What we do have The Aspen Art Museum
I will be the first to admit that I hated the idea of this gigantic square lobster trap looking, 3-story monstrosity in the heart of downtown. What was wrong with the funky smallish building they used to have? The old space was fine. The old location was not that big, showed art well, despite the horrible entry and second floor gallery space that was more like a fat hallway or future assistant art directors office space. But it was charming, funky, social and out of the way a touch, not all bad.
The new building is complete and the protests have become more of a passing opinion of cocktail banter. The place has been accepted into our community, like that charitable loud mouth city guy in a slick suit with a swimming pool that throws great parties. Easy to hate but there is something about him that you really like. It’s not like you have to marry the guy.
What has the Aspen Art Museum (aka the undesirable new town resident that’s here to stay) done? It has done so much more for those who are willing to give it a chance than it has done for the naysayers that were all up in arms about it going up. I will tell you, my opinion has changed.
First off, the place is free to visit; you walk in, get a sticker, look at art, and go home (or in my case, find a cocktail.)
Secondly, it would be easy to say that most people really didn't like (or should I say understand) some of the exhibits that have been installed, like the ‘Flipping Pony Tails’ or the ‘Hair Brush Microphone’. It is easy to attack Heidi Zuckerman - it falls directly into the “What the fuck were you thinking?" point of view, but that is an easy thing to surmise, what’s harder to get your head around and much more interesting is to understand why they decided to feature that show in the first place?
The Museum does a great job of bringing in the artists who make the art, providing an opening event that allows the patrons to have a direct and intimate Q & A session with the artist i.e. Julian Schnabel, who, by the way, allowed us to see works of art that have never been shown together. Ever! Badass!