Powers Art Center opens Monday | PostIndependent.com

Powers Art Center opens Monday

Will Grandbois
The reflecting pool catches the many moods of Mt. Sopris, although the still waters of night and early morning are the best.
Will Grandbois / wgrandbois@postindependent.com |

if you go

Access to the Powers Art Center is on the left just past mile marker 13 as you head upvalley on Highway 82, 1.3 miles past the Carbondale light. Entrance is free, although donations are accepted. For more information, call 963-4445 or visit powersartcenter.org.

The Powers Art Center in Carbondale officially opens to the public Monday.

The 14,502-square-foot space will display 100 works in paper by renowned artist Jasper Johns, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday. It will rotate to showcase all 300 pieces in the collection. Special exhibits by other artists are also anticipated.

The current exhibit is a chronological trip through Johns’ extensive career, from black-and-white lithographs through bright primary color. The earliest is “Coathanger I,” dated 1960, and the latest is “Map,” from 2012. Takashi Nakazato’s pottery serves as the centerpiece for several rooms.

The gallery is a tribute to John G. Powers, who died in 1999 and collected many of the pieces on display.

Near the entrance, a portrait by Andy Warhol depicts Powers with the saxophone that helped him pay his way through school. Powers attended Princeton and Harvard Law and entered practice with Chadbourne, Hunt, Jaeckel & Brown. He later worked his way up the ladder at Prentice-Hall, a major international publishing company, where he retired as president.

From his late 40s on, he devoted himself to his passion for collecting art. In particular, he favored contemporary American and 5th- to 19th-century Japanese art.

During his time in the valley, he founded Aspen Institute’s Asian Seminars and continued to perform on the saxophone, playing with the Walt Smith Trio at the Sopris Restaurant on Tuesday nights.

The art center was conceived shortly after his death, and design work began in 2005. Construction kicked off in 2009. The completed structure is faced in sandstone from Lyons. The black granite under the 5,600-square-foot reflecting pool is also used for the interior floor, providing a durable tie between inside and out.

A 192-panel, 44-kilowatt solar array produces more than half of the building’s electricity with help from a geothermal system. Although increased usage is anticipated once the space is open to the public, renewables are still expected to provide much of the facility’s power.

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