April 13, 2016

Posted In: Press, Press Release

50 Years at the Forefront of Art Making and Artistic Discovery

 Aspen/Snowmass, Colo. (April 13, 2016) — This year, Anderson Ranch Arts Center celebrates its 50th anniversary as a premier destination in America for art making and critical dialogue. For the past 50 years, Anderson Ranch has fostered ideas and ingenuity in art making, providing students with exceptional faculty to learn from and facilities to work in, and, above all, a creative community where they thrive.

In honor of its anniversary year, Anderson Ranch will host the 50th Anniversary Celebration Week from July 17 – 22, 2016. Highlights of the weeklong celebration include:

  • Open-studio session with acclaimed sculptor and Anderson Ranch Artist Advisor Tom Sachs (Monday, July 18);
  • Lecture by Fred Tomaselli and Tom Burckhardt (Tuesday, July 19)
  • 50th Anniversary Recognition Dinner (Thursday, July 21, 2016) honoring National Artist Award recipient Carrie Mae Weems and Service to the Arts award recipients Domenico and Eleanore De Sole
  • The release of a special 50th anniversary print by Simon Haas

The week of programming connects to special events throughout 2016, including a joint symposium with the Aspen Institute Society of Fellows, June 19-21, entitled “Race, Gender and Class: Social Justice Through the Lens of Contemporary Art,” featuring MacArthur Fellow, artist and community organizer Rick Lowe, and activist artist Andrea Bowers as moderators. Continuing the Ranch’s history of critical dialogue, Tom Sachs and Tom Healy will present a special workshop on the cultural significance of contemporary art making (July 13-14), and Enrique Martínez Celaya will offer a mini-workshop, “Alternatives,” (July 2) about the understanding of art and its role in society. More special events include a series of exhibitions throughout the summer and the Ranch’s Annual Art Auction & Community Picnic on Saturday, August 6.

Anderson Ranch’s full 2016 summer program offers workshops, lectures and exhibitions that honor the Ranch’s longstanding commitment to both traditional and contemporary modes of art making. Guest faculty will teach over 150 workshops drawing upon Anderson Ranch’s full breadth of classic techniques and cutting-edge technologies—designing collapsible furniture through 3D modeling, firing up a gas, electric, soda or wood fire kiln, writing interactive code for web-based artworks, turning corrugated cardboard or blending photography and painting via collage, and more. Anderson Ranch’s Summer Series will bring some of the most influential artists and critics of our time to the Ranch for stimulating conversations, and this summer’s Visiting Artists, including Catherine Opie, The Haas Brothers and James Casebere, will create work in the Ranch’s unparalleled studio facilities and contribute to the Ranch community through critiques, studio visits and lectures.

Over the past 50 years, Anderson Ranch has hosted a wide range of acclaimed contemporary artists, whether as Visiting Artists, or as part of its Artists-in-Residence or Summer Series programming. Featured artists from throughout the Ranch’s history include: Marina Abramović, Huma Bhabha, Sanford Biggers, James Casebere, Lizzie Fitch & Ryan Trecartin, Charles Gaines, Theaster Gates, John Gill, Dennis Hopper, Wendy Maruyama, Julie Mehretu, Ron Nagle, Trevor Paglen, Kenny Scharf, Xaviera Simmons, Alec Soth, Frank Stella, Mickalene Thomas, Kara Walker, Hank Willis Thomas and Barry X Ball.

Nancy Wilhelms, Executive Director of Anderson Ranch, comments, “We are proud to celebrate this incredible milestone in Anderson Ranch’s history. Our 2016 programming continues to build on the Ranch’s ongoing commitment to cultivating artists, creative dialogue and community. Through new initiatives such as the Scholarship/Partnership Program with leading colleges and universities, as well as our extensive workshops, Artists-in-Residence and Summer Series offerings, Anderson Ranch reaches—and enriches—more lives than ever.”

Founded in 1966 by raku ceramist Paul Soldner, along with fellow artists Cherie Hiser, Sam Maloof and Peter Voulkos, Anderson Ranch distinguished itself early on as a center for the visual arts. From its inception, Anderson Ranch was envisioned as a community for artists, where they could enjoy small class sizes and unrestricted studio access, and practice art making as both a way of life and a professional path. This vision lives on today, as artists of all levels—aspiring, emerging and established—learn from expert faculty across eight disciplines, partake in enriching symposia and lectures, and seek inspiration from the diverse community that surrounds them.


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 enrich lives with art, inspiration and community. Learn more at or 970/923.3181.

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