The Roaring Fork Young Curators Exhibition

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At the Roaring Fork Young Curators Exhibition, hosted by the Aspen Art Museum, you might have expected to see the stereotypical children’s art: bright colors, squiggly designs or sunset watercolors. Alternatively, these pieces were dark, mysterious, and invoked deep thought. The air was still full of that museum enchantment that art lovers feel when they step inside; and nevertheless the audience left feeling impressed, but a bit dismal.

This was the intention.

This year’s theme of the eleventh annual Young Curators of the Roaring Fork exhibition was Artist Statement, or in other words, self expression.

Teenagers from around the Roaring Fork Valley submitted 83 pieces, and a number were selected to convey to the audience the troubled teenage thoughts. Three young curators from Aspen High School were chosen as ‘young curators’ to set up the art show, including senior Calli Ferguson, juniors Beth Freeman, and Anders Pomeroy.

“Eighty three pieces were submitted to us, and we had to narrow it down to 15 based on visual and thematic points,” Pomeroy said. “After that, we came up with a common theme, or message. This time it was artist statement, the way kids can put out their point of view and express themselves.”

He enjoyed his job, and loved seeing the art from different students up and down the valley. The majority of students were from Rifle, Coleridge, Roaring Fork, and Glenwood Springs High School.

Artist Tania Avitia is an artist from Rifle High School. She used india ink on paper to create lavender flowers and hands, concealing a a black coy, titling it ‘Hidden Pieces.’  

“My piece represents the hidden personalities behind people and the hidden meaning behind things we see in everyday life,” Avitia said. “The black coy hidden beneath the flowers represented trouble and danger, and she wanted to show overcoming adversity and the way that looks are deceiving.”

The small room containing the showcase was crowded with spectators from around the valley. The teenage artists stood by their pieces to answer questions, while their parents and other viewers roamed the room.

“It’s very cool to see Roaring Fork Valley students express their viewpoints and ideas through art,” an anonymous viewer from Glenwood Springs said. “I am very impressed.” 

The exhibition was very deep, and impressive thanks to the young curators and artists. The 15 artists’ statements evoked thoughts from the viewers about the teenage standpoint and growing up, and it was easy for teenagers to relate.

 

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