High Culture in Aspen, Colorado

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Home > Colorado > Colorado Cities > Aspen > Culture > High Culture    [ bookmark this page ]

Page Title: High Culture in Aspen, Colorado
Page Synopsis: Aspen, Colorado is High Culture.

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Aspen's High Culture

In Aspen, World-Class Visual and Performing Arts Thrive, Making this Resort a Playground for the Mind as Well as for the Body

Ever since modern Aspen emerged from the quiet years as a winter and summer destination, the visual and performing arts have been as much a draw as the spectacular natural beauty of Aspen. Art works including abstract painting, sculpture, blown glass, Western art, and nature photography fill Aspenís numerous and diverse galleries. Dance and theatre performances fill Aspenís summer nights. Aspen Art Museum broadens the townís horizons with edgy rotating exhibitions. And even Aspenís public spaces, from the pedestrian malls to the parks and sidewalks, overflow with enough artistic creation to rival the townís natural surroundings.  

Aspen Art Museum

     Nestled among aspen groves on the Roaring Fork River, this small museum may seem quaint, but donít be fooled. The Aspen Art Museum chooses not to house a permanent collection but instead hosts rotating high-caliber, cutting-edge exhibitions throughout the year, as well as childrenís and adult workshops and other outreach programs. With featured artists ranging in recent years from icons such as Warhol and Koons to up-and-coming conceptual artist Tom Friedman to local prodigies, the museumís offerings are always mind-expanding and worth checking out.  Visit on Thursday evenings when the museum offers complimentary viewings accompanied by wine and cheese.  (www.aspenartmuseum.org; 970.925.8050) 

Galleries for All Tastes

Following are just a few of the over 30 galleries in Aspen.  There are Gallery Walks scheduled regularly throughout the year, with the galleries featured offering libations to patrons as they walk from gallery to gallery during the evening hours.

     Baldwin Gallery. Stroll through this sleek, contemporary space, and you might forget youíre in the mountainsówith works by some of the most acclaimed contemporary artists in the business, such as Louise Nevelson, David LaChapelle, Robert Mapplethorpe, James Rosenquist, and Jennifer Bartlett. (970.920.9797)

     Galerie Maximillian. Peer at a Picasso or dig a Degas at Aspenís home for the great modern masters, with rotating exhibitions and a particularly awe-inspiring collection of original works on paper. (970.925.6100)

     Aspen Grove Fine Arts. Discriminating art collectors will always discover an exciting new array of work art at this unique gallery, which spans several artistic realms. (970.925.3717)

     Woody Creek Gallery. Six miles from town, this art gallery/general store has photographs and other works by regional and national artists, plus lots of local spirit. (970.922.2342) 

Movers and Shakers

     Aspen Santa Fe Ballet. This acclaimed company performs a mixed repertory at the Aspen District Theatre, and in late July/early August, brings the top names in the dance world to Aspen for the annual Aspen Dance Festival. Recent guest companies have included the hot MOMIX dance-illusionists, Chicagoís Hubbard Street Dance, and the renowned Washington Ballet, making the event a pillar of Aspenís summer cultural season. (www.aspensantafeballet.com; 970.925.7175) 

The Silver Screen

     Filmfest. ďIndependent by NatureĒ is the motto of Aspenís unique film festival, which celebrates the independent and innovative filmmakers of the past and present. Taking over Aspenís screens in late September, the fest revels in the serenity of autumn in Aspen and focuses on the best in the genre without Hollywood hype, velvet ropes, or paparazzi. (www.aspenfilm.org; 970.925.6882)

     Films Throughout the Season. Aspen Filmfest also sponsors a year-round film series at the century-old Wheeler Opera House (970.920.5770), featuring some of the yearís best moviesónot that Aspen lacks movie-going opportunities: This town of about 6,000 has a whopping eight screens between Stage 3 cinema (970.925.2050) and the grand, newly remodeled Isis Theatre, which recently began serving beer and wine during shows (970.925.7584) 

On Stage

     Aspen Theatre in the Park. This homegrown theatre company performs a rotating schedule of several productions for both adults and families under a tent on the Roaring Fork River in Rio Grande Park. The summer season lasts from late June to late August. (www.aspenTIP.org; 970.925.9313)

     Wheeler Opera House.  Many towns host top performers, but few can boast a century old opera house that has been completely restored to 1890s grandeur.  At the historic Wheeler Opera House, performances are as diverse as Lyle Lovett to The Second City National Touring Company to Taj Mahal. (www.wheeleroperahouse.com; 970.920.5770)

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