Young Curators of the Roaring Fork make a ‘Statement’ at the Aspen Art Museum |

Young Curators of the Roaring Fork make a ‘Statement’ at the Aspen Art Museum

Staff report
Glenwood Springs High School student Zach Johnson is among the artists featured in the 2017 Young Curators of teh Roaring Fork exhibition, opening Saturday at the ASpen Art Museum.
Courtesy photo |


What: Young Curators of the Roaring Fork, ‘Artist Statement’

When: Opening reception, Saturday, April 15, 3 p.m.; exhibition runs though April 30

Where: Aspen Art Museum

How much: Free

More info:



Aspen High School: Lauren Anuszewski, Callie Ferguson, Elizabeth Freeman, Anders Pomeroy

Basalt High School: Sarah Borchelt, Megan Maley

Glenwood Springs High School: Tess Lang Burns, Sophia Hayes, Mae Houston

Roaring Fork High School: Owen O’Farrell

The 11th annual Young Curators of the Roaring Fork exhibition opens Saturday at the Aspen Art Museum, offering a youthful vision of the world through art.

The museum’s student-driven program will feature 16 artworks culled from 80 submissions by high school artists from the Roaring Fork Valley and Garfield County schools. Titled “Artist Statement,” the show will be on view in the museum through April 30.

In a shift from previous years, the 10 student curators — from Aspen, Basalt, Carbondale and Glenwood Springs — led with an open call for submissions and without a predetermined theme to elicit artistic responses. Although artist statements were required with each submission, the curators worked together to select the strongest works and identify common thematic elements or stylistic threads from which to assemble the exhibition.

“In an era where global issues, positive and negative, are becoming more visible than ever, it is nearly impossible to separate the political from the personal,” the curators wrote in a group statement. “Because of this, a generation is growing up with the desire to form connections with something greater than ourselves. We have seen both the beauty and the tragedy of humanity; everything we learn inspires us to form opinions, take action against injustice, and evolve our concerns to achieve a greater well-being.”

Since 2005, the YCRF program has engaged high school students from the Roaring Fork Valley and Rifle over a six-month period to build aesthetic valuation, leadership, organizational and critical-thinking skills. During this time, students explore the museum’s many departmental roles and professional opportunities — including exhibition design and installation, the roles of the registrar, communications and marketing departments, and the responsibilities of their professional curatorial counterparts. Student curators then lead committees to prepare, promote and execute the details of the community-driven exhibition.

The students saw submissions coming in that reflected this tumultuous moment in history.

“We recognize a call for change in global culture, and this year, we were given various personal glimpses into our peers’ collective sentiment,” the curators wrote. “The pieces presented within ‘Artist Statement’ are the most striking illustrations of our aspirations to influence the outcomes of challenges we face. This exhibition actualizes art as a haven from which to impact and improve: it is melded in the acrylic, burning in the charcoal, snapping in the camera lens that gives voice to eradicating adversity.”