Beloved community picnic returns to Anderson Ranch Art Center |

Beloved community picnic returns to Anderson Ranch Art Center

Anderson Ranch's Art Auction & Community Picnic includes art activities, food vendors, entertainment and over 140 items to bid on

Kimberly Nicoletti
Anderson Ranch's Art Auction and Community Picnic attracted more than 700 people in 2019, when it was last held.
Courtesy Anderson Ranch

After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, Anderson Ranch Art Center’s long-awaited Art Auction & Community Picnic returns on Saturday.

“It’s a beloved community event,” said Katherine Roberts, Anderson Ranch’s former director of marketing and communications.

The last Art Auction & Community Picnic, in 2019, broke record attendance with more than 700 people, she said.

An Anderson Ranch tradition for over 40 years, the celebration brings people together for an afternoon of fun and creativity, which includes a silent auction with over 140 contemporary art pieces, picnic foods and live music by the Aspen Biker Band at 11:30 a.m.

The Aspen Biker Band began on the Hotel Jerome’s patio in 2010, and since then, it has revved up with a blend of classic rock, Motown, rhythm and blues and new rock covers, from Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love” to Trey Anastasio’s “Cayman Review” — and just about everything in between.

An all-you-can-eat wristband for $15 gives you access to tasty vendors, including Slow Groovin’ BBQ, Gajin Ramen, Francesca’s Empandas and Colorado Fruit Design. Adults can purchase $5 drink tickets, as well.

The family-friendly picnic includes free popcorn, cotton candy, snow cones, balloon artistry, face painting, art activities and lawn games, as well as a photo booth and magic with Doc Eason starting at noon. The ranch provides picnic tables and blankets on the lawn for a no-hassle afternoon. Artists will be on hand to demonstrate woodturning, ceramics and more.

“It’s a time to unwind for families,” said Andrea Jenkins Wallace, vice president of artistic affairs at Anderson Ranch. “People have really missed it. The ranch is the premiere cultural center for Snowmass Village, so historically, it has provided this sense of community.”

The art auction is the ranch’s second largest annual fundraiser (the gala being the primary). A large percentage of sales benefit Anderson Ranch’s scholarships and operating costs.

More than 140 contemporary works of art are available to bid on during the silent auction, which closes at 2 p.m. Saturday. Art lovers can currently preview pieces, as well as submit an absentee bid if they can’t make it Saturday, or purchase pieces at the “buy it now” price by visiting Anderson Ranch’s website. They can also stop by Anderson Ranch from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday to preview artwork.

Pieces include photographs, paintings, drawings, printmaking, ceramics, sculpture and woodworking and range from very affordable to higher priced starting bids.

About 99% of the artists represented are, or have been, involved with Anderson Ranch as visiting artists, faculty, staff and interns. Donating art for the auction is their way of supporting Anderson Ranch, Jenkins Wallace said.

The auction features both nationally known and local artists’ work, including: photographer Jess T. Dugan, ceramic artist John Gill, woodworker Christian Burchard — and many more — and locals Esther Macy Nooner, Liz Farrell, Bryan Sheer, Brad Reed Nelson, Doug Casebeer and Jenkins Wallace herself. Whether you’re bidding on art or just enjoying an artistically inspired afternoon picnic, “it’s a great way for people to enjoy a Saturday,” Jenkins Wallace said, “and it’s a great way to support Anderson Ranch.”

If you go …

What: Annual Art Auction & Community Picnic
When: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday
Where: Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Snowmass
Cost: Free and open to the public, but online registration is required. (An all-you-can-eat food wristband is $15; drink tickets are $5.)
To preview the silent auction and for more information:
While you’re there: Take a picture of the LOVE grave, the ranch’s most instagrammed outdoor sculpture. It has been on display within the Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition since its inception in 2020. To read about the exhibition, which has 10 new pieces this summer, visit or

This year’s silent art auction features more than 140 contemporary pieces.
Courtesy Anderson Ranch
The family-friendly community picnic includes art activities, face painting and balloon artistry for kids.
Courtesy Anderson Ranch

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