Art helps us thrive — but artists need your support | PostIndependent.com

Art helps us thrive — but artists need your support

Art, I believe, has been part of the essence of humans since the days when cavemen or women scratched images on the walls of dark, dusty caves. Do you remember the delight of creating art as a child? Or perhaps you remember your child or grandchild running up to you excited about a stick drawing they made or a little monster sculpture they created out of Play-Doh?

How did you react? Did you judge it to be inferior art, or were you supportive?

As an artist, I too need that support from my friends and community. It takes an enormous amount of work and vulnerability to be an artist, whether in the visual arts or the performing arts. We bare our souls and inner emotions to create our work.

I recently had an art opening in Glenwood Springs. I had waited several months for my turn to display my work. My excitement and anticipation heightened in the weeks before the show. I carefully chose from my many photos in an effort to display those I thought local residents would like.

In itself, photography can be time consuming and even dangerous. There is a lot to learn in the art itself: lighting, settings on the camera, types of lens to use, filters and even the weather.

Once I selected the images I would display, I had to make several trips to Grand Junction to get them enlarged and framed. Framing is one of the biggest expenses in photography. There are several components to framing: the wood used, the glass used and the matting. These affect the price for the artwork.

Two weeks before the show, I made flyers and walked the streets, talking to shop owners and inviting them to come by. I bought some Facebook ads and tweeted about my upcoming show. The next week I designed special invitations and sent them to some of the prominent folks in Glenwood Springs, some of whom were part of the Art Council. I even sent a few to local artists, confident thinking they would be supportive in my work. Like minds, I thought.

I prepared appetizers and drinks the morning of my reception. I packed up my framed artwork and headed into town. I was so excited. I felt my show was great. I had done all the legwork.

None of the people I invited showed up.

I was disappointed and rather sad. I took it personally, because it was personal. I wanted to show my work off. I wanted to share my joy in the photos I created.

Artists need us. We need them. We are sharing and baring our souls, for you, for the community.

Art is a beautiful way of communicating. Visual artists express themselves through their paintings, their sculptures and their photography. Performing artists need us as their audience, to feel what they feel, to understand and to laugh or cry with them. Art can enrich and unite a community. Art is essential, for we are art.

I hope the next time you hear of an art show or a performance you'll stop by. You may be surprised. You may enjoy it.

I know the artist certainly will be glad you did.

Jeannie Jay Martin is a Rifle-based photographer.

WinkInk: The season for wine festivals

John Ragan looked deeply into his glass.

He swirled the wine and made a mental note of both the deep, dark color and the way the viscosity of the wine remained on the glass as "legs," before rolling down the sides. He then put his nose inside and inhaled deeply.

"Dark fruits, some pepper, I'm going to eliminate pinot noir and gamay from the list," he said. He took a second sip and turned pensive for a second. "I think it's a syrah, likely young, old world. Maybe a 2015 Saint-Joseph?"

With that, a brown paper bag was removed from the bottle from which the glass had been poured and sure enough Ragan was right. The wine was from the 2015 vintage, and it was a syrah from the Northern Rhône AOC region of Saint Joseph. The assembled audience gave Ragan, a Master Sommelier and the Director of Wines for the Union Square Hospitality Group in New York, a round of applause.

What Ragan had done was not a parlor trick or the result of simply guessing what was in his glass. Rather, it was an example of him using the extensive database of wine knowledge that he has accumulated in his memory and a process of deductive reasoning to, first eliminate what the wine was not, then determine what it actually was. Everyone in the audience learned something about that process as they too went on the journey to taste, along with Ragan, what was in their glasses.

That is the beauty of attending wine festivals and seminars. The kind that come to cities and towns all across America each summer and fall. More than just places to indulge, or over indulge, they provide patrons and attendees the chance to learn just a little something about wine that they didn't know before. And that is well worth the price of admission.

The experience I wrote of above took place at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen. It is a three-day event that, for the past 36 years, has brought together a collection of the most celebrated and accomplished culinary and wine experts on earth. Ragan was part of a seminar called "Tasting with the Masters" where he, along with fellow Master Sommeliers Dustin Wilson and Sabato Sagaria, took tasters through six glasses of wine as they explained how "the deductive tasting" process works.

But you certainly don't have to attend a major wine event to learn something new. In fact, at just about every tasting seminar and group tasting event, you can expand your horizons as you learn more about the wider world of wine. All you have to do is be open and attentive.

The best way to get the most out of a local wine event is to look at it as a place to learn. That is, as opposed to a place to get drunk. Don't worry, tasting wine, even if you simply sip, and spit, will still give you that pleasant buzz. But don't go to an event thinking that over-consumption is the point. No, the point is to try some things you have never tasted before and to take away a bit of knowledge that you didn't have before. That's what makes it fruitful. No pun intended.

If you are in a seminar where you can taste a number of wines side by side, don't be afraid to take some notes. Even if they are just mental notes. Try to make a determination of what you like, what flavors turn you on … or off. In a general grand tasting, the kind where you can walk around with a glass to a number of different winemakers or vendors, pick a varietal, say chardonnay or pinot noir, and try a number of wines from that grape in a row. Note the variations and the similarities in the way each tastes.

And most importantly, don't be afraid to pose questions. You can ask about the vintage or the soils, or the location of the winery. Ask about the winemaker and his or her experiences. Ask whether the wine was aged in oak and if so for how long and what effects the oak had on the wine. Ask about how much of the wine was made and what vineyards it may have been grown in. Or simply ask where you can buy the wine.

If you come away with just a nugget or two you will be farther down the road on your wine journey and will have had a better time at your favorite seminar or festival.

Festivals are both fun and educational. Enjoy.

Kelly J. Hayes lives in the soon-to-be-designated appellation of Old Snowmass. He can be reached at malibukj@aol.com.

Exhibit on Hunter Thompson’s 1970 sheriff campaign begins tour at Aspen Historical Society

The story of Hunter S. Thompson's watershed 1970 campaign to become Pitkin County's top cop is retold in the new Aspen Historical Society exhibition "Freak Power: Hunter Thompson's Campaign for Sheriff."

The show, which opens Wednesday, combines art collector and author Daniel Joseph Watkins' extensive "Freak Power" collection, which he displayed at the Gonzo Gallery in 2015 and on which he based a book of the same name, with holdings from the Historical Society.

It marks the first time the Historical Society has devoted a show to Thompson, the longtime Woody Creeker and trailblazing writer. And it marks the first tour stop for Watkins' collection, which will make its way to national museums in the years to come.

In all, the show collects more 125 pieces including campaign materials, the iconic "Aspen Wall Poster" series by Thompson and artist Tom Benton, photographs from David Hiser and Bob Krueger, along with newsletters, newspaper clippings and Gonzo ephemera.

Watkins' collection is supplemented by artifacts from the Historical Society archives like the notorious "No Hippies Allowed" sign from Guido's restaurant and conservative Mayor Eve Homeyer's gavel. Interpretive panels guide visitors through the exhibition and provide context about the heated culture clash of the late 1960s in Aspen.

"It's the story of a point in time in our history, but it was a real sea change," curator Lisa Hancock said on a recent walk through the show. "Things changed after that."

The exhibition chronicles Aspen from the hippie incursion of the 1960s, attorney Joe Edwards' court battle to protect hippies from police harassment and his losing 1969 bid for mayor, through Thompson's run against Pitkin Sheriff Carrol Whitmire — detailing the circus-like debates, the undercover DEA agent who attempted to infiltrate Thompson's camp, the international media attention the campaign drew — and its transformative effect on politics and government in Aspen.

Thompson's campaign platform of limiting development, legalizing drugs, disarming law enforcement and protecting open space later went mainstream here.

Echoes of Thompson's platform reverberated through the tenures of progressive sheriffs Dick Kienast, Bob Braudis and Joe DiSalvo and influential county commissioners like Joe Edwards, Michael Kinsley and Dwight Shellman.

Hancock said the museum wasn't able to mount a Thompson exhibit before this 2018 show because its Thompson-related holdings are scant. A recent initiative to develop photograph negatives from its collection revealed new photos of the campaign.

"And we don't have any actual objects — a gun, a cigarette holder," Hancock said. "That holds you back. So doing this with [Watkins] works because he put it all together."

Watkins worked closely with Historical Society archivists while researching his Thompson campaign book and a previous one about Tom Benton. He's proud for the Historical Society to be the first tour stop for "Freak Power."

"It's always been nice to work with them, and they provide such a great resource for the community," Watkins said in a recent phone interview from Paris. "It's a natural fit."

The exhibit will be up through September.

In the spring, Watkins will open "Freak Power" at the Frazier History Museum in Thompson's hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. Watkins is booking stops at several more museums for the campaign's 50th anniversary in 2020.

The story of the campaign has been told and retold frequently since 1970 — in Thompson's hand in Rolling Stone and in the letters collection "Fear and Loathing in America," by associates in books such as the oral history "Gonzo: The Life of Hunter S. Thompson" and in movies like Alex Gibney's documentary of the same name.

And there's more to come.

Robert F. Kennedy III is developing a feature film, titled "Freak Power," about Thompson's campaign.

Watkins is in talks with a major documentary filmmaker about adapting his book and this exhibition for the big screen. Watkins said that project would also include never before released campaign footage shot by cinematographer Robert Fulton III.

"You wouldn't believe the stuff in this Fulton footage," he said, adding that it totals about six hours of material never seen by the public.

atravers@aspentimes.com

Whit’s End: We’re changing how we share feature stories

Next week you'll notice a significant change in the Post Independent's feature coverage. Currently, we publish a Friday feature section that corrals stories about art, entertainment, the outdoors and other things that fall outside the realm of breaking news. Come next week, that won't be so.

It's a big change to how the PI will deliver these sorts of stories, but it doesn't mean you'll see fewer of them. In fact, we've deliberated how to best serve readers with these and other human-interest stories — and, as features editor, I am excited to lead the way into a different approach.

Go will continue to run, albeit within the paper's A section, on Fridays through Labor Day. We know this is the most active time in our summer-loving city. These dedicated pages will highlight what's happening and help readers — locals and tourists alike — plan their weekends.

But Garfield County activities aren't limited to a weekend, and our event picks shouldn't be, either. That's why we're not only retaining the weekend planner, which appears on page B7 of this issue. We're building onto it.

Beginning June 22, we'll highlight the weekend's entertainment and activities on page A4. The existing community calendar gives readers an at-a-glance look at what's happening, whether that's an educational seminar or a kid's story hour. By placing our entertainment picks adjacent to this calendar, we hope to make this page an easy resource for planning your days.

To that end, we will also select one or two events per day as our recommended activities. Sometimes we might highlight a favorite hike instead. You'll be able to pick up the PI for daily inspiration in exploring this beautiful place.

Feature articles may also appear throughout the week, as our entire reporting staff aims to dig into the stories on our beats. We are always on the lookout for human interest tales that help us understand the lives of Garfield County residents, as well as examples to illustrate why we pursue the work and lifestyles we do.

You're also invited to tell your own stories (see "Tell your story" above), and we're eager to share them.

Thank you for being a part of the community the PI calls home. We are excited to go forward, together.

Carla Jean Whitley is the Post Independent's features editor. She geeks out about stuff like how to present this content, but she'll spare you discussion of how long she's thought about this. Most people aren't quite as interested in the inner workings of media.

Experience Glenwood Canyon in a new way through the Wild I-70 audio tour

Hey There

Did you feel that?

Probably pretty hard to know

But just a minute ago

You drove through Colorado's youngest volcano

Those words spill out of Jovan Mays as he launches into "Something New." He continues at a thoughtful, measured pace, as he describes the geological and historic significance of Glenwood Canyon.

Aurora emeritus poet laureate Mays wrote the poem at the behest of Rocky Mountain Wild. The Denver-based organization works to protect and restore wildlife in the region, and its latest efforts use a perhaps unexpected tactic. The Wild I-70 audio tour draws listeners into wildlife conservation through a combination of music, poetry and science.

Producer and Writer Erica Prather saw the project as an opportunity to meld two of the worlds she often operates in: art and science.

"If they talk to each other and elevate each other, I think they both have audiences who are kind of similar: curious people who want to explore the world and express that," she said.

The series is triggered by GPS as listeners travel along the I-70 corridor, with segments that entertain and educate listeners as they travel from Golden to Glenwood. Each segment is accompanied by music from a Colorado artist; Carbondale's Let Them Roar play on a piece to be released this week. Prather and cohost Stephen Brackett of hip-hop band The Flobots discuss wilderness and science, and they have fun as they do. They break down sometimes-complicated concepts, like migration, and help listeners understand how human development affects wildlife.

"It's an educational tool to remind people that when they're driving on I-70, they're driving through habitat," Prather said. "It's not just a boring trip from A to B. Both people who live in this state and tourists need to be reminded of that. You're entering another being's home.

The Glenwood Canyon segment is the most obviously emotional of the 13 released thus far. And while Mays' passion for poetry is a driving force, he also pored research and analysis into the work.

Observe its spires and steeples

This hallowed homage

Excavated eminence

Striated tenement

The genetics of geology

Mays examined the canyon's geological creation and uses the Colorado River as a metaphor for the Utes who once populated the land. "Something New" is imbued with appreciation for those Native Americans, and it's also quick to acknowledge the spiritual awe the canyon creates.

"It's clear that this is kissed by something very special that has created its environment," Mays said. But he cautions that the canyon's beauty doesn't belong to any single religious point of view. "There are several different people with great ideologies who loves this place and see it differently."

Prather said "Schoolhouse Rock" and its ability to teach via catchy jingles inspire her. As the organization continues to add segments, it will learn from the reaction to those that came before. If people take away a nugget or two about the world beyond their windshields, Prather said, that will be a success.

In this land admiration is the only currency

So leave everything intact

And leave nothing behind

The italicized breaks within the story are lines from "Something New" by Jovan Mays.

Glenwood Springs events 6/15/18

Visit postindependent.com to see even more events, and go to tinyurl.com/postevents to list your own.

Strawberry Days Festival

Friday, noon-10 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Don't miss Glenwood Springs' annual celebration, Strawberry Days. The event includes a variety of activities for all ages. Kids will enjoy the FamilyFest area, which includes a variety of entertainment. Miss Strawberry Days offers young women an opportunity to compete for scholarship money. The arts and crafts fair includes dozens of vendors with their wares for sale. The food court ensures you won't leave hungry. Saturday's parade is always a highlight, and you'll get free strawberries and ice cream immediately afterward. There's even a Cool Zone Tent to help you cool down.

Sayre Park, 1702 Grand Ave., Glenwood Springs | Free | glenwoodchamber.com

Friday Afternoon Club: Painters Stage

Friday, 5 p.m. It's time to kick off Friday Afternoon Club, which includes live music and food and drink specials every week. Take Friday's paper with you, as the ad will get you a free tram ride for up to four people. Painters Stage—the trio of Noemi, Kristof and Max Kosmowski—kicks off the summer with its gypsy sound and reggae rhythm.

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, 51000 Two Rivers Plaza Road | Free admission with PI ad | 945-4228 | glenwoodcaverns.com

Art Studio Open House

Friday, 5 p.m.-dark Stop by Studio for Arts and Works for its summer open house. Check out the work of resident artists, and kids are welcome to get their hands into wet clay and play.

Studio for Arts and Works, 525 Buggy Circle, Carbondale | Free | 618-7479 | sawcarbondale.com

Roma Ransom

Friday, 7 p.m. Listen to Roma Ransom's electric, bohemian, psychedelic funk while enjoying Marble's signature cocktails.

Marble Distilling Co. & The Distillery Inn, 150 Main St., Carbondale | Free | 963-7008 | marbledistilling.com

The Crane Wives

Friday, 8:30 p.m. The Crane Wives formed in 2010 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Together, their sound has evolved from indie folk to encompass a variety of genres. You'll hear traces of rock, pop and folk in their melodies and songwriting.

Steve's Guitars, 19 N. Fourth St., Carbondale | 963-3304 | stevesguitars.net

Yankee Tavern

Friday-Saturday, 7:30 p.m. This dramatic thriller turns its attention to 9/11 and America's obsession with conspiracy theories. Continues June 22-24, June 28-30 at 7:30 p.m., with an additional 2 p.m. performance June 24.

Thunder River Theatre Company, 67 Promenade, Carbondale | $15-$30 | 963-8200 | thunderrivertheatre.com

Shady Lane

Saturday, 7 p.m. Silt Historical Park presents a free concert series, this week featuring the band Shady Lane. Enjoy acoustic rock and donate—if you like!—to benefit the historical organization.

Silt Historical Park, 707 Orchard Ave. | Free | silthistorical.org

Campfire Safety

Saturday, 1 p.m. Colorado River Fire and Rescue will explain campfire safety and rules—and little ones will love checking out the fire truck and playing in the spray of the the hose.

Rifle Gap State Park, 5775 Hwy 325, Rifle | Free | cpw.state.co.us

Music on the Mountain

Saturday, 4 p.m. You'll hear all your favorites as The Mixx takes the stage at the adventure park. Dance the night away with top 40 hits, R&B, classic rock, funk, and more. There will also be food and drinks and, of course, the park itself.

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, 51000 Two Rivers Plaza Road, Glenwood Springs | $16 adult tram ride, $11 kids ages 3-12, or free with canned food donation to LIFT-Up | 945-4228 | glenwoodcaverns.com

A Magical Evening of Illusion With Doc Eason

Saturday, 8:30 p.m. Doc Eason has entertained audiences worldwide for more than 40 years. This weekend, he'll bring his illusions to Basalt for a one-night appearance.

The Temporary, 360 Market St., Basalt | $10 advance, $15 day of | 510-5365 | tacaw.org

The T Sisters

Sunday, 7:30 p.m. California's The T Sisters have written and performed together since childhood, and it shows in their harmonies. The sisters' voices soar higher still when the rhythm section comes in.

Steve's Guitars, 19 N. Fourth St., Carbondale | 963-3304 | stevesguitars.net

NEARBY

Citizen Twang

Friday, 8:30 p.m. You may have heard them in a previous iteration as the Caleb Dean Band. Well, Caleb decided to retire, but the band plays on. Citizen Twang is Larry Gottlieb on steel guitar, Brian Lemke on lead guitar, Gordon Wilder on drums, JD Martin on piano, Dave Johnson on bass and Ross Kribbs on fiddle. Hear their country sounds this weekend.

The Temporary, 360 Market St., Basalt | $10 advance, $15 day of | 510-5365 | tacaw.org

PLAN AHEAD

Leaning into the Wind

Monday, 8 p.m. The Arts Campus at Willits and Aspen Film partner to showcase Dance, Art and Music Films throughout the summer. "Leaning into the Wind" follows artist Andy Goldsworthy to explore how passing years affect him and his work alike.

The Temporary, 360 Market St., Basalt | $8 Aspen Film members, $11 advance, $13 day of | 510-5365 | tacaw.org

Art in the Stacks

Wednesday, 5-7 p.m. Meet Annette and Andrew Roberts-Gray, Carbondale artists whose collaborative works are on display at the Glenwood library. Annette is inspired by the Rocky Mountains and paints small landscapes and nature studies in watercolor. Andrew draws influence from history and culture, resulting in mixed media paintings on plexiglass. The exhibit will be on display throughout June.

Glenwood Springs Branch Library, 815 Cooper Ave. | Free | 945-5958 | gcpld.org

Frying Pan Road Race

Wednesday, 6 p.m. The format is set up in 30- and 50-mile races from Basalt up to Ruedi Reservoir and back. This is ACC's largest race, and riders are broken down by skill level (beginners welcome).

Frying Pan Road, Basalt | $20 nonmembers | aspencyclingclub.org

ONGOING

Fryingpan River Reflections

Through June 27 Jocelyn Audette has long been in love with the West. After 35 years in California and traveling the world, she settled in Basalt, Colorado. Her latest exhibit reflects her time with the Fryingpan River.

CMC ArtShare Gallery at Morgridge Commons, 815 Cooper Ave., Glenwood Springs | Free | coloradomtn.edu

Tiny Art Show and Hello, my name is ______

Through June 29 Two exhibits will simultaneously celebrate their openings during The Launchpad's First Friday event. Printmaker and engraver Johanna Mueller served as juror for "Tiny Art Show," which features small works by 35 artists from the Roaring Fork Valley and beyond. You'll also have a chance to get to know the staff of Carbondale Arts in a new way through "Hello, my name is ______." You'll see prints and acrylic work by Gallery Manager Brian Colley, abstract paintings by Creative Sales Staci Dickerson, drawings by Rosybelle Program Coordinator Kat Rich, fashion and fiber art by Design and Marketing Director Laura Stover, an interactive outdoor dance film by Operations Manager Deborah Colley and words of wisdom by Executive Director Amy Kimberly.

The Launchpad, 76 S. Fourth St., Carbondale | Free | 963-1680 | carbondalearts.com

Minimal: Less is More

Through June 29 Function can also be beautiful. That's clear in Tom Jaszcazk's pottery, which is influenced by the Minnesota work he admired in his youth. Jaszcazk embraces minimalism in his functional, lovely pieces. In a press release, he said of his work that he "… wants my work to be pared down to the essentials and be truly useful. The cumulative journey of a pot tells a story and the story brings the user into the moment of making and firing. Slips, trimming lines, finger marks, edges, wad marks and shadows capture a moment in time and tell more of the story. I want my pots to be grounded in form and have an identity as a material … A successful pot has depth through these processes, obtains humbleness through form and thoughtfulness in function."

Carbondale Clay Center, 135 Main St. | Free | 963-2529 | carbondaleclay.org

Wild West Photography

Through June Jeannie Jay Martin's passion for the outdoors shows. See her images of wild horses and Colorado landscapes throughout the month.

Artist Mercantile and Gallery, 720 Cooper St., Glenwood Springs | Free | 947-0947 | artistsmg.com

Bruce Knuth

Through June If you've visited Cooper Corner Gallery, you've surely noticed woodturner Bruce Knuth's work. His bowls, wine bottle stoppers and other pieces are smooth and lovely. He's the co-op's featured artist this month.

Cooper Corner Gallery, 315 Eighth St., Glenwood Springs | Free | 945-5199 | coopercornergallery.com

Binary Opposition

Through July 6 Carbondale artist Chris Erickson uses his work as a platform for social commentary. You'll see paintings, sculptures and assemblages that poke fun at and remark on presidents, big pharma and gun culture.

The Art Base, 99 Midland Spur, Basalt | Free | 927-4123 | theartbase.org

After controversy over his border patrol memoir, Francisco Cantú gets back to writing at Aspen Words residency

After months at the center of unexpected controversy, nonfiction writer and translator Francisco Cantú is getting back to work during an Aspen Words residency.

"It's a chance for me to get my head screwed back on straight, to refocus and ground myself for the next thing," Cantú said last week on the lawn outside of the Red Brick Center in Aspen.

As the June writer-in-residence for the literary nonprofit, he's spending the month at the Catto Shaw family's Mojo Garden Farm in Woody Creek.

His memoir "The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border" recounts his time as a U.S. Border Patrol agent from 2008-2012 in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas enforcing immigration policy he opposes. The book bears witness and details his role in government-sanctioned acts against migrants and explores the emotional toll it takes on him. A Mexican-American from Tucson, Cantú joined up at age 23 — over the objections of his family — to better understand and grapple with ugly realities of the border.

Published in February, the book earned acclaim for the Pushcart Prize-winning essayist and became a bestseller. It also inspired vociferous criticism from immigration activists, from the political left and from Mexican-Americans who called out Cantú for being complicit in the government's inhumane policies and exploiting his work in a memoir. There have been heated protests at his readings and book signings along with calls for boycotts of the book.

"There's been a pushback from people who say, 'You're part of the system and who are you to be profiting off of your work as a law enforcement agent who was responsible for capturing people and deporting them,'" Cantú said. "It's been strange because a lot of that pushback comes from people I agree with and arguments that I agree with."

His book tour inspired demonstrations in cities like Austin, where security reportedly escorted some protesters from a bookstore and where Cantú, in response, turned the microphone over to his opponents to hear them out.

"It's strange to get passionate, heated pushback from people who you mostly agree with," he said. "You're like, 'Yes, I think like that, too.'"

A New York Times story last month cataloged damning critiques writers, poets and immigrants have launched against Cantú's book. Confronted with them, Cantú mostly agreed and encouraged the complex, unanticipated conversation his book has inspired about who gets to tell the story of the border.

"It surprised me in a lot of ways," he said. "I was always anticipating a lot of backlash from the right — from 'build the wall,' 'close the border' type of people. I think an easy narrative to tell about me and this book is that I broke ranks or stepped out of line and told all of these secrets about the patrol and betrayed them."

Some critics have read his depictions of his border patrol work as an endorsement or haven't read the book at all. But Cantú is clear about his beliefs: "I'm pretty staunchly against our immigration policy. I think it's a violent policy that has perpetuated death for decades, and we haven't grappled with it in an honest way as a nation."

During his Aspen Words residency, Cantú is reflecting on and writing about the debate over "The Line Becomes a River." He is at work on an afterword to be included in the paperback edition. The piece, he said, will discuss his memoir in the context of the ugly Trumpian political moment it fell into this spring, "to speak a little more directly to the current moment."

Cantú did not expect to be cast as a villain in this moment. But he is hopeful the debate can be productive and that it might help raise up the voices of others, especially the perspectives of migrants themselves.

"I've arrived at this place where, if my book is providing an entry point to that conversation happening at a larger level — a conversation about whose voices we should be listening to and what narratives we should be subscribing to — then, honestly, I'm happy for my book to be the catalyst for that kind of conversation," he said. "Even if I think it's based on some misperceptions about the book."

He blanches at hyperbolic praise for "The Line Becomes a River" that has called it "the best" or "the only" thing to read about the border right now.

"My perspective is inherently problematic, right?" he said. "This is the story of someone who had a lot of privilege and power over people. And I'll be the first to say that I was complicit in perpetuating a deadly immigration policy that I'm staunchly opposed to."

He finished the book in early 2016, before most considered Donald Trump a serious presidential candidate. As it moved toward publication and Trump's racist and anti-immigrant platform drew support across the U.S., Cantú opted not to revise "The Line Becomes a River" with the perspective of Trump's campaign.

"I always imagined this book would be coming out in a world where it would be a relic of this uglier time," he said.

The afterword he is writing in Woody Creek is an opportunity to reflect on the book in the context of the Trump era and the current battles over U.S. immigration policy.

"The idea is to speak more directly to the politics and rhetoric that we're seeing right now," he said. "Literature about the border can't exist outside of that. … It's something you can't ignore."

Since February, Cantú has been in a near constant state of motion — traveling and talking about his book, doing daily interviews and fielding media requests. What he hasn't been doing is writing. And that's what he's doing this month, when his only public obligation is a talk at The Temporary at Willits on Tuesday.

Along with the afterword for "The Line Becomes a River," Cantú said he'll be translating a few short essays while he's here and doing some early work on essays he's been mulling but hasn't had a moment to work on since the explosion of his memoir.

"Yesterday was the first time that I've even sat down to write notes," he said with a laugh on Thursday. "I had some handwritten notes I'd taken early this year. I haven't even put them into the computer. I haven't done any writing whatsoever since February."

For a diligent writer with a daily composition practice, the grind of the book tour and national media attention has been a shock to the system. Writing in the quiet of the mountains is a more familiar setting. He wrote much of "The Line Becomes a River" in a small trailer he has parked on a plot of land his mother owns in northern Arizona, in an area even more remote than the wilderness-adjacent plot in Woody Creek where he's spending the month.

"I already have a habit of finding solitude," Cantú said.

atravers@aspentimes.com

Glenwood Springs events 6/8/18

Visit postindependent.com to see even more events, and go to tinyurl.com/postevents to list your own.

Wild West Photography

Friday, 5-8 p.m. Jeannie Jay Martin's passion for the outdoors shows. See her images of wild horses and Colorado landscapes throughout the month of June, and speak with her about her work during this opening reception.

Artist Mercantile and Gallery, 720 Cooper St., Glenwood Springs | Free | 947-0947 | artistsmg.com

Bruce Knuth

Friday, 5 p.m. If you've visited Cooper Corner Gallery, you've surely noticed woodturner Bruce Knuth's work. His bowls, wine bottle stoppers and other pieces are smooth and lovely. He's the co-op's featured artist this month, and will be on hand with several other artists during the monthly reception. Austin Harris will perform live music just outside the door as part of Glen-a-palooza.

Cooper Corner Gallery, 315 Eighth St., Glenwood Springs | Free | 945-5199 | coopercornergallery.com

Chris Voth

Friday, 7 p.m. You may have seen him on the "Late Late Show" or "Last Comic Standing," but now it's time to see comedian Chris Voth on stage at the Vaudeville. Food and full bar available, adult audiences only.

Glenwood Vaudeville Revue, 915 Grand Ave., Glenwood Springs | $25 | 945-9699

| gvrshow.com

Music on the Mountain

Saturday, 4 p.m. You'll hear all your favorites as The Mixx takes the stage at the adventure park. Dance the night away with top 40 hits, R&B, classic rock, funk, and more. There will also be food and drinks and, of course, the park itself.

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, 51000 Two Rivers Plaza Road, Glenwood Springs | $16 adult tram ride, $11 kids ages 3-12, or free with canned food donation to LIFT-Up | 945-4228 | glenwoodcaverns.com

Jim Hurst

Saturday, 6:30 p.m. Don't miss this evening of bluegrass with Jim Hurst. He's known for his vocals and guitar picking, and he transitions easily from flatpicking to fingerstyle. Dinner and drinks available.

Glenwood Vaudeville Revue, 915 Grand Ave., Glenwood Springs | $20 | 945-9699

| gvrshow.com

Night Sky Fun

Saturday, 9 p.m. Learn about the night sky during this study of astronomy, constellations and planets. It will be hosted by Western Colorado Astronomy Club and the park's interpretive ranger. All programming is free with the purchase of a day pass.

Rifle Gap State Park, 5775 Hwy 325, Rifle | Free | cpw.state.co.us

Community Pedaleando

Sunday, 10:30 a.m. Celebrate cycling and all its benefits during this community gathering. Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club, Aspen Center for Environmental Studies, Aspen Community Foundation and Valley Settlement host this series of activities. Earn a free lunch, ride in a family friendly ride, enjoy music from DJ Skratch or learn to ride for the first time.

North Face Park, Meadowood Drive, Carbondale | Free | aspennature.org

NEARBY

Basalt Public Arts Commission

Friday, 5 p.m. Meet members of the Basalt Public Arts Commission and learn about the Motio 2.0 sculptures on display throughout Basalt and Willits.

Basalt Regional Library, 14 Midland Ave., Basalt | Free | 927-4311 | basaltlibrary.org

Binary Opposition

Friday, 5 p.m. Carbondale artist Chris Erickson uses his work as a platform for social commentary. You'll see paintings, sculptures and assemblages that poke fun at and remark on presidents, big pharma and gun culture.

The Art Base, 99 Midland Spur, Basalt | Free | 927-4123 | theartbase.org

Tacos, salsa and bachata

Friday, 8:30 p.m. It's back by popular demand! Kick off the evening with salsa dancing lessons at 8:30 p.m. Open dancing begins an hour later, and there will be drink specials and fresh tacos available all night.

The Temporary, 360 Market St., Basalt | $10 | 510-5365 | tacaw.org

PLAN AHEAD

Redstone Art Gallery Free Concert

Tuesday, 6 p.m. Enjoy free '40s, '50s, '60s and jazz music during free summer concerts in Redstone. The series continues July 10 and Aug. 7.

Redstone Art Gallery, 173 Redstone Blvd. | Free | 963-3790

Food, Wine and Sideways

Wednesday, 6 p.m. Are you ready for Food and Wine? Start your prep with a wine tasting, food and a screening of the popular film "Sideways." Tastings begin at 6 p.m., movie at 7.

The Temporary, 360 Market St., Basalt | $12 advance, $17 day of | 510-5365 | tacaw.org

Yankee Tavern

Thursday, 7:30 p.m. This dramatic thriller turns its attention to 9/11 and America's obsession with conspiracy theories. Continues June 15-16, June 22-24, June 28-30 at 7:30 p.m., with an additional 2 p.m. performance June 24.

Thunder River Theatre Company, 67 Promenade, Carbondale | $15-$30 | 963-8200 | thunderrivertheatre.com

ONGOING

Fryingpan River Reflections

Through June 27 Jocelyn Audette has long been in love with the West. After 35 years in California and traveling the world, she settled in Basalt, Colorado. Her latest exhibit reflects her time with the Fryingpan River.

CMC ArtShare Gallery at Morgridge Commons, 815 Cooper Ave., Glenwood Springs | Free | coloradomtn.edu

Tiny Art Show and Hello, my name is ______

Through June 29 Two exhibits will simultaneously celebrate their openings during The Launchpad's First Friday event. Printmaker and engraver Johanna Mueller served as juror for "Tiny Art Show," which features small works by 35 artists from the Roaring Fork Valley and beyond. You'll also have a chance to get to know the staff of Carbondale Arts in a new way through "Hello, my name is ______." You'll see prints and acrylic work by Gallery Manager Brian Colley, abstract paintings by Creative Sales Staci Dickerson, drawings by Rosybelle Program Coordinator Kat Rich, fashion and fiber art by Design and Marketing Director Laura Stover, an interactive outdoor dance film by Operations Manager Deborah Colley and words of wisdom by Executive Director Amy Kimberly.

The Launchpad, 76 S. Fourth St., Carbondale | Free | 963-1680 | carbondalearts.com

Minimal: Less is More

Through June 29 Function can also be beautiful. That's clear in Tom Jaszcazk's pottery, which is influenced by the Minnesota work he admired in his youth. Jaszcazk embraces minimalism in his functional, lovely pieces. In a press release, he said of his work that he "… wants my work to be pared down to the essentials and be truly useful. The cumulative journey of a pot tells a story and the story brings the user into the moment of making and firing. Slips, trimming lines, finger marks, edges, wad marks and shadows capture a moment in time and tell more of the story. I want my pots to be grounded in form and have an identity as a material … A successful pot has depth through these processes, obtains humbleness through form and thoughtfulness in function."

Carbondale Clay Center, 135 Main St. | Free | 963-2529 | carbondaleclay.org

Build your summer bucket list for Garfield County and nearby

There's lots to do before this season kicks the bucket. We consulted our staff, readers and friends to learn what they've been most looking forward to this summer.

"I'm excited for more bike rides. I've got to get my bike in for a tuneup!" –Carla Jean Whitley, features editor

"Hiking (Hanging Lake, Maroon Bells, Rifle Falls), playing in the lakes and river, pool, caverns, picnics, going to the playgrounds!" — Brandi Lynn, reader

"Hike Conundrum, hike to Crested Butte, tube the river, Cruise-a-Thong (cruiseathongglenwood.com)!" –Erin Richards

"Camp in Moab, Mesa Verde, and other new locations for the first time. Spent altogether too much time indoors last summer." –Gavin Dahl, station manager at KDNK, Carbondale Community Access Radio

"Aspen Music Festival & School. I love it first because the music is phenomenal. I love the students, so many of whose stories I got to hear and tell as an employee there. I love the fact that our lawn is free, and on Sunday you can see people (and pets lolol) of all ages out there enjoying the performance in that gorgeous Aspen summer weather. I love that we can go to the concert in jeans and a T-shirt and not draw any side-eyes. And I love that even people who AREN'T former employees will probably run into somebody they know. It's a great gathering place and perfect for lifelong classical music lovers and novices alike." –Jessica Cabe, a former PI and AMFS staffer who now resides in Chicago. Cabe will return to the Roaring Fork Valley for vacation this summer.

"Hoping to catch a couple new caves, backpack at least once, and at some point spend three consecutive days out of cell service." –Will Grandbois, former PI staffer and editor of The Sopris Sun

Reader Lizz Bailey's must-do list includes a lot of hiking, including Four-Pass Loop and a 14er. Also on her agenda? "Visit the Maroon Bells with my parents when they visit, go to a beer festival of some kind, actually go to the free music events in the RFV and maybe visit Vail."

"I am going to climb a 14er with my dad! My dad is 67 lives in Iowa. I think we will probably do Mt. Elbert. And he's even walking now to prepare!" –Heather Marine, advertising account manager

Advertising Director Angela Kay's wish list is all about the outdoors: whitewater rafting, zip line, camping and horseback riding.

Reader Steve Coley enjoys gardening and hiking. His favorite hikes are Jess Weaver for a nearby option and Avalanche Creek for something a bit farther from home. "I like all of our bike trails too—Glenwood Canyon and Rio Grande both. Keeps us old guys fit," he said.

"Hike Mount Sopris. I mean, it's right there, staring me down. Challenge accepted." –Samantha Johnston, publisher

Rainy day? Head to Glenwood Escape Room (glenwoodescape.com). You'll work as a team to solve puzzles, eventually leading to your "release" from the room.

Tours of historic Redstone Castle (theredstonecastle.com) have been on hold during its renovations. But the owners hope to complete the work in the early part of the summer, so keep an eye on the website to see when tours will resume.

The Glenwood Springs Vaudeville Revue (gvrshow.com) will add a new attraction to its summer lineup beginning June 21. "The Great K and A Train Robbery," filmed in Glenwood Canyon, will show at the theater Thursday evenings and Saturday and Sunday afternoons. The interactive event will include an actor portraying Tom Mix, star of the 1926 film, and sharing information about the film and the city. Tickets are $5 for adults, $3 for kids, and a full bar and menu will be available.

Download a printable checklist and start your adventure!

Backcountry essentials

For years, Garmin's inReach product has been one of the industry's best-selling communication devices.

Connected to the Iridium satellite network, inReach gives users maps and communication "anywhere in the world," according to the brand.

The news this month is the inReach Mini, a scaled-down version of the original walk-talkie size device. The Mini weighs 3.5 ounces and is less than 4 inches tall.

It tracks via GPS and has an SOS button that notifies authorities of your location in an emergency. You can also send text messages off-grid.

The unit pairs with smartphones for more features and control. When synced with the free app, a phone can display maps and aerial photography using the Mini's satellite connection.

One drawback to the Mini is battery life. At half the size, the Mini offers half the charge of the original.

Whereas the first inReach lasted up to 100 hours, the Mini holds enough juice for 50 hours of operation.

In addition to its lightweight and small size, the inReach Mini wins on price. At $350, it's cheaper than Garmin's other sat-comm offerings.

Add the company's $12 monthly subscription and you're ready to hike and explore the backcountry, connected to the world with a device that fits easily in hand.

Stephen Regenold writes about outdoors gear at gearjunkie.com.