Art Base opens annual mentorship show

The Art Base in Basalt opened the 2021 edition of its Claudette Carter Art Mentors exhibition last week, showcasing the work of four local high schoolers mentored by professional artists over the past five months.

This year’s mentees are Finn Johnson of Aspen High School, mentored by Paul Woznicki; Stella Firmin of Basalt High School, mentored by Erin Rigney; Danny Carreno of Roaring Fork High School, mentored by Reina Katzenberger; and Tashi Jackson of Colorado Rocky Mountain School, mentored by Staci Dickerson.

The exhibition, also viewable online at, opened April 23 and runs through May 21.

The mentorship program is designed for high school students who are interested in a career within the arts. Participants are selected after a competitive application process and paired with a working artist. They work together to create a project from concept, through creative process, to professional exhibition.

It was founded to honor Claudette Carter, who died in 2007. She worked in the fashion design, styling, and set design industries. Her interest in myriad elements of design inspired the Art Base to create opportunities for Roaring Fork Valley youth to learn more about what it takes to pursue a career in the arts.

Finn Johnson partnered with gallerist and art consultant Paul Woznicki, and focused on his experience during the current pandemic and spending more time in his bedroom than ever before. Johnson used his bedroom door as his canvas and will present this as an installation piece during the show, stating that he “experimented with the idea of what it means to be trapped inside by a door, and the inner freedom and escape of painting on the very object that is both figural and literally keeping us inside.”

Basalt High School junior Stella Firmin and Carbondale artist Erin Rigney worked together as Firmin created a series of paintings in which she symbolizes her inner life, characteristics she admires and her biggest role model — her brother.

“My paintings symbolize my journey to become a healthier, happier person,” Firmin said in an exhibition announcement.

Danny Carreno, a senior at the Roaring Fork High School, spent his time with mixed-media artist Reina Katzenberger in her studio, The Project Shop. Carren will share a series of three large mixed-media canvases exploring self-revelation.

“I want to put my art on different surfaces and material so it will allow me to reveal different things about myself through each medium,” he said.

Tashi Jackson worked with Carbondale artist Staci Dickerson on a set of portraits of “people who are underrepresented in all aspects of our society and who struggle to receive equal treatment due to discrimination and bigotry.”

The online portion of the exhibition includes artist talks by each of the mentors and mentees.


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