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“WE ARE THE ASTEROID II” POPS UP AT FANNY HILL
CORE, Anderson Ranch Arts Center and Aspen Skiing Company Collaborate to Install Justin Brice Guariglia’s Iconic Artwork to the Slopes March 18 to April 1
Artist rendering of “We Are the Asteroid II” public art installation, by artist Justin Brice Guariglia, on Fanny Hill at Snowmass Ski Area. The installation is a collaboration between the artist, CORE, Anderson Ranch Arts Center and the Aspen Skiing Company.
Aspen Snowmass, CO (March 20, 2019) — The “We Are the Asteroid II” public art installation is taking to the slopes. A solar-powered highway sign with climate messages by artist Justin Brice Guariglia, “WATA ” debuted at Anderson Ranch Arts Center earlier this month as part of “Imagine Climate: artists on climate change,” a creative collaboration between the Ranch and the Community Office for Resource Efficiency (CORE).
Now the two nonprofits are teaming up with Aspen Skiing Company to “pop up” the piece on Snowmass Mountain. The iconic artwork will reside on Fanny Hill from March 18 through April 1 and will be visible on foot, ski, snowboard, or from the lift. Pedestrians will be able to see it from the Snowmass Mall. On Saturday, March 23, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., there will be an “Ask a Climate Expert” station set up next to the sign, featuring John Katzenberger, director of the Aspen Global Change Institute, who will be fielding science questions of all kinds. The WATA II installation is a part of CORE’s 25th anniversary kick-off: Imagine Climate, a celebration of climate art and technology that engages the community to act on climate during the month of March.
“No one expects to see a highway sign, much less one with climate alerts, on a ski hill,” says Mona Newton, executive director of CORE. “That’s the beauty of this project. Justin Brice Guariglia deploys surprise and creativity as tools for social change, which gets right to the heart of our collaboration.”
“Placing Justin’s work on Fanny Hill aligns with several Aspen Skiing Company initiatives. We’ve been raising awareness about climate change for decades and have made those efforts an increasingly bigger part of our brand messaging, most recently with the Give A Flake campaign,” says Mike Kaplan, Aspen Skiing Company president and CEO. “‘We Are the Asteroid II’ also continues our Art in Unexpected Places legacy, which began with the Aspen Art Museum more than ten years ago.”
“Artists create opportunities for viewers to expand their understanding of themselves and the world around them,” says Brian Shure of Anderson Ranch. “The startling placement of this sign and its unexpected messages invite visitors to think about our place in and impact on the ecology of our environment, wherever we are.”
Indeed, Guariglia fits right in with the modus operandi of each of the organizations: Aspen Skiing Company’s longstanding sustainability efforts and the recent Give A Flake campaign; CORE’s 25-year mission for carbon reduction; and Anderson Ranch Arts Center’s tagline: “create | change.” Guariglia identifies as much as an artist as he does as an environmental activist. About his work, he writes: “The ecological crisis we face today is the moral imperative of our time. At this critical juncture, art must be used as a positive force for social and political change, and to help open our minds to new possibilities.”
“We Are the Asteroid II” is the second iteration of a conceptual, text-based artwork by Guariglia The artist uses solar-powered LED message boards lit with phrases he refers to as “aphorisms” that call attention to ecological issues. His surprising poetry, metaphor, and humor draw in diverse audiences. These re-appropriated highway signs — which bring to mind the roadside notices during the Lake Christine Fire and recent roadway construction projects in the upper valley — alert viewers to the dangers ahead.
Landing Guariglia’s work — which is usually exhibited in major metropolitan areas and solo museum shows — on the slopes of Snowmass Village is something of a coup for the three organizations. Guariglia has earned rockstar status in both artistic and scientific circles for his work on ecological issues. Born in 1974, the visual artist has been hailed as “one of the most prominent cultural figures working to address climate change” by Sotheby’s and featured in publications from The Guardian to The New Yorker. Fresh off a five-borough public art installation throughout New York City and residence at the Chicago Navy Pier, “We Are the Asteroid” signs are next headed for the Somerset House in London, Rice University in Houston, and the iBiennale art and culture summit in Honolulu.
Text for the “We Are the Asteroid” project comes from philosopher Timothy Morton, Professor and Rita Shea Guffey Chair in English at Rice University. Morton, considered one of the most important ecological voices today, is the author of HYPEROBJECTS: Philosophy and Ecology after the End of the World among numerous other publications. Six messages are in continuous rotation on his stripped down sign.
Imagine Climate: artists on climate change is an exhibition featuring regional, national and international artists taking place at Anderson Ranch Arts Center. A satellite show is also in residence at The Collective at Snowmass Base Village; both run through April 1. It brings together CORE, Anderson Ranch and nine artists who visualize and give voice to what some call the most pressing issue of our time. The show is co-curated by Brian Shure of Anderson Ranch and artist Lara Whitley of CORE. The artists featured in the exhibition are Kate Aitchison, Linda Girvin, Fleming Jeffries, Genevieve Lowe, Jill Pelto, Lauren Peterson, Adrien Segal, Whitley and Guariglia.
These initiatives are both part of CORE’s 25th anniversary kick-off, Imagine Climate, a celebration of climate art and technology. Through April 1, leading artists, technologists and climate scientists will offer creative perspectives and solutions to the climate crisis through a program of events by the environmental nonprofit that helps locals save energy and cut carbon emissions. Upcoming events include “The Human Element” film screening and conversation with James Balog on March 21 at The Temporary.
Thanks to wide support from community partners, all Imagine Climate events are free and open to the public. Imagine Climate is made possible through a community partnership with: The Aspen Times, Aspen Skiing Company Environment Foundation, Holy Cross Energy, Aspen Daily News, Aspen Public Radio, KDNK, City of Aspen, Town of Basalt, Town of Snowmass Village, Snowmass Arts Advisory Board, The Collective at Snowmass Base Village, The Arts Center at Willits, Basalt Bike + Ski, and Aspen Center for Physics. More information is available at www.aspencore.org.
Founded in 1994, CORE has been helping Roaring Fork Valley residents save energy and cut carbon emissions to mitigate climate change. The nonprofit organization was created by a group of visionary citizens, local governments, and utilities that came together 25 years ago to conserve natural resources. From the outset, CORE established itself as an innovative leader, breaking ground with the nation’s first carbon mitigation fee (the Renewable Energy Mitigation Program); Colorado’s first wind energy program; and one of the earliest solar rebate programs in the US. Today, the organization has a staff of nine, with two offices in Aspen and Carbondale, where they provide expertise and incentives for local residents, businesses and institutions to reduce their carbon footprint. More at www.aspencore.org and 970.925.9775.
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, Colorado, the Ranch hosts extensive workshops for aspiring, emerging and established artists as well as children and teenagers 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 hosts engaging events throughout the year including: the Recognition Dinner, held in honor of Anderson Ranch’s National Artist Award and Service to the Arts Award honorees (July 20, 2017); the Annual Art Auction & Community Picnic (August 5, 2017), a thirty-seven-year-old tradition which features works of local, national and international artists; and a year-round Artists-in-Residence Program, fostering artistic growth for emerging and established visual artists. For over 50 years Anderson Ranch Arts Center has been working to enrich lives with art, inspiration and community. Learn more atwww.andersonranch.org or 970/923.3181.
ABOUT ASPEN SKIING COMPANY
Aspen Skiing Company (ASC), based in Aspen, Colo., operates the four mountains in the Aspen Snowmass area – Snowmass, Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk. In addition, ASC owns and operates the award-winning Ski & Snowboard Schools of Aspen Snowmass, a collection of rental and retail shops titled Four Mountain Sports and a hospitality division that includes the five-star, five-diamond property, The Little Nell and three contemporary Limelight Hotels, one based in the core of Aspen, one at the base of Snowmass Mountain, and the other in Ketchum, Idaho. In its current form, ASC is a values-driven company that is grounded within the core values of: Live Passionately, Awaken the Spirit, Elevate Community and Honor Place. Aspen Snowmass is accessible by two of the most convenient airports in the mountains – Aspen/Pitkin County Airport (ASE) (3 miles from Aspen) and Eagle County Airport (EGE) (70 miles from Aspen). For more information about Aspen Snowmass, visit www.aspensnowmass.com or call (800) 525-6200. Follow Aspen Snowmass @aspensnowmass on Twitter and Instagram or at www.facebook.com/aspensnowmass.
Make the most of your social media interactions; using the hashtags #WeAreTheAsteroid, #AndersonRanch, #CORE25, #ImagineClimate and #GiveAFlake when posting.
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