Spotlight on youth: Aspen Art Museum Youth Art Exhibition


Drawing by Adam Stamp

Informational poster with instructions on how to submit work for the youth exhibition.

This winter season the Aspen Art Museum is featuring a youth art exhibition to give young artists in the valley, ranging from kindergarten to twelfth grade, the opportunity to showcase their own work at the museum.
The AAM has collaborated with other artists to create installations to display the work. A German artist, Veit Laurent Kurz, has created 3D installations that hold young artists’ work on mountain-like structures during Winter Fest. His own work will also be showcased. The deadline to submit artwork was February 13, and the exhibition will be displayed on February 27 at the Aspen Art Museum.
From Aspen to Rifle, kids are able to submit work that follows the three broad prompts that the museum has given: somewhere or someone you miss, your favorite object or room in your house, and a meal you enjoy eating. To see more information, like size recommendations, go to the Aspen Art Museum’s instagram page. There are also different drop off sites depending on where you live, which will be provided on the instagram page.
This exhibition is a great outlet for students in the valley to express themselves through creativity. COVID-19 has taken a toll on everyone, therefore the themes for the youth expo are targeted towards things that people miss: people, places, food etc. Adam Stamp, a Los Angeles based artist, has collaborated with the Museum to create his own exhibition, The Slippery Slope, that is currently on display at AAM. He also continues to help the museum and youth set up the youth exhibition. He is determined to help give young Aspen citizens a voice, instead of being seen as a museum catered only towards adults.
“I hope that this show promotes community engagement from the entire Roaring Fork area, allowing the museum to not feel simply like a stuffy place full of strange objects, but also a place that is committed to showcase’s voices of the next generations of thinkers and makers from the region,” Stamp said.
There are, however, challenges to this exhibition. Stamp has only two weeks to put the art he receives together, and he has no idea what kind of art he will receive. The prompts and size guides give some recommendation to the artists on what their art should look like, but in art, rules are meant to be broken. All kinds of mediums are being used such as canvas, digital programs, and film/photography art.
Along with the difficulties in setup, the AAM has to take COVID-19 restrictions into consideration to ensure that all participants, staff members, and guests are safe. Teresa Booth Brown, the artists program coordinator for the Aspen Art Museum outlines what the museum will do to take precautions.
“A total of 50 visitors are permitted at all times to allow for the required physical distancing (6 feet) between guests. Controlled visitor entry ensures 25 percent of normal museum capacity at all times. We are not able to have openings at this time,” Brown said.
The museum is eager to give youth artists a chance to shine. Stamp has designed a t-shirt that all participants will receive, and all the artists will be awarded a participation certification. This opportunity for the valley gives a new look to the community where the youth are challenged to continue working on their expression and are able to get a preview into what artistic careers.
“I really hope this exhibition can encourage some young people to pursue careers in the visual arts, or at the very least, recognize the importance of arts engagement as a lifelong endeavor, no matter what career they might choose,” Stamp said.