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Bayard Hollins' mixed-media work, "The Fort Bidwell Duende," is part of the group exhibit In Search of Duende, showing at Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass Village. (Courtesy Anderson Ranch Arts Center)
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Duende is a notoriously slippery term in Spanish art, originally related to the flamingo, and denoting something like “soulfulness” or “authenticity.” The elusive nature of its meaning didn’t stop Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca from devoting many words trying to capture the essence of duende. It is possible that words are not the ideal medium for defining the word, and in that spirit that Anderson Ranch Arts Center presents In Search of Duende. The group exhibit gathers 34 of the valley’s finest artists, including ceramists (Sara Ransford), photographers (David Hiser, Linda Girvin), collagists (Jody Guralnick, Betty Weiss), sculptors (James Surls) and more. The show, co-curated by Kathleen Loe and Susan Working – directors of the painting and wood programs, respectively, at Anderson Ranch, as well as participants in the exhibit – runs through May 18.

“True Love,” the 2004 CD by long-running reggae band Toots & Maytals, was more than the standard star-filled “… & Friends” project. Instead, it was evidence of how universal a sound reggae has become. Virtually all of the guest artists joining singer Toots Hibbert and his group – Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, Willie Nelson, Ben Harper and Trey Anastasio among them – were steeped in reggae before doing their guest spots. Hibbert himself is a good part of the reason for the music’s popularity. (And never mind that he is responsible for the name “reggae,” which came from his late ’60s song, “Do the Reggay.”) From his beginnings, Hibbert mixes Jamaican styles with American r&b, making for a gloriously upbeat sound. “True Love” demonstrates the various influences he has put into reggae. At 61, he hasn’t stopped innovating; Hibbert joined the Easy Star Allstars on last year’s “Radiodread,” a tribute to the Radiohead CD, “OK Computer.” Toots & the Maytals do their reggae Wednesday, April 25, at Belly Up.

Founded in 1970 by U.S. Sen. Gaylord Nelson, Earth Day was intended to raise awareness of environmental issues. In the Aspen of 2007, it’s virtually impossible to be unaware of global warming and resource depletion, so perhaps it’s appropriate that the local Earth Day is as much a celebration as an attention-raising event. This year’s Earth Day, Sunday, April 22, includes a Neighborhood Cleanup, followed by an education-oriented fair at the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies. But the day opens with a 10K race, starting at Paepcke Park, and closes with a consciousness-raising party at Belly Up. The free bash includes pizza, and music by local school choirs, local band Slightly White, and John Michel & Michael Jude of Take the Wheel.


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