Aspen Times Weekly: ArtAspen partners up

by Andrew Travers
Now in its fifth year, ArtAspen takes over the Aspen Ice Garden for the first three days of August, combining 25 contemporary art galleries from the U.S., Europe and Asia.
Courtesy photo |

What: ArtAspen

Where: Aspen Ice Garden

When: Friday Aug. 1 - Sunday Aug. 3 (Preview July 31)

Cost: $25 single day/$250 VIP for two

More information:

We are spoiled in Aspen in countless ways, but cultural opportunities in the summertime might be where we’re most fortunate. The planet’s best of everything, it seems, comes to our doorstep all season. If you’re into classical music, the world’s most accomplished practitioners of the form have daily concerts at the Aspen Music Festival and School. If you’re a political junkie or history buff, there’s a cavalcade of world leaders speaking at the Aspen Institute all summer. If you like Broadway, the Theatre Aspen tent has shows daily with performers taking a respite from Manhattan. How about dance? Aspen Santa Fe Ballet has performances by its local company and world-renowned visitors.

And if contemporary art is your thing, ArtAspen brings 25 leading galleries from the U.S., Europe and Asia to town for a three-day art fair at the Aspen Ice Garden.

The fifth annual ArtAspen, running Aug. 1 to 3, includes galleries from throughout the U.S. along with Art Vitam of Paris and Sundaram Tagore Gallery of Hong Kong and Singapore. In all, the show brings more than 1,000 contemporary and post-war works, by hundreds of artists, to town. It’s struck a chord with locals and tourists alike — last year boasting an attendance of nearly 2,500.

This year, the fair is making inroads into Aspen’s cultural landscape beyond the world of contemporary art, partnering with local organizations like Aspen Film, the Aspen Institute and the Music Festival for a lineup of programming to complement its mega-gallery at the ice rink.

A special preview of the fair on Thursday, July 31 includes ski helmets hand-painted by members of the U.S. ski team. They’ll be auctioned off as a fundraiser for the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club.

Friday’s festivities include a panel discussion on “The American West in Contemporary Art,” with curators from the Tucson Museum of Art, Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City, and the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art.

On Saturday, ArtAspen hosts a panel on Aspen icon Herbert Bayer, co-presented by the Aspen Institute, where he left an indelible impact with his designs and artwork (and where the Paepcke Gallery hosts a rotating exhibitions of his work). The panel includes the Institute’s resident Bayer expert, Lissa Ballinger, with artist Richard Carter and local architect Harry Teague.

Saturday evening, the fair hosts a screening of the documentary “Herb and Dorothy, 50 x 50,” co-presented with Aspen Film and Aspen Sojourner. The film chronicles Herb and Dorothy Vogel’s monumental 2008 gift project, through which the couple gave a total of 2,500 artworks to museums in all 50 states. Dorothy Vogel and filmmaker Megumi Sasaki will be on hand for a panel discussion after the screening.

And on Sunday, ArtAspen has partnered with the Music Festival and KSPN Radio for what they’re calling “A Day of Art + Music,” including a guided tour of the fair and a panel discussion with Houston art collector Lester Marks on acquiring art.

So along with curating galleries from across the U.S. and beyond, it seems that ArtAspen is aiming to curate Aspen’s multi-faceted cultural scene for a few days.

Aspen Times Weekly

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