The magic of the museum

Dear Editor:

While traveling, I’ve been hearing that the issue regarding a potential new art museum has been creating quite a stir and felt I should send a message from the perspective of an artist, small business owner, former concierge, and as someone who loves Aspen and has made it home since 1997.

I first visited Aspen in 1988 and had never felt such an instant love for a place. I was 18. I loved the skiing and the smell of the air. I even loved my job serving breakfast at Pour La France on Main Street. All the kids were so comfortable in their own skins, and the community was a down-to-earth melting pot of intellectuals, athletes, fun-seekers and luminaries. The feeling that Aspen embodied for me was magical.

Now, I consider myself so lucky to live here as a full-time artist and mom, living in employee housing at the base of Highlands with my husband, our 1-year-old son and 9-year-old daughter. My children get to be what I always dreamed of being ” born in Aspen.

Aspen is the dream it is through its people, and how we continue to shape it as our home. Together we create shared places that both house and reflect the human conversation and act as the gathering places that keep the soul of this town alive.

I see no better time than now to let the old museum location become a home for the creation of art, and in turn, to celebrate the idea of a new Aspen Art Museum near the center of town; a space in the long-standing tradition of Aspen architectural spaces that reflects our collective love of the human spirit and the art it relies on to help us grow, change, and uplift each other.

The Music Tent, the Wheeler, The Given Institute, to name just a few, have been such important parts of the balance between the material, the spiritual, and the intellectual, and make Aspen the powerful place it is. This new museum makes sense. I own a working artists’ studio and know the demand for studio space for local, brilliant artists that the old location might provide. Shigeru Ban’s Aspen Art Museum will be a place that entertains visitors ” who we both care for and whose patronage we should continue to foster. It will also be a place that locals can gather and connect. It will be a place that will teach us through Heidi’s curatorial vision and conversation-spurring contemporary exhibits. It will be a gift to our town from its financial supporters, and it will keep the momentum of Aspen going … not to mention the magic.

Olivia Daane Reische



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