Walking the ‘Sculpturally Distanced’ exhibition at Anderson Ranch Arts Center | AspenTimes.com

Walking the ‘Sculpturally Distanced’ exhibition at Anderson Ranch Arts Center

Story & Captions Andrew Travers | Photos Kelsey Brunner


What: ‘Sculpturally Distanced’

Where: Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Snowmass Village

When: Open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

How much: Free to tour, sculptures for sale from $4,000 to $600,000

More info: Pick up a self-guided walking tour brochure at the Welcome Tent at the Rnach’s front gate or the kiosk beside the Welcome Center; andersonranch.org

The conversation started with Peter Waanders saying “I have this idea…”

Waanders, the president and CEO of Anderson Ranch Arts Center, had called Aspen-based curator Lissa Ballinger in late May with what sounded to her, at first, like an insane idea: obtain a dozen monumental sculptures installed on the Snowmass Village campus by Fourth of July.

The proposal was to do in little over a month what an art institution might normally spend years planning. And to do it in the midst of the novel coronavirus pandemic, which was disrupting shipping and travel along with most every aspect of life on Earth.

But then an amazing thing happened: they got it done.

In the first week of July, the Ranch unveiled 17 sculptures on its idyllic 5-acre mountain campus, now on view and open to the public for self-guided tours. Artists near and far — from Roaring Fork Valley legend James Surls to the international art star Sanford Biggers — hopped on board quickly, Ballinger recalled. She sent a letter to artists, calling for proposals by June 15, and the whole show was booked within three weeks of that first conversation.

“It’s a complete credit to the artists and the staff at Anderson Ranch,” Ballinger said. “It took so much creativity from them to get it done.”

The show activates the Ranch in a welcoming and safe manner for a season when it was expected to be uncharacteristically quiet, following the cancellation of summer workshops. With most of the sculptures on sale — and some selling already — it serves the goal of supporting artists during a challenging time for the art market and supports the Ranch in a moment when it has lost most of its summer revenue.

The exhibition will remain on view through September 2021, with sculptures rotating out as they sell.

Here is our peek of what you’ll find as you wander this pop-up sculpture garden.

— Andrew Travers