“The Snowmass Arts Foundation was formed in September 1972 to enhance Snowmass’ growing reputation as a Rocky Mountain cultural center,” read an article from the Aspen Today in 1973. “The arts foundation will begin operation on June 18 overseeing the Anderson Ranch Arts Center, a joint program of the Center of the Eye, Aspen’s acclaimed photography workshop, and Paul Soldner, internationally known potter who will administrate the foundation and teach ceramics and woodworking. … The site of the arts center is the Anderson Ranch, which was bought in 1966 by the Janss Corporation and was later taken over by Snowmass American Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of American Cement Corporation. The ranch will soon be deeded to the Snowmass Arts Foundation, a nonprofit corporation. The arts foundation is responsible for the upkeep and modernization of the buildings at the ranch and for raising capital improvement funds. The arts foundation will lease space at the Anderson Ranch to art schools on merit to establish themselves there. Space will be given rent-free to schools, which will cover their own operating costs through tuition and/or donations. … As for the philosophical approach, Soldner cites participation in a working environment. He says the foundation is interested in people who have made a commitment or plan to make a commitment to their particular craft as a profession, not as a hobby. Enrollment at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center will hopefully come from a national drawing. Both the Center of the Eye and Soldner’s course are expanding for a locally oriented school to an international one. The arts center will accept students on a professional level from the United States and foreign countries. Soldner, an Aspen resident and currently professor of ceramics at Scripps College, Claremont, Calif., one of the Claremont Colleges, has outstanding and impressive credentials. He has served as artist-in-residence at several institutions, taught at the University of Iowa at Iowa City, Iowa, and the University of Colorado at Boulder, received two louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation grants, written numerous articles and a book entitled ‘Kilns and their Construction,’ served on 22 art juries, won 31 national and international awards, had 58 one-man shows and has work owned by 18 museums and galleries.” Soldner served as vice president of the Snowmass Arts Foundation when it first formed. Image of Anderson Ranch taken by Charles E. Grover circa 1940s.
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Operation Smile is making its way back into the Roaring Fork valley through involvement in local schools and a small event this week, according to valley local Jennifer Jones.