Telluride AIDS Benefit: Two Auctions & More for the Cause

Telluride AIDS Benefit: Two Auctions & More for the Cause

“Art is much less important than life, but what a poor life without it,” Robert Motherwell

Note: If you failed to score tickets for the Telluride AIDS Benefit fashion show, there is yet another opportunity to watch the action. The Town of Mountain Village plans to air the Gala live – on Mountain Village Cable Channel 15 and online at – Saturday, February 28, 8 p.m.

An art auction Friday, post-fashion show auction, an after-party Saturday night, two trunks shows later this weekend, all ways to support TAB – and have fun.

Read on for details.

poster_2015_FINAL copy

A story that broke last week around the globe held the promise of the holy grail for individuals and families living with HIV/AIDS: a vaccine, like the vaccines that ended such global killers as smallpox and tuberculosis. But hold the confetti: a headline in the International Business Times offers up the whole unvarnished truth:  “New HIV Treatment Shows Promise for Vaccine, But Success Still Far From Certain.”

The article went on to say:

“In the race to end HIV/AIDS around the world, nothing says victory like headlines trumpeting progress toward a state-of-the-art preventative drug. A new treatment compound said to block HIV infection has raised new hopes of eviscerating the virus before it can take hold in the body. However, researchers caution that their work is far from over. The new treatment that functions by prompting muscle cells to release proteins that mimic the body’s natural defense mechanisms has shown promise in trials involving monkeys but would still have to prove itself in humans, and there’s no telling how long such trials could take or whether the results could be duplicated…”

And therein lies the message: it isn’t over ’til it’s over.

An estimated 39 million people worldwide have died from AIDS-related diseases since the virus was discovered over 30 years ago  – and the pandemic continues to kill an estimated 1.5 million people every year. What’s more, health experts have been down the road to a cure plenty of times before with disappointing results. As recently as 2013, a major study involving testing yet another HIV vaccine was scrapped after researchers found no solid evidence the drug would prevent HIV. That trial spanned 19 cities across the U.S., involved 2,500 participants, and cost a whopping  $77 million. And the cost of care for a person living with HIV/AIDS? That is about $3500/month or $42,000 per year.

Which is why the Telluride AIDS Benefit, now in its 22nd year, remains unwavering in its mission to “Fight. Fund. Educate.” TABs’ continued effort is in support of its six beneficiaries (see related story here), which in turn support hundreds of families and individuals living with the impact of the virus from western Colorado to the Front Range of Colorado and all the way to Africa.

TAB raises much needed funds in variety of creative ways, two of them are auctions.

Telluride AIDS Benefit, Baerbel Hacke’s Art Auction:

For the past 20 years Telluride Gallery of Fine Art director Baerbel Hacke has worked unselfishly and tirelessly to mount an art auction in support of TAB.

Ever notice that the word “pain” is embedded in “painting?” Ask most artists if that isn’t true. But the Telluride AIDS Benefit’s auction is a wonderful way to transform pain into gain for people suffering from HIV/AIDS.

“I still feel Robert’s (Presley, TAB’s colorful muse) spirit when I put on this show,” said Baerbel. “I miss that man so much. Robert was such an outrageous and compelling force in this community that everyone – and I mean everyone – applauded his daring and dash. In the end, the art auction is a fitting tribute to Robert, a talented fabric artist. It is also a great opportunity to acquire something special for your home or office. And the event is a win-win: when you give yourself the gift of a valuable piece of art (which you obtained at a bargain price), you are also helping others.”

Art about AIDS is as varied as its many creators, however, whatever form it takes, it always springs from a very personal place. Baerbel’s event includes paintings, drawings, photography, furniture, fabric art, jewelry and other personal and home furnishings accessories, all donated by local, regional and national artists.

One of the gifted, generous artists featured in the 2015 art auction is painter Julee Hutchinson.

Juee is a bold yet subtle painter whose stock in trade is incessant surprise, which is based on her changing attitude towards her subject, not so much on the subject itself. The auction image, a portrait of a young man, oil on linen, was executed in the artist’s signature style: impressionistic loose, open brushstrokes slathered on like icing on cake.

The Artist 9 x 9 oil on linen

Julee is included in the stable of the Telluride Gallery of Fine Art and has a show coming up next September.

Robert Weatherford is also in the Telluride Gallery’s stable and a very popular teacher of painting at the Ah Haa School for the Arts. In Weatherford’s work feeling is paramount; virtuosic flashes of style to show off bravura technical ability is just not his thing. The image Robert donated for the auction is a very early (1982) work, an oil on canvas entitled “Sunrise,” but it suggests the direction the artist would take throughout his career: naturalism and representation take a back seat to exaggerations of shape and color to communicate inner emotions.

weatherford, sunrise


Like Robert Presley, Sherab Kloppenberg is a fabric artist – although fiber art is just part of a larger story summed up in her company SK4 Designs. Sherab’s business is all about creating and building solutions that improve the aesthetic and functional design experience. An architect by training, Sherab is truly a designer of everything from built environments to objects we use everyday. The material she uses in her quilting comes from years of travel around the globe. The piece Sherab donated for the art auction, “Love Cures,” represents a new type of work: quilting as wall art.

Love Cure

And if you were lucky enough to score a ticket to TAB’s fashion show, Sherab and partner Beth Ballis contributed a line of threads for the runaway. They call the six outfits they created “Botanic Attractions, fanciful, abstracted fabric interpretations of the plant world, which took about 200 hours to put together.

bridal dress

“The bloom is Beth’s wedding dress from many years ago. The seed bud is made of re-appropriated bike tire tubes. The rest of the outfits lean heavily on felting as a base for the design. Botanic Attractions for now exist only for the purpose of supporting the good works of TAB.”

The list of other contributors includes:

•Amy Levek

•Amy Schilling

•Bill Proud

•Blair Brown

•Brett Schreckengost

•Brittany Miller

•Bruce Gomez

•Carl Marcus

•Chris Newman

•Dean Rolley

•Dieter Runge

•Drew Ludwig

•Flair Robinson

•Frank Liberto

•Goedele Vanhille

•Ian Pasquer

•Ingrid Lundahl

•John Hopkins

•Jordon Matter

•Josselin Lifton-Zoline

•Julee Hutchison

•Judi Powers

•Judith Kohin

•Julie McNair

•Karen Wilcox

•Kathy Green

•Kathleen Morgan

•Kyle Hendrikson

•Lindie Sanford

•Malarie Reising

•Marki Knopp

•Mary Kenez

•Meredith Nemirov

•Michael Friedel

•Michele Foote

•Michelle Curry Wright

•Michelle Montague

•Molly Radecki

•Nancy B. Frank

•Nicole Finger

•Peter Grajirena (1946-2011)

•Rafe Hendricks

•Rob Schultheis

•Robert Weatherford

•Sandy Smith

•Scramble Campbell

•Sean McNamara

•Sharon Samuels

•Sherab Kloppenburg

•Sheila Phinney

•Sue Hobby


•Susan Sales

•Vincent Bolletta

Also work out of the collections of:

Baerbel Hacke, Corey Hiseler, Jerry Vass, John Hopkins, Kathleen Erie, Pam Pettee, Seth Berg, Sue Hill, Suzy Baker

Helping friends:

David Voelz, Carisa Ames Franck, Brian Anderson, Janice Zink,  Jeannie Stewart, Kimberley Lynch, Michelle Curry Wright, Norman Squier, Ron Gilmer, Telluride Gallery Of Fine Art

Telluride AIDS Benefit, post-fashion show auction:

The second auction takes place on the catwalk following the gala fashion show. That sale falls under the job description of TAB’s dynamic board chair, Ana Coe Bowling, who works with her team to put together irresistible packages.

Ana Coe & husband Matt

Ana Coe & husband Matt

Think of it as the Telluride Bluegrass Festival on steroids.

We are talking about two weekends of some of the best music ever in red dirt country: the Austin City Limits Music Festival, this year, Friday, October 2– Sunday, October 4 and Friday, October 9 – Sunday, October 11.

The sounds and all the city, the cultural center of Texas, has to offer are up for grabs at the 22nd annual Telluride AIDS Benefit. 

The Austin City Limits Package includes VIP passes and lodging at the Four Seasons, Lily Guilder Burning Man jackets and Andrew Marc sunglasses.

Every summer, Telluride’s cultural calendar is chockablock with festivals, some with global reputations. TAB’s Festival Package includes two tickets each to Mountainfilm, the Ride, Telluride Blues and Brews, the Ah Haa Art Auction, and the San Miguel Resource Center’s Chocolate Lovers’ Fling. This bid also includes wearable art by Erin Reis and a custom New Belgium TAB bicycle.

The Via Ferrata Tour, includes a guided adventure on Telluride’s Iron Road, with gear supplied by sponsor Telluride Adventures. A Patagonia TAB backpack gets thrown in for good measure.

Designer Blair Lauren Brown has created a custom piece of jewelry that features a 1-carat brilliant silver diamond and 1.16 carats of cognac diamonds.

And you and up to seven close friends can bid on a Magical Winter Night at the Alta Lake Observatory featuring the culinary art of private chef Spencer Graves.


The Observatory in winter

The Observatory in winter

Other ways to support TAB and have fun:

Attend the after-party featuring uber hip DJ Cox. The party takes place at the Sheridan Opera House at 10:30 p.m., which is right after the fashion show and auction.

DJ  images

Shop the trunk show at Dolce, 224 East Colorado, featuring ready-to-wear, accessories, etc. Sunday, March 1, 4 – 6:30 p.m.

Shop the designer sample sale at the Sheridan Opera House, Monday March 2, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. All designer clothing donated to TAB and not sold in the live auction will be for sale to the public at great discounts.

No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.