Red Brick Center adds solo shows to exhibition program, beginning with Aspen’s Gary Gleason |

Red Brick Center adds solo shows to exhibition program, beginning with Aspen’s Gary Gleason

Photographer Gary Gleason hangs his works at the Red Brick Center for the Arts on Tuesday for the "Landscapes" exhibit featuring the work of eight local artists in the Red Brick Corridor Gallery.
Anna Stonehouse/The Aspen Times


What: ‘Landscapes’ group show and Gary Gleason solo exhibition

Where: Red Brick Center for the Arts

When: ‘Landcapes’ through Feb. 28; Gleason through Feb. 14; opening reception for both Thursday, Jan. 17, 5 p.m.

More info: the group show includes works by local artists Meghan Bergeron, Ben Bookout, Ghislaine Boreel, Curt Carpenter, Kristen Friebele, Monica Goldsmith, Kat Moser and David Notor;

The Red Brick Center for the Arts will be giving select local artists some extra space in the spotlight.

The city-operated Hallam Street gallery has expanded its hanging space into a conference room and foyer on its west side and designated it for solo exhibitions that will hang alongside the traditional group shows lining the corridors of the Red Brick.

“This will allow more opportunities for artists in the valley to exhibit and provide an especially unique one, because it will be a solo exhibition space,” Red Brick director Sarah Roy said in the gallery Tuesday.

The Red Brick also is planning to begin staging solo exhibitions in its main gallery space beginning in 2020. Roy is accepting applications from artists now.

The nonprofit gallery will host six exhibitions this year. It scaled back its schedule of rotating monthly art exhibitions in 2018, following the financial fallout of an alleged embezzlement of some $160,000 in taxpayer dollars by former Red Brick director Angela Callen.

The group show “Landscapes” opens today, exhibiting diverse interpretations of the landscape form by eight locally based artists.

And in the new West Gallery space, longtime local Gary Gleason is exhibiting 10 of his abstract photographs. The show is the culmination of a decade-long art project for Gleason. It began with a moment of inspiration walking along a canal in Amsterdam in 2008.

“Something in me said, ‘Go take a picture!’” Gleason said. “I did and it came out all freaky and cool.”

The iPhone photo, blown up to 30-by-40 inches and printed on dye-impregnated aluminum, doesn’t much resemble the canal water. It looks more like an abstract painting, with interlocking black, white, gray and brown forms. In the years that followed that shot, Gleason collected similar digital photos that captured a bit of abstract magic from the natural world. None of them are touched-up or distorted with Photoshop or other computer programs — they came out this way.

“After this decade of evolution, it’s the core elements of sky, water, air, fire and rock,” he explained. “Trying to capture images, patterns, textures. There’s so much that we just walk past every day and don’t notice.”

Other pieces in the show include a shot of rocks through creek water in the Grand Canyon, which looks like a drip painting, and one from a plane window capturing a sunrise in Kansas that looks like a color field painting with the pale blue of sky bleeding into yellow and orange of emerging sunlight above brown earth.

A close-up photo of the patterned stains on the asphalt of a San Francisco street looks like scuffed denim to Gleason, but he wants to know what other people find in these works.

“People see different stuff in them and that’s the most exciting part,” he said. “I’m excited to have people come in and to hear what they have to say about these.”

Gleason is a familiar face in Aspen. He’s lived here full time since 1989 and his family has been here since his parents built a slopeside cabin on Aspen Mountain in 1960. He put together a career here doing marketing for the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority, working disaster relief for the federal government and running a small poster-hanging business.

Gleason also, fortuitously, worked on the campaign to gather votes from the public for the city of Aspen to buy the Red Brick from the school district a quarter-century ago. Now the space is hosting his first local art show.

Until recently, his art was a private passion. Gleason had his first exhibition in Denver last year.

“Art has been a deep part of my life and my heart, but hasn’t been how I make a living,” he said.

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