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The Anderson Ranch Annual Art Auction is about more than buying outstanding contemporary art. The free event, which includes a picnic and live music, has become Anderson Ranch’s primary way to open its Snowmass Village campus to the entire community. Even those who don’t have the dollars to drop on the auction items will find a visit worthwhile. The Ranch’s buildings and grounds, designed to encourage interaction between the facility’s users, is one of the finest examples of the work of local architect Harry Teague. Witnessing the fast-paced auction action, conducted by Jim Chaffin, is something to behold. And there is the art itself, a collection that features work by Jane Hammond, Enrique Martinez Celaya, Jim Campbell, James Surls and numerous others. Finally, check out the silent auction, including pieces by local artists that are more affordable than might be imagined. The Art Auction is set for Saturday, Aug. 11, beginning at 11 a.m.

“The Last Five Years” is a musical romance with several twists. Jason Robert Brown’s show has just two characters: Jamie, a New York Jew, and Cathy, a “shiksa goddess” from Ohio. And their story unfolds in two different directions: Jamie’s version starts when the two meet; Cathy’s version begins from the break-up and travels backwards. The two strands meet in the middle, at their wedding. Theatre Aspen’s version of “The Last Five Years” opened last week, and runs through the end of the season, closing Sept. 1. The production features a pair of Broadway veterans in Paige Price and Hadley Fraser, a late-in-the-game replacement. The show is directed by David Ledingham, who pulls double duty in the Theatre Aspen season; he is also currently starring as movie director Victor Fleming in the farce, “Moonlight and Magnolias.”

The concert by fiddler Mark O’Connor and his Appalachia Waltz Trio didn’t make the Aspen Music Festival’s calendar; it was too late an addition to make it into print. But it’s easy to understand why the Music Festival would make allowances. In this season of jumping genres, O’Connor is a perfect fit – he plays jazz and bluegrass, and with Yo-Yo Ma and Edgar Meyer, he created the Grammy-winning 2000 album, “Appalachian Journey,” which crossed Southern folk and classical terrain. His 2003 live, two-CD set “Thirty-Year Retrospective” is a brilliant consolidation of American styles. He has also made his mark as a composer of concert music; his “Fiddle Concerto,” from 1994, is far more than the novelty piece that the title may suggest. And classical violinists are known to be floored by his intonation. O’Connor appears with his Appalachia Waltz Trio – including violist Rebecca Albers and cellist Mike Block – and plan to play music from “Crossing Bridges,” his 2004 trio CD.