ArtAspen fair paints town with renowned artists |

ArtAspen fair paints town with renowned artists

Michael McLaughlin
The Aspen Times

As Robert and Linda Schmier slowly took in the art displayed at ArtAspen by the Madison Gallery from La Jolla, California, their concentration was apparent. Both looked, stepped back and tried to appreciate the art from different perspectives and angles.

The Florida couple has attended all four ArtAspen shows and times an annual visit to Aspen around the local art schedule.

“There are some quality galleries here (at ArtAspen) that brought some real nice work,” Robert Schmier said. “ArtAspen brings different artists and galleries every year. For us, being from Florida, it’s great to see some of the Western galleries.”

ArtAspen is the only contemporary art fair in America during August and runs through Sunday at the Aspen Ice Garden

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“It’s one-stop shopping,” Linda Schmier said. “This type of intimate setting allows us to see many new artists, and it gives us a chance to develop relationships with the artists themselves.”

This year, ArtAspen is showcasing more than 1,000 contemporary and post-war artworks by 200 artists representing more than 25 galleries.

The ArtAspen philosophy of a boutique fair is to give attendees a more “impactful, comprehensive and manageable” show.

“It’s one-stop shopping,” Linda Schmier said. “This type of intimate setting allows us to see many new artists, and it gives us a chance to develop relationships with the artists themselves.”

Chris Trueman is an artist from Los Angeles who is having the White Box Contemporary Gallery display six pieces of his art at the show. He gladly accepted an invitation to be at the show to meet and talk with other artists, collectors and representatives of other galleries. Trueman said some of the larger shows he’s worked at don’t allow for as much communication between exhibitors and artists in comparison to ArtAspen.

“The quality and broad representation of the galleries here is very impressive,” Trueman said. “Every show I participate in allows some chance to meet and talk with my peers, but there are venues that are too large to really get to know some of the other participants. Aspen’s size and layout works very well for this. It’s great for artist networking.”

One of the exhibits has a distinct local flavor. The Quintenz Gallery & David Floria have a gallery in the Residences at The Little Nell building in downtown Aspen. Last year, The Quintenz Gallery announced a collaboration with Floria, a longtime Aspen contemporary-art authority and former director of the Aspen Art Museum.

Floria appreciates the local exposure that comes from a show like ArtAspen.

“You can expect to meet people here that you wouldn’t necessarily have come visit your gallery,” Floria said. “It really allows us to promote our Aspen location. We’re also meeting other dealers, collectors and artists. We have a real microcosm of the art world.”

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