Aspen Times Weekly: Figures of Speech |

Aspen Times Weekly: Figures of Speech

Anderson Ranch consistently attracts crowds to its Snowmass Village campus for its Featured Artist Series, with a lineup of internationally renowned artists giving free presentations at Schermer Meeting Hall. This year’s lineup includes the likes of installation artist Theaster Gates and photographer Catherine Opie.

Less well-known, however, is the Ranch’s guest faculty lecture series, which begins June 1 and runs through September. The series offers the public a taste of the wide spectrum of artists who come to Snowmass to teach workshops in the summer. This year it brings a diverse lineup of more than 50 artists working across mediums to the ranch, for free presentations every Sunday and Tuesday.

The series opens Sunday with talks by furniture designer and Anderson Ranch studio coordinator Jason Schneider along with Utah-based sculptor Ryoichi Suzuki.

Originally from Tokyo, Suzuki is a professor at Utah State University. He works stone, wood and bronze into minimalist sculptures. In June, he’s teaching a workshop on wood sculpture at the Ranch.

“I will be talking about sculpture in general and the subtractive method in particular,” Suzuki says of his presentation. “That includes wood carving, but I also work with stone a lot and I’ll talk about working in bronze. … Each medium has its own attraction.”

This is Suzuki’s first time teaching at Anderson Ranch, though he’s visited previously and often brought his sculpture students from Utah to attend marble-carving symposia in nearby Marble.

The laid back communal artistic spirit at Anderson Ranch, he says, is a welcome change from the often competitive spirit of a college campus.

“The feeling I get at Anderson Ranch is that it’s a very relaxed atmosphere and people are having fun trying different things,” he says. “The university is very different because students are trying to get a degree and it’s not relaxed. I demand students [at Utah State] work as hard as possible. I don’t think I will take that approach with the students at Anderson Ranch.”

The series continues on Tuesday with Jamaican potter David Pinto and Brooklyn-based painter Christian Rex van Minnen.

Pinto is teaching a pottery workshop with longtime Ranch ceramicist Doug Casebeer for the first two weeks of June. Pinto is among Jamaica’s leading ceramic artists, and has previously taught at the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan.

Van Minnen, a former artist-in-residence at the Ranch, has earned an international reputation for his surrealistic paintings, offering hallucinatory takes on classic portraits and still-lifes.

Tuesday evening also includes the opening reception for a new show at the Ranch’s Patton-Malott Gallery, featuring new work by Mary Conover and Nancy Lovendahl.

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