The Aspen Ideas Festival starts Thursday, and there is new art on the campus of the Aspen Institute. Slogans like “End the draft!” and “Vote yes for peace!” are stamped in giant letters on Vietnam-era protest posters in the Paepcke Gallery.
Aspen Institute curator Lissa Ballinger selected the 32 posters. She was inspired by the recent groundswell in protests by teens against gun violence.
“What this idea came out of was just this new understanding of protest and just this really engaged youth. So we’re revisiting old protest at a time when protest was really vibrant,” said Ballinger.
With this exhibit, Ballinger wanted to explore the role of creativity in times of social unrest by "revisiting the role that artists play, even if it’s just posters, in major political events,” she said.
These pieces haven’t lived their lives behind glass in a gallery. Some of them are folded or worn; they were actually used in peace demonstrations during the Vietnam War.
This exhibit represents a change that Ballinger hopes will draw more locals to see the Institute’s art.
“Normally these exhibits that come up for the Ideas Festival are just up for the 10 days of Ideas Festival and they come down, and nobody in the Roaring Fork Valley has an opportunity to see them,” said Ballinger.
However, “The Art of Protest” will run through Sept. 12, after the Aspen Institute campus re-opens to the public on June 30.