Anderson Ranch Arts Center exhibition puts interns in the spotlight |

Anderson Ranch Arts Center exhibition puts interns in the spotlight

Guests mill about the artworks at the opening reception from the interns at Anderson Ranch on Tuesday evening.
Anna Stonehouse/The Aspen Times


What: ‘Fruits of Our Labor,’ art by Anderson Ranch interns

Where: Patton-Malott Gallery at Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Snowmass Village

When: Through Sunday, Aug. 19

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After working behind the scenes all summer at Anderson Ranch Arts Center, the season’s interns are getting a week in the spotlight.

An art exhibition on the Snowmass Village campus is showcasing — and selling — new artwork by 26 interns who’ve been at the art colony this summer.

Titled “Fruits of Our Labor,” the show offers a snapshot of the wide range of disciplines covered at the Ranch and the equally wide-ranging uses of form by its young interns in photography, paper, woodworking, furniture design, ceramics, painting, printmaking, sculpture and video. All of the works in the show were made at Anderson Ranch.

The exhibition was a last-minute addition to the Ranch’s Patton-Malott Gallery schedule, giving the interns the opportunity to take over the gallery. They organized and hung the show with just a few days’ notice.

“I was a little bit worried that wouldn’t be enough time,” said Brian Shure, the Ranch’s master printer and the new chair of its gallery committee. “I’m really proud of them for doing a fantastic installation and for a beautiful show.”

The show runs through Sunday. Its opening Tuesday evening drew a large and enthusiastic crowd that included Anderson Ranch artists and staffers along with many valley-based professional artists like Stanley Bell, Andrew Roberts-Gray and Mike Otte.

The show uses every available inch of the intimate gallery. Fabric and paper works hang from the ceiling, light and sculptural pieces sit on the floor and two-dimensional works — remarkably diverse in form and content — cover the walls.

Leah Monsour’s “Alec and Christine” is a portrait of two of her fellow interns — Alec Smith and Christine Cho — sitting near Owl Creek on a rock and holding hands. It’s part of a continuing photo series by Monsour, a recent SUNY-New Paltz photography graduate, about platonic intimacy.

In Savannah Bustillo’s “I can’t draw a straight line (I guess this is my coming out),” a piece of ash wood has been slowly transformed over the course of the summer: the recent Washington University grad has carved 30 lines into it every day and made a print of the pattern on paper when she reached 300 lines.

Molly O’Donnell’s “Contacts” is a video work displaying a close-up of a pair of eyes with changing colors and patterns in them. Austin Armstrong has created a silk-screen portrait of a man – intern Alec Smith, again, as the model – playing the banjo over a background of the same image on a sheet of stamps.

The local environs provided some inspiration, as well. Alec Smith’s “Bend and Snap,” for instance, is an evocative photo of a sad and drooping young pine tree outside of an Aspen Guccci store.

The interns embrace the Anderson Ranch ethos of experimentation across artistic disciplines. Gabrielle Graves, an intern in the photography and new media department, for example, has three pieces in the exhibition: one is a photo, one a painting, and one a poem printed on fabric, shredded and hung from the ceiling.

“I dabble in a lot of fields and the medium that I choose is just the medium that works best for what I’m trying to say at the moment,” Graves explained at the opening.

Her photograph, “A Temporary Martyr,” shows a woman slumped over in a bathtub. She pointed to the influence of Ranch staffers on her new work. Photo studio coordinator Ben Timpson, she said, taught her new printing techniques that led to the poem fabric work, titled “unraveling — to the young girl on the plane.” And the work of Anderson Ranch photo department artistic director Andrea Wallace, specifically her “Toward Amnesia” series of portraits, directly inspired Graves’ “Temporary Martyr.”

“I take in inspiration all the time here,” Graves said.

While they’ll be taking the Ranch’s influence with them wherever they go after their summer here, the interns also help define the Ranch during its creatively febrile summer months, Shure said.

“The interns really are the heart of the workings of the Ranch,” he said. “All summer, they’re here helping the faculty, the administrators and artistic directors and staff. Also, you can see, they’re all doing their own work and responding to the classes they’re involved in and to each other’s work.”


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