A prodigious array of artists and craftspeople call the Roaring Fork Valley home and we are honored to showcase their work. Current exhibitions include:
Central Library Gallery
Cate Tallmadge Wildflowers oil on canvas
"I have always been a maker. Whether it's painting, drawing, weaving, embroidery, botanical sculpture, cooking, or picture framing I am always working on something. I get antsy if my hands aren’t busy, if there isn’t paint under my nails, pencil shavings in my hair or stray threads stuck to my clothes.”
Born and raised on the Western Slope of Colorado, Cate Tallmadge spent most of her formative years in idyllic Carbondale. In the early 2000s a big city life and art school beckoned. She moved to Chicago and enrolled at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, graduating in 2006 with a BFA in Fiber and Material Studies. She spent the next seven years in Chicago working as a picture framer and sporadically producing new works. In 2013, tired of the hustle and bustle of the city, she could no longer ignore the siren song of the mountains and was soon Colorado bound. At first the move back to Carbondale was just going to be a pit stop on the road to some new exciting place. A great job opportunity at Main Street Gallery and The Framer opened up and the move back home became a more permanent one and now Cate can't imagine living and creating anywhere else.
Reina Katzenberger art in process mixed media
In 2022, artist Reina Katzenberger moved her Carbondale studio to The Art Base in downtown Basalt for a month-long residency. The entire front gallery became a work-in-progress as she created a body of work in full view–and with the participation of–the public. The massive collaborative painting completed during this time hangs above the New Books section in the Main Room of the library.
The Project Shop mixed media
“Service-learning is an educational approach that combines learning objectives with community service in order to provide a pragmatic, progressive learning experience while meeting societal needs.” -Wikipedia
Community Service Projects at The Project Shop engage student-artists to learn practical design development, printmaking and production skills, with access to equipment and instruction in a safe, supportive and inclusive environment. Through personal instruction and community workshops, the student-artists will be involved in every aspect of producing artwork and presenting it to demonstrate how art can encourage conversation within our communities.
Each young artist dives into the design development process in collaboration with Project Shop artists to help translate their ideas to image. Various printmaking techniques are explored and upon selecting the best application for the student's vision we head into production. Community workshops are hosted at the shop for public participation to learn printmaking and production skills while giving back to the community. All proceeds from product sales are donated to the non-profit or cause chosen by the artist. The items displayed in the Lobby Gallery are a sample of the projects completed during the last three years.
The Lirios Quartet, University of Colorado Boulder String Quartet in Residence, will perform in concert Tuesday, January 31, 2023 @ 5:30 pm, Basalt Regional Library.
Their program will include String Quartet in C major, op.74, ‘Apponi’ No. 1 by Franz Joseph Haydn and Beethoven’s String Quartet in E minor, op. 59 ‘Razumovsky’, No. 2.
This program affords an opportunity to observe the historical changes in the string quartet form as it moves from performance in aristocratic private palaces to the public concert hall. It changes from an intimate genre to a composition with more dramatic weight.
Upon Haydn’s return to Vienna from London, he was commissioned by Hungarian Count Anton George Apponyi to write string quartets for ‘the privilege of dedication"(1793). By this time, Haydn, who is accredited with establishing the ‘true string quartet four movement scheme’, was composing in a style that reflected the change from ‘private to public performance’ string quartets. In op. 74, No. 1, Haydn expands the form by using slow introductions to various movements, a more forceful style including dramatic melodic gestures, musical surprises, increased instrumental conversation between all instruments, and counterpoint.
Beethoven’s Razumovsky quartets were written in 1806, his ‘heroic’ period. He uses Haydn’s late quartet form and expands it to accommodate his ‘revolutionary’ style.
The Razumovsky quartets were commissioned by Count Andreas Razumovsky, Russian ambassador to Vienna. These quartets are long and difficult. In op.59, No. 2, Beethoven’s style includes beautiful melodies, followed by ambiguous harmonic uncertainty and disjointed resolutions, lots of light-dark struggling, rhythmic patterns that almost seem ‘funky’. Pay close attention to the closing tarantella of the fourth movement. It has been compared to rock music with all instruments wailing away!
Musical forms continually evolve/expand/contract as composers attempt to express themselves through the same genre. Let us as listeners attempt to follow these evolutions with open minds.
A special thanks is extended to Aspen Music Festival and School and their Beginning Strings and Chamber Music Lab for bringing the Lirios Quartet to our valley. During the week, the quartet has shared their talents and expertise with our youth through classroom visitations, demonstrations, and performances.
Lenore Raphael, jazz pianist, and jazz guitarist, Wayne Wilkinson, will perform a concert of jazz Friday, January 27 @ 5:30 at Basalt Regional Library. The program will include a mix of older jazz tunes (i.e. Ellington) and some mainstream tunes from the Great American Songbook, plus a bit of bebop!
Lenore, born in New York, studied classical music at the High School of Music & Art in Manhattan, then attended New York University where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in music. After graduating, she switched to playing jazz being deeply influenced by Oscar Peterson, Bill Evans, and George Shearing.
Lenore is an authorized and accredited Steinway Artist, known as the blond Ambassador of Steinway. She has her own radio show, teaches piano, performs in jazz clubs, festivals, and concert halls both nationally and internationally
Wayne, a Benedetto Guitar Artist, is a headliner guitarist that performs and tours across the country and internationally. His impeccable sophistication has earned him the reputation of being the most outstanding jazz guitarist of the century.
The extensive list of well known musicians that Wayne has performed with include Bill Watrous, Bucky Pizzarelli, Johnny Smith, Henry Mancini, Michael Becker, and others. In his career, he has performed with President Bill Clinton, Bob Hope, Roger Williams, and others.
In addition to performances in jazz clubs, concert series, and private events, he is a faculty member at Colorado Springs Conservatory where he helped establish their jazz program.
I saw the film, Elvis (2022) with a friend at the movie theater this past summer. Even though I would say I am an avid fan because I do own an Elvis: Greatest Hits CD, I did not have too many expectations walking into the movie. Overall, it was a fun and entertaining film and a beautiful homage. While watching this film, you will experience a variety of emotions. In one moment you will be gawking over actor Austin Butler’s (who played Elvis Presley) gyrations and the next you will be bawling your eyes out. This biopic showcases the life of the legendary musician Elvis Presley including his dysfunctional childhood, his rise to fame, and becoming a rock and roll legend. It also dives into the complicated relationship he had with his controversial manager, Colonel Tom Parker, portrayed by the always charismatic Tom Hanks. What sets this movie apart from other biopics is that it is not told in first person narrative. Rather, Tom Parker narrates the plot. Viewers of the film may see Tom Parker as the film’s antagonist. The film details the many highs and lows throughout his career including successful record sales and failed relationships.
I thought the acting from both Hanks and Butler was superb. Even though Butler did not always resemble Presley because of his facial features, he did his best to embody his character’s’ expressions, voice, and mannerisms. Both Butler and Hanks were unafraid to be vulnerable. Even though the film’s runtime was 2 hours and 39 minutes, I thought it flew by rather quickly. Even though the film kept me fairly intrigued, I thought the plot was a little drawn-out in some areas. I was super impressed with the songs included in the film, especially after reading that Butler did his own singing, mixed with Elvis’s vocals. Elvis’s songs weren’t the only stand out musical moments: watching all of the soul music performances that influenced Elvis’s style really lifted my spirits.
Overall, I would rate this movie 7/10 stars.
- Amy Schuster
The Guadalajara International Book Fair is held every year in Jalisco, Guadalajara Mexico. Over nine days, distributors, publishers, librarians, and booksellers from across the world come together to share their culture, ideas, and new works. As the largest international book fair in the world in Spanish, the Guadalajara International Book Fair is especially important for Spanish-language publishers, authors, and readers.
In addition to being a native Spanish speaker, the Basalt Regional Library asked me to attend the 2022 Guadalajara International Book Fair due to my experience with both childrens’ books and international travel. Over three very busy days at the book fair, I evaluated and purchased books from Spain, Central and South American publishers for children, teens, and adults alike. I also attended cultural meetings, as well as workshops and book presentations. Finally, I was able to interact and share experiences with librarians from the United States and across the world.
I was surprised by how many people from South America came to this fair, but was most surprised and excited to witness the Mexican public’s love of reading. For three days I was surrounded by publishers and distributors from Mexico and other countries, who gave presentations on brand new books. I was impressed above all by the beauty of children's books, with very original themes and artwork. I am excited to share these new books from Latin America, and am sure families visiting the library will enjoy them for years to come.
- Gaby Lagos
As we welcome the new year, it’s a good time for the library to recognize our patrons and community for your trust and support. Thank you! We hope you will put January 13 on your calendar for the return of our Legendary Party – a family-friendly, community-wide night at the library!
When 2022 came around, we were still in the throes of the pandemic and taking care to keep each other safe and healthy. The Basalt Regional Library worked with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the Governor’s Vaccines for All program to provide bi-monthly COVID vaccine clinics, free masks and free home test kits. Programs began to meet in person with limited numbers and you were able to utilize our new reservation system through Eventbrite. For those who prefer to continue using our Curbside TakeOut, that option is still available. What we learned from you was to be adaptable to maintain access to all the library’s resources.
And we have added to those resources! Hotspots for internet connectivity, laptops, chromebooks and ipads, book bundles, camping equipment, sewing machines and telescopes– all this in addition to our more traditional library collections are available to anyone with a library card. You may have noticed the just-installed electric vehicle charging stations in front of the main entrance to the library. We expect these to be up and running after the first of the year.
You showed up for a crazy number of new programs–Mountainfilm on Tour (coming again this February!), a workshop and jam session with Leftover Salmon, the Love Notes Project, Lunch With a Side of Murder, financial education workshops, Baby Gym, plus Author Talks, Music at the Library, Date Nights, Camp Out at the Library, and our Summer Reading Beach Party Kick Off! We hosted programs with the Roaring Fork Conservancy, A Way Out, Aspen Strong, Aperture of Hope, High Rockies Harm Reduction, The Art Base, the Aspen Institute, the Basalt Chamber of Commerce, Ride the Rockies, and the Basalt Regional Heritage Society.
With the generous support of the Basalt Regional Library Trust, we are now partners with the Dolly Parton Imagination Library. This international program sends a book a month to children from birth to 5 years old to build their home library and literacy skills. The Friends Bookstore has provided needed funds for special requests from library staff, including the Summer Music Program. Our stalwart supporters of the Basalt Regional Library Foundation supplement our Collections Department with thoughtful additions to adult fiction. Additional funding was received this year from Alpine Bank; American Library Association/American Recovery Act; Aspen Ski Company Environment Foundation; Aspen Thrift Shop; Bessie Minor Swift Foundation; Carbondale Rotary Club; Charge Ahead Colorado; and the Colorado Parks & Wildlife Outdoor Equity Program.
Thank you for all you do for our library, and we look forward to seeing you at the Legendary Party on January 13, and at all the other amazing events coming up in 2023! Here’s to another great year at your library.
A Book Review by Amy Schuster
The River is a gripping, harrowing novel about friendships, survival, and natural disasters. I don’t want to give away too much of the plot, but the story starts by detailing the canoeing expedition of Jack and Wynn, best friends who both love spending quality time outdoors. Their days commence by paddling along the Maskwa River in northern Canada and then are followed by leisure activities including picking blueberries, reading books, and gazing at the stars in the evening sky. One night they overhear a man and a woman bickering at a campsite nearby but don’t take any further action. Their adventures come to a screeching halt as a problem arises: there is a small wildfire spreading around them. They start to depart but decide to turn around to warn other campers about the fire. But they find no one around them. The next day, they encounter a man paddling alone on the river who informs Wynn and Jack that his wife went missing in the fog. The wildfire exponentially grows in size putting the two friends in a dire situation. Even though Wynn and Jack are both skeptical of the man, they both decide to help the man find his wife amidst the chaos around them.
Even though the book started off rather slowly, it definitely gained momentum and then turned into another novel that will leave you at the edge of your seat right up until the shocking ending . This book is so action-packed, you will be amazed that it is only 272 pages in total. It was suspenseful reading about these two boys in a state of urgency who risk their safety to help out strangers. Heller’s imagery and articulation of the wilderness and wildfire is beautiful, heartbreaking, and distressing, especially when he describes all the animals fleeing the fire. Heller has a profound way with words and the meanings behind them. “There’s always relief in committing to a decision, even when there’s no choice.” Heller did an excellent job developing the characters of Jack and Wynn and giving us their backgrounds.
Overall, I would give this book 8 out of 10 stars.
A Book Review by Amy Schuster
Water For Elephants is told as a recollection of memories from the story’s protagonist, Jacob Jankowski, who is a 90-something nursing home resident, reminiscing on his time working for a traveling circus during the 1930’s. Jacob was a veterinary student who had to drop out because of the tragic death of his parents. Orphaned and broke, fate and destiny collide as he hops on a train and discovers it belongs to Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth, which he describes as a “ship of fools.” Jacob is hired to be the circus’ animal caretaker. Shortly after arriving, Jacob meets Marlena, a gorgeous equestrian performer in the circus, and immediately falls in love with her. She is stuck in an unhappy marriage to the tale's antagonist, the mean-spirited and aggressive ringmaster, August.
The circus, which is having a hard time generating business due to the Great Depression, adds an elephant named Rosie to their ensemble, who is supposed to be the show’s stellar act. It turns out that Rosie is very charismatic but disobedient, not wanting to follow the instructions of August who is often physically abusive toward her. Jacob, Marlena, and Rosie share an incredible bond full of compassion and trust. Later on in the book, Marlena reciprocates Jacob’s romantic feelings and the two engage in a passionate affair, going behind the back of August.
Water for Elephants is a dark but beautifully written story with vivid imagery, especially when Gruen describes the circus and the lives surrounding it. There are many time jumps between the past and present which makes the story even more intriguing. Gruen touches on the books themes of life, love, animal cruelty, and the turmoil of living in the Great Depression era with poignancy and humor. The characters are very well developed as Gruen showcases each of the character’s personality and aspirations. This book is filled with pathos. Reading about how August abused, hit, and was cruel toward Rosie was heart wrenching and made me want to scream at the page.
Is this book predictable? Maybe somewhat. If you pick up any romance novel, you are likely to anticipate that there will be a love triangle. Despite it being predictable, it sure is entertaining. Water for Elephants is one of those novels that will keep you engaged from beginning to end. If you pick it up, you will have a hard time setting it down. I highly recommend this book. I would give it a 7 ½ out of 10 stars.
It’s the end of the year where families have plenty of time to think about what is important and what they are grateful for. This means it’s a perfect time to add a new category to our Book Bundles, “Feeling & Emotions”. In these bundles you will find characters just like yourselves, experiencing the same things and feelings as many, especially around the holidays. We hope you enjoy them, and have Happy Holidays!
- Gaby Lagos
Book Review by Amy Schuster
I read this book a couple of years ago while I was stuck on a houseboat in Lake Powell after my mom handed it to me. I’m usually not a big fan of philosophical/self help material but this book immediately caught my attention because of the profanity in the title (is my immaturity showing yet?). I must say, whether you are a cockeyed optimist, like myself, or a pessimist, you will LOVE this book! The overall message of this book is that you don’t need to be positive all of the time. Challenges, change, and failure are inevitable. What we need to become better at is handling curve balls that are thrown our way. What really distinguishes ‘The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F’ from other self help material aside from his vulgar language, sarcasm, and wit is that Manson doesn’t sugar coat his thoughts on how to succeed in life. He keeps it real and practical. His words “F*ck positivity” are clickbait for readers. The stories he shares are delicately woven into each lesson he touches on.
This book has many takeaways. Here are just a few of them:
This book was thoroughly entertaining as well as informative from start to finish. I can not recommend this book enough. I would give this book 9/10 stars.
Adult News & reviews
Library news, info about upcoming events, reviews of books and films, and a look at the topics that affect us as a library.