Aspen as an Art Hotspot – Who Knew? by Nicholas Christopher of Turon Travel
Turon Travel is an international travel agency with a focus on the arts. Turon has the distinct pleasure of working with a growing number of International Art Fairs, Art and Antiques Fairs and special arts events. Our management style creates a seamless process which works to the benefit of the venue, the exhibitors and of course, the event patrons.
Today, Nicholas Christopher, founder and president of Turon Travel, takes us to what used to be, and still is, a luxury winter ski resort but now also a lively art hotspot year round.
Now in its 7th year, Art Aspen, August 3-6, hosts an exclusive group of 30 international dealers. Aspen has always been known as an enclave of power collectors so a fair of this size fits the bill, following the ArtCrush (Aug 2-4), a series of events benefiting the Aspen Art Museum, the cornerstone of the local art scene. From wine tastings to silent and public art auctions, sponsored by Sotheby’s, ArtCrush culminates in a Gala Summer benefit which is the talk of the Summer season. Lawrence Weiner will be awarded the Aspen Award for his unique word-based conceptual artworks.
For their part, the Aspen Art Museum has paired Wade Guyton with the collaborative duo Peter Fischli and David Weiss. Together, the three form a hydra of non-traditional artists known for taking risks aesthetically and mechanically – Guyton by feeding unconventional canvases through inkjet printers and Fischli/Weiss by creating complex systems out of mundane objects. Their work will occupy the museum’s 6 galleries , the rooftop sculpture garden and the outdoor commons, a total emersion in contemporary work throughout this impressive building.
New York artist, Shinque Smith, is also on view Aspen is one of four cities chosen by the National Trust for Historic Preservation to be included in an informational booklet series. Known primarily for its Victorian architecture, Aspen has been transformed over the last 30 years by mid-century architecture that takes advantage of the uniqueness of the city’s mountain surroundings. For more information check out http://www.aspenmod.com
While you’re there, stop by two leading galleries, known for their internationally renowned artists.
BALDWIN GALLERY is showing the extraordinary work of Jim Hodges in an exhibit entitled “Tracing the contours of our days”. The show features a monumental figural work. Casterline Goodman will have a beautiful group of important Richard Serra drawings.
We do not live by Art alone. Here are a few of the best restaurants in town, a variety of cuisines, all worth a visit.
The Little Nell – the only 5* hotel with 5* restaurants has two award winners to choose from. This Aspen hotel is a ten-minute walk from the John Denver Sanctuary, three miles from the Buttermilk Mountain Ski Area, and a 13-minute drive from Aspen-Pitkin County Airport.
Element 47 – serving breakfast and dinner, Element 47 has received accolades from the Forbes Travel Guide, James Beard, wine Spectator to name a few. All food sources are locally sourced, all natural and nitrate free ( for the meat eaters).
Ajax Tavern has a menu which has tavern like entries with the full local sourced, all natural fare. Burgers and truffle fries never tasted so good in the clear Aspen air. Food & Wine; The Culture Trip and Esquire Magazine are just a few critics who have raved about it.
Matsuhisa – Located in a 120-year old Main Street Victorian house in downtown Aspen, Matsuhisa Aspen opened in 1998 as the first Matsuhisa location outside of Chef Nobu’s original Beverly Hills restaurant. Chef Nobu’s new-style Japanese cuisine draws influence from his classical training in Tokyo and his life abroad in Peru, Argentina, and around the world, showcasing signature dishes such as Yellowtail Sashimi with Jalapeño, Black Cod Miso and White fish Tiradito.
Hickory House Ribs – Set up like a full service diner, this restaurant serves all day long and specializes in BBQ slow cooking. Vegetarians can enjoy the breakfast options – but salad is the course of choice for the other 2 meals of the day.