Kool benefit, new exhibits
ASPEN The Aspen Art Museums annual summer benefit, artCRUSH, set for Friday, will be topped by a late-night party at Belly Up Aspen featuring funk band Kool & the Gang. But first, a pair of new exhibits at the museum open on Thursday. The exhibitions Avner Ben-Gal, featuring darkly emotional works by the Israeli painter, and Sculptors Drawing, a group show featuring works on paper by nine artists whose usual medium is sculpture both open Thursday and have opening receptions on Aug. 9. The opening reception for Ben-Gals show will feature music inspired by horror films, played by an Aspen Music Festival and School chamber combo. The two shows run through Oct. 14. The artCRUSH event opens at the Art Museum with a wine tasting, live and silent auctions, dining, contemporary art and the presentation of the Aspen Award for Art to Jim Hughes. The after-party at Belly Up begins at 10:30 p.m. with music by Kool & the Gang, who had hits in the late 70s and early 80s with Ladies Night, Celebration and Get Down On It. Last month the band, still led by brothers Robert Kool Bell and Ronald Khalis Brown, released Steppin Into Love, its first album in a decade. Also upcoming at the museum are a pair of October exhibits: To the Wall, featuring humorous and conceptual work by two artists, Lily Van der Stokker and David Shrigley; and the Roaring Fork Open, with works by local artists. Both shows run Oct. 25-Nov. 25, with an opening reception Oct. 25. For further information, go to http://www.aspenartmuseum.org.