February 24, 2016

Posted In: Press, Press Release

20th Annual Gala Celebration Will Take Place July 21, 2016
2016 Marks the 50th Anniversary of Anderson Ranch Arts Center

Aspen/Snowmass, Colo. (February 24, 2016) — Anderson Ranch Arts Center, a premier destination in America for art making and critical dialogue since 1966, celebrates creativity and service to the arts by recognizing the accomplishments and contributions of key figures in the art world. This summer, as part of a week of 50th Anniversary events, Anderson Ranch will honor Carrie Mae Weems with the National Artist Award and Eleanore and Domenico De Sole with the Service to the Arts Award at its 20th Annual Recognition Dinner. The gala evening will take place July 21, 2016.

“There is no better way to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Anderson Ranch than by recognizing an artist like Carrie Mae Weems, whose work speaks so clearly to the human experience. We are delighted to honor her as our 2016 National Artist Award honoree,” said Nancy Wilhelms, Executive Director of Anderson Ranch. “In such a special year, we are particularly pleased to recognize world-class collectors and passionate patrons of the arts, Eleanore and Domenico De Sole, with our Service to the Arts Award in honor of their tireless commitment to the advancement of art.”

Upon the announcement of the award, Carrie Mae Weems responded, “To be given the National Artist Award, an award that has, in the past, been given to such illustrious artists like Frank Stella, Theaster Gates and Cindy Sherman, among others, is such an incredible honor. I am a working girl who is so consumed and engaged with my work that I’m often surprised when anyone takes note. It’s therefore humbling and an honor to be given this award from Anderson Ranch.”

“We could not be more honored than to receive the Service to the Arts Award from Anderson Ranch,” said Eleanore and Domenico De Sole. “It is very special coming from such a highly regarded institution, especially during the Ranch’s 50th anniversary year.”

Hosted at the height of Aspen’s summer season, the Recognition Dinner brings together art world luminaries and supporters to enjoy a festive evening of celebration and fundraising, including cocktails, dinner and a live auction, featuring works by leading contemporary artists.

Tables and tickets are available by calling Anderson Ranch at 970/923.3181 x227. Proceeds from the evening benefit Anderson Ranch educational programs.

About the Awards
The National Artist Award is given to nationally or internationally recognized artists who have created innovations in art education, and whose careers have set an example and a direction for other artists. Past recipients include Frank Stella, Theaster Gates, Bill Viola, Cindy Sherman, Vik Muniz, Laurie Anderson, Christo and Jeanne-Claude and more.

The Service to the Arts Award is given to locally and nationally recognized arts advocates whose efforts have supported artists and arts institutions and who have made contributions to the cultural and social life of our country, representing the highest level of leadership, integrity and vision. Prior recipients include Jennifer and David Stockman, Debra and Dennis Scholl, Jane and Marc Nathanson, Soledad and Robert Hurst and Melva Bucksbaum and Raymond Learsy, among others.

Carrie Mae Weems
Over the past thirty years Carrie Mae Weems has worked toward developing a complex body of art that has employed photographs, text, fabric, audio, digital images, installation and video. Her work has led her to investigate family relationships, gender roles, the histories of racism, sexism, class and various political systems.

In a review of her retrospective in the New York Times, Holland Cotter wrote, “Ms. Weems is what she has always been, a superb image maker and a moral force, focused and irrepressible.”

Weems has received numerous grants, fellowships and awards, including the prestigious Prix de Roma, the Anonymous was a Woman Award, the U.S. Department of State’s Medals of Arts, and recognition from The National Endowment for the Arts.

In 2013 Weems received the MacArthur “Genius” grant as well as the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Most recently, she is a recipient of the ICP Spotlights Award from the International Center of Photography and the W.E.B. Du Bois Medal from Harvard University.

Weems is represented in public and private collections around the world including the Metropolitan Museum of Art; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. She has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions at major national and international museums including the Whitney Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Solomon Guggenheim Museum.

Weems has been represented by Jack Shainman Gallery since 2008.

Eleanore De Sole

Eleanore De Sole graduated from Tulane University in 1972 with a Bachelor of Science in psychology. Following graduation, she worked for the National Association of Securities Dealers, NASDAQ department. In 1973 she joined IBM, where she rose from marketing trainee to branch manager in Washington, D.C. Later, while overseas in support of her husband’s career running Gucci Group, De Sole devoted her time and talent to a variety of community volunteer positions. She has served on boards associated with The Madeira School, The American International School of Florence (Italy), The Benjamin West Group of The Royal Academy, Benjamin Franklin House in London, The Aspen Art Museum and The Savannah College of Art and Design from which she received an Honorary Doctorate. She resides in Snowmass Village, Colo., and Hilton Head Island, S.C.

Domenico De Sole
Domenico De Sole is founder and Chairman of TOM FORD INTERNATIONAL, a role he has held since the company was established in 2005. A successful fashion executive, De Sole has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Gucci Group, helping to reestablish the exclusivity and profitability of the Gucci brand during his tenure, 1995-2004. He has received various honors, including the “Special Achievement Award in Fashion and Industry” from the National Italian American Foundation in 2001. Born in Rome in 1944, De Sole came to the United States in 1970 to attend Harvard Law School where he earned a Master of Laws degree. In March 2015 De Sole was elected Chairman of the Board of Sotheby’s. He currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of GAP, Inc., Ermenegildo Zegna, Newell Rubbermaid and is a member of the Advisory Board of Harvard Law School.

About Anderson Ranch Arts Center

Founded in 1966, Anderson Ranch Arts Center is a premier destination in America for art making and critical dialogue, bringing together aspiring and internationally renowned artists to discuss and further their work in a stimulating environment. Nestled in the Rocky Mountains of Aspen/Snowmass, Colo., the Ranch hosts extensive workshops for everyday, emerging and established artists in eight disciplines, including Photography & New Media, Ceramics, Painting & Drawing, Furniture Design & Woodworking, Sculpture, Woodturning, Printmaking, and Digital Fabrication. In addition to the Summer Series, Featured Artists & Conversations, the Ranch also hosts engaging events throughout the year including: the Recognition Dinner (Thursday, July 21, 2016) honoring the National Artist Award and Service to the Arts Award recipients; the Annual Art Auction & Community Picnic (Saturday, August 6, 2016), a thirty-six-year-old tradition which features works of local, national and international artists; and the Artists-in-Residence Program, fostering artistic growth for emerging and established visual artists. In 2016 Anderson Ranch will celebrate its 50th anniversary, furthering its mission to provide transformative experiences that celebrate artists, art making, creative dialogue and community. Learn more at or 970/923.3181.

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