works by Weems and other prominent artists including Jim Hodges, Catherine Opie, Alex Prager, Tom Sachs and Richard Tittle.


Tom Sachs has become a summer staple at the Ranch as a teacher and a visiting artist. Sachs gave a two-day workshop this week with poet Tom Healy and is sticking around to make pots and mess around in the visiting artist studio. The preeminent bricolage sculptor is welcoming visitors to check out what he’s up to for a few hours on Monday, July 18.

His studio will be open from 3 to 5 p.m.

“I’m there to work,” Sachs said. “It’s my escape from all the attention of New York.”


For many in the art world, Anderson Ranch is synonymous with ceramics, the preferred medium of its founder Paul Soldner and his local contemporary Peter Voulkos. That clay tradition has been carried on through recent decades by associate director Doug Casebeer and instructors Chris Gustin and Randy Johnston. The trio will open an exhibition of new ceramic vessel work in Aspen at the Harvey Meadows Gallery on Monday, July 18. They’ll give a talk at 6 p.m. The exhibition will remain on view through Aug. 8.


Summer guest faculty members Fred Tomaselli and Tom Burckhardt – both painters – will talk about their craft and process in an hour-long lunch talk at Schermer Meeting Hall on Tuesday, July 19.

Tomaselli has shown in national venues like the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art as well as locally at the Aspen Art Museum. Burckhart’s has had shows at venues like Tibor De Nagy Gallery in New York and Gregory Lind Gallery in San Francisco.

The talk is scheduled to begin at 12:30 p.m.

National Artist Award Honoree Carrie Mae Weems will also give a talk at Schermer Meeting Hall on Thursday, July 22 at 12:30 p.m. Weems, a 2013 recipient of a MacArthur “genius” fellowship, has had her video and photographic works shown in museums and galleries around the world. She’s been hailed for her ability to tackle societal and human rights issues surrounding racism, sexism and personal identity.

RSVP and registration is required for the Weems talk: http://www.andersonranch.org


Three people who have helmed the Anderson Ranch ship will talk about its past, present and future in an evening presentation on Wednesday, June 20.

Current executive director Nancy Wilhelms, who first came to the Ranch as a photography student in 1996, will be in conversation with ceramicist Brad Miller, who ran the ceramics program from 1980 to 1984 and then served as director through 1992, and Jim Baker, who came to the Ranch in 1986 to run its photography program and then served as its executive director from 1995 to 2006.

The event is scheduled to run from 7 to 8 p.m.

Also on Wednesday, the Ranch’s Service the Arts Honorees, Eleanore and Domenico De Sole will give a talk at Schermer Meeting Hall at 12:30 p.m. Domenico De Sole is the chairman of designer brand Tom Ford International and former president of Gucci.

RSVP and registration is required for the De Soles talk: http://www.andersonranch.org


The Ranch’s 50th anniversary celebration culminates in a community concert on Fanny Hill on Friday, July 22, featuring the Americana duo Jamestown Revival and an interactive mural designed by groundbreaking new media artist Joshua Davis on the Snowmass Village Mall.

The mural will be on site from noon to 8 p.m. the concert starts at 6:15 p.m.

An exhibition titled “Artistic Excellence in Snowmass Village: 50 Years of Art Making” will also open on the Snowmass Village Mall on Friday, featuring collected artworks from five decades at the Ranch.