Studio Tour: ‘It’s more than just a school fundraiser’ |

Studio Tour: ‘It’s more than just a school fundraiser’

Aspen Times staff report
Aspen, CO Colorado
Contributed photoWork by Susan Obermeyer Strauss is featured in the Roaring Fork Valley Studio Tour, a benefit for the Carbondale Community School, on Saturday and

CARBONDALE – Carol Rothrock, who founded the Roaring Fork Studio Tour as a fundraising event for the Carbondale Community School, won’t be at this year’s event in the flesh.

Rothrock, who was the art teacher at the Community School when she helped found the event, died earlier this year. But Rothrock would certainly be pleased to know how the seventh annual Studio Tour is shaping up – even beyond the fact that this year’s event is being dedicated to her memory.

The Roaring Fork Studio Tour coincides with the opening of Carbondale’s Third Street Center; the Studio Tour’s artist reception and auction, being held Friday, is the first major event at the new Third Street Center. The reception will feature a martini and wine bar, food from local restaurants, and music by the Hell Roaring String Band. The bash also coincides with Carbondale’s First Friday, virtually ensuring that the hordes will be out to check out the auction – as well as a related group exhibition at the Carbondale Council on Arts and Humanities, which opens tonight and runs through the month.

Even without the bonus attractions, the Studio Tour has become a major event in Carbondale. More than 90 artists are participating – either by donating art, by opening their studio doors to guests, or both – in this year’s tour. The tour, which includes 42 galleries and artist studios up and down the valley, takes place Saturday and Sunday, June 5-6, from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. each day. (Rothrock’s work can be viewed at Amore Realty in Carbondale.) Maps for the tour can be purchased for $15 at Friday’s events, or at Alpine Bank locations, with proceeds going to the Community School’s art program. Funds are also raised through the sale of works at the actions, and at the exhibition.

According to Seana Lee, a parent of a Community School student and, with Liz Penzel, co-director of the Studio Tour, Rothrock originally envisioned a juried art show to raise money for the school’s art activities. But quickly the concept of a studio tour took hold, and that seems to have been a fortunate turn of events, and part of the reason that between one and two thousand maps are sold each year.

“You can interact with the artists face to face, and see what they do, maybe even get to try out what they do,” Lee said. “And you can buy a piece directly from the artist, which can be really fun.”

Artists opening their studios include James Surls, Charmaine Locke, Mary Noone, Andy Taylor, Nancy Lovendahl, Stanley Bell, Tania Dibbs, Jody Guralnick, and numerous others.

“It’s more than just a school fundraiser,” Lee said. “It’s a community event. It brings together the community, the artists and the school.”

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