Anderson Ranch hosts annual art auction and picnic

Erica Robbie
The Aspen Times
Anderson Ranch’s silent auction will be held in the Wyly Painting building.

IF YOU go...

What: Anderson Ranch 35th annual Art Auction

Where: Anderson Ranch, Snowmass Village

When: Saturday, August 1, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Cost: Free

There are a many words that describe Anderson Ranch Arts Center and its annual art auction and picnic, but “riot” isn’t usually one of them. Things are different this year, though.

“It’s going to be just a riot of color,” said Anderson Ranch marketing director Jennifer Slaughter. “We’re really excited to have so many of the community here on campus.”

Slaughter is referring to the local nonprofit’s largest community event, the Anderson Ranch Annual Art Auction and Community Picnic, that takes place today from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Anderson Ranch in Snowmass Village.

As in years past, the auction will feature works of art — more than 200 this year — by top contemporary artists available to bid on in live and silent auctions.

“It’s a wonderful event we’ve been doing for 35 years that brings people together to celebrate the art,” Slaughter said.

Though the auction is a longtime ranch tradition, there are new features to this year’s event.

In June, Anderson Ranch partnered with Aspen Magazine to host a competition that gave the community an opportunity to submit their art with the chance of being published on the magazine’s cover.

The winner of this first-ever contest will be announced at the auction, Slaughter said.

“Honoring the milestone of our 50th anniversary, the winner will somehow be included in the winter kick-off issue,” Slaughter said. “It’s exciting, and sort of setting the tone for the year. We had over 60 entries.”

This year’s event also will include a selfie booth, Slaughter said.

“We’ll have a tent set up with props and people can come set up their phones with the tripod,” marketing intern Lindsey Herndon said.

“You can come get your picture taken with famous artists throughout history, and famous subjects of art — Jeff Koons’ dog and the Mona Lisa, for instance,” Slaughter added.

“Hopefully that’ll get some buzz, people Instagramming and hashtagging on social media,” Herndon said.

The annual art auction, which is open to all members of the community, also will feature live music, children’s art activities, a gourmet picnic lunch, margarita bar and more.

“It’s fun for the whole family; there’s a lot of activity and fun things to do for all ages here … It really is this coming together of the ranch community — kind of this manifestation of love here for the ranch, because everyone is involved or connected.”

All of the artwork featured in the auction is in some way connected to the community, Slaughter pointed out.

“Some of the work was created by artists here or by people who have some sort of history with our organization,” she said.

Some of the pieces, which were available online for advance bidding from July 17 to 30, have already sold. The vast majority, however, are still available.

“People like to get wrapped up in the live auction,” Slaughter said. “It’s a much different experience actually being here in person.”

Curated by Barbara Lee, the live auction will take place in Schermer Meeting Hall and features an array of works, including a Jessica Stockholder sculpture, a photographic print by Alec Soth, photogravure from Shana and Robert ParkeHarrison, handmade paper from Ursula von Rydingsvard, a Hernan Bas print, raku ceramics by Jun Kanenko, a vintage silver print by Amy Arbus, woodfired stoneware by ceramist and Japanese National Living Treasure Takashi Nakazato as well as pieces by ceramists John Gill and Ron Nagle, according to a statement from the ranch.

“It’s a nice balance between artwork that’s more affordable and really high-profile artists,” said Cassandra Holden, a former intern and current student at the ranch.

Holden said her favorite part of the event is the way the community works together to put it on.

“It’s a huge preparation and a lot of collaboration between staff and interns,” Holden said. “It really shows the community Anderson Ranch has.”

“And, of course, all of the proceeds from the event go straight back to the ranch,” Slaughter added. “It really is a full circle of support.”


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