The Aspen Art Museum (AAM) hosted a gala opening for The Roaring Fork Open (RFO), a biennial celebration of Local Artists and their work. The first RFO took place in 1980. Last night the exhibit kicked off at AAM with 125 Local Artists displaying their Art to a packed house at the Museum. The RFO's theme in 2011 was a collaboration with the exhibit America: Now and Here. Artists were encouraged to create pieces that would inspire a dynamic dialogue about present day America. The multidisciplinary selections were fabricated by a wide range of artists, some showing their work in public for the first time.
AAM strives to provide a vibrant and community-wide appreciation for the Arts. Along with their policy of FREE ADMISSION (Thanks to John and Amy Phelan), The RFO is probably the best example of AAM's efforts to make art accessible to everyone in the valley. The artists, their families, friends and art lovers from all over the Roaring Fork Valley showed up in force to celebrate art and to enjoy localism at it's finest.
Click 4 pix: RFO 2011
AAM's current building is beautifully situated along the Rio Grande Trail on The Roaring Fork River in one of the most sublime spots in all of Aspen. AAM is in the process of developing a new, highly controversial headquarters building directly in the center of Aspen's Core. While AspenSpin is looking forward to the new AAM building designed by notable Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, we can't help but wonder why they would give up the sweet spot along the river. The AAM has no permanent collection, and while AAM is busting out of the seams in their current space we still believe their was a more collaborative solution than force-feeding the new $28 Million project on the community We've heard the rhetoric, (see our story from 1 year ago, click Aspen Art Conundrum ) we've checked out the model and rendering and we are hopeful that the new AAM will become the "world class museum" that was described during the deceptive and fractious, but apparently legal approval process. The City Council, the developers and AAM all got what they wanted. It's still unclear if the citizenry of Aspen will truly benefit. Let's hope its not just another monument to ego and greed in the center of our historic town. While there are plenty of ruffled feathers about the new project, Aspen Spin is optimistic that the vision for the new AAM will live up to it's billing. We'll see in about 30 months.
Last night, The Aspen Art Community came together down by the river at AAM and it was all about the good times for The RFO opening. While appreciation of art is a personal matter, it's was hard not to enjoy the wide variety of American themed works created by friends, neighbors and fellow Roaring Fork locals. Some of the designs were fantastic and others did not really resonate with our tastes, but the show is powerful by any measure. We recommend that you take the time to visit RFO 2011 (the exhibit runs through Nov 20.2011). The 125 works of art are as unique and individual as each of the artists.
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Click 4 pix: RFO 2011