Aspen artists in in the spotlight at Red Brick Center’s Resident Artists Exhibition
IF YOU GO …
What: Resident Artists Exhibition
Where: Red Brick Center for the Arts
When: Through Jan. 3
More info: The show includes works by Michael Bonds, Jessie Chaney, Lorraine Davis, Caitlin Dunn, Kate Flynn, Liz Heller, Kate Howe, Nancy Kullgren, Tammie Lane
Michael McConnell, Molly Peacock, Toney Thomas and Mindy Vernon; redbrickaspen.com
What: ‘Sip and Shop’
Where: Red Brick Center for the Arts
When: Thursday, Dec. 12, 5-7 p.m.
More info: redbrickaspen.com
A walk through the Red Brick Center for the Arts’ new show is a crash course in the diverse practices and styles of Aspen’s artists — paintings of mountain scenes and Western landscapes, handmade jewelry, functional ceramics, geometric wood sculpture and animal sculpture, abstract painting and collage, rich photography … all of it side by side, out of the studios now and on the walls of the Red Brick’s long hallway gallery.
Here at the Resident Artists Exhibition are Mindy Vernon’s explosive abstract paintings, with natural scenes and cityscapes scrambled like bad memories. There are Lorraine Davis’ dreamy large-format paintings of familiar mountain scenes. Down the hall are one-of-a-kind new silver and gold handmade jewelry pieces by Caitlin Dunn; Kate Flynn’s turquoise-accented jewelry; Michael McConnel’s gorgeous, jarring mixed media collages; and Molly Peacock’s uncanny ceramic sculptures where small tree-like figures rise.
A cash-and-carry styled show, which runs through Jan. 3, it showcases works by 13 current resident artists at the center and is aimed at collectors and holiday shoppers who can buy work right off the walls.
The exhibition and sale of affordably priced and locally made art in advance of the winter holidays has proven a winning formula at the Aspen Chapel Gallery, where the annual “Small Wonders” group show has become one of the most popular art events of the year in Aspen. That show — the 14th edition of which opens Nov. 20 — sells art limited to 12-by-12 inches made by select local artists. It’s opening party is always a mob scene, and artists sell a ton of work there.
“‘Small Wonders’ definitely has an audience and it has all that history behind it,” said Michael Bonds, co-director of the Aspen Chapel Gallery and a resident artist at the Red Brick. “People really look forward to it and plan for it. This is a new version, so it’ll be interesting to see what kind of response we get.”
Bonds, who has worked out of the Red Brick for more than a decade, has been making functional ceramic pieces for the residents’ show, including serving bowls, dishes and mugs in rich seasonal colors aimed, in Bonds’ words, at “dressing up Thanksgiving and Christmas tables.”
The longtime Aspen-based artist Tammie Lane showcases some of her most recent plein air paintings, from spring in Moab, summer in Aspen and scenic works from painting events around the country. Lane is represented in commercial galleries as well, including Elliot Yeary Gallery on the Hyman Avenue Mall. She’s proud of the work being made in the Red Brick’s studios and excited to showcase it to the community in this show.
“There are professional artists here at the Red Brick and a lot of people don’t understand that,” she said, noting that anyone curious about Red Brick artists need not wait for exhibitions like this one to meet the artists. “We work every day here and the studios are open and people are always welcome. It’s such an overlooked asset we have in this community.”
Resident artists’ shows had been a Red Brick tradition, but it hasn’t hosted one since director Angie Callen was fired in June 2017 for embezzling funds from the nonprofit, an event which rattled all of the center’s programming.
Picking up the pieces, Red Brick director Sarah Roy has relaunched and refocused the resident showcase for the holiday season, aiming to welcome the community into the space to celebrate and support these homegrown artists.
“The Red Brick Resident Artists are incredibly hardworking, talented individuals committed to advancing their artistic pursuits,” Roy said of the roster. “It is truly inspiring and an honor to come to work every day alongside them.”
The Red Brick Center for the Arts artists’ community is always a hive of ideas and collaboration, but putting on this show has accentuated it.
“There’s a lot of work in the hallways, so we’re all bouncing ideas back and forth,” Bonds said. “Everybody is excited and generating a lot of work.”
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