Art gallery spotlight: Aspen Art Museum
Aspen Art Museum
637 East Hyman Avenue
Admission to the AAM is free courtesy of Amy and John Phelan
Tuesday–Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The Aspen Art Museum (AAM) is an admission-free, globally engaged contemporary art museum, with community, education and member programs that provide ever-changing onsite and online exhibitions, workshops, and events.
Opened as the “Aspen Center for the Visual Arts” in 1979, the museum was officially accredited as the Aspen Art Museum in 1984. The AAM’s downtown building was designed by 2014 Pritzker Prize for Architecture winner Shigeru Ban and completed that same year with 100% private funding. In 2017, the facility was recognized among the American Institute of Architects (AIA) awards for “best contemporary architecture.”
Modern Aspen was founded on the principles of “The Aspen Idea” — the balance of “mind, body and spirit” — a holistic concept which continues to inform AAM programming. Under museum Director Nicola Lees, the museum’s future builds on the legacy of Aspen’s singular history and the artists that visited over the course of the 20th century, including Robert Rauschenberg, Claes Oldenberg, Bruce Nauman, Christo & Jeanne-Claude, Ed Ruscha, Andy Warhol, and resident artist/designers like Herbert Bayer.
Working rigorously and considerately with the local community to put education, collaboration, and community at the heart of its programming and with artists across the ecology of the artworld, the AAM hosts site-specific artist commissions, exhibitions, and educational and public programs that respond to Aspen, the Roaring Fork Valley, and Colorado’s Western Slope and the area’s unique climate and topography.
Finding creative ways to be site-specific and site-responsive in times of inhibited social contact has led to flexible and dynamic museum programs that move fluidly between physical and digital spheres and engage artists not only in exhibitions, but also in helping reinvent and redefine what museums can be as ‘site’ may refer to hybrid physical/digital spaces.
On the rooftop overlooking the museum’s Sculpture Garden, the AAM’s 2,700-square-foot SO café offers among town’s most socially distanced daytime indoor/outdoor dining experiences complete with views of Ajax Mountain and downtown Aspen. Guests may dine-in or carry out from a weekly changing menu of local ingredients prepared by museum culinary partners Julia and Allen Domingos.
Hours: Tuesday–Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Coffee & Croissants: 10 to 11:30 a.m.
Lunch: 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Beverages & Snacks: 2:30 to 5:30 p.m.
BOGO Happy Hour: 3 to 5 p.m.
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The documentary “Bernstein’s Wall,” focused on conductor Leonard Bernstein’s work as an activist, will screen Saturday at Aspen Filmfest.