Art Museum gala |

Art Museum gala

Mary Eshbaugh Hayes
Dennis Basso put on the style show during the Aspen Art Museum benefit that takes place every Aspen holiday season. At the gala cocktail party at the St. Regis are Michael Cominotto, left, and Basso. (MEH)

The holidays in Aspen are always a good time for nonprofits to put on their big benefit galas. For several years now, the Aspen Art Museum has held a silent auction-cocktail party followed by a style show at the St. Regis Aspen. In the past, the style show was put on by Obermeyer and then Fendi, and now for several years it has been Dennis Basso, who has a boutique in The Little Nell and shows his furs and evening wear.Just because the holidays are over doesn’t mean the parties are over – Aspen remains a party town all through the winter.

On Jan. 6, a gala celebrating Patty Spilsbury’s 60th birthday was held at Bumps. It was hosted by Ruth Harrison, Patsy Butchayden, Carolyn Barabe, Glenn Parker, Deborah Bradford and Julie Wyckoff. Music for the evening was provided by Twirp Anderson, John Sommers and Cash Cashman. The unsung heroes who do the lab work for the Colorado Mountain College photography programs will finally get their due. They are the stars of the “Lab Rats Photo Show” hanging until May 4 at CMC. Lab assistants include Sheila Babbie, Ken Bartie, Chuck Curry, Jennifer Long, Michael McAllister, Deanna Raso and Derek Skalko. Showing their paintings in oil, acrylic and soft pastel in an art exhibit at the Aspen Chapel Gallery through Feb. 18 are Marith Merens, Royle Freund, Jan Grenda, Jennine Hough, Michael Kinsley, David Notor, Jan Panico, Deborah Rader, Ann Smock and Katie Van Alstine. Charles Greenwood of Aspen earned a bachelor of arts degree in political science at winter commencement at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Julia Hanson founded Theater Masters in Aspen, which four years ago launched a competition for high school students in the Roaring Fork Valley. Now, Theater Masters has launched a competition and program for playwrights attending nine of the top graduate schools from across the country, and the playwrights are coming to Aspen to see their works performed. The award-winning plays will be presented in a festival of 10-minute plays called “Take Ten” on Sunday-Tuesday, Jan. 21-23, at 7:30 p.m. at the Black Box Theatre at Aspen High School. The first night is the dress rehearsal; the second night is opening night with a Q-and-A session with the playwrights following; and the Tuesday performance is followed by a Q-and-A with the directors. Tickets are available by calling (970) 948-9484 or at the door. Participating graduate schools are Brown University, Columbia University, New York University, Carnegie Mellon, Northwestern University, Iowa University, UCLA, UCSD and the University of Texas at Austin. Also on hand will be the winning playwrights from Aspen High School and Glenwood Springs.Undercurrent … On these wintry days it is pleasant to look through the gardening catalogs and plan next summer’s flowers.