This past weekend I had the pleasure of driving up to Aspen for a little ladies mountain and art getaway. Vanity Projects, a high-end nail art atelier out of New York and now Miami, was doing a one day Nail Pop up at the Aspen Art Museum in celebration of the opening of Chris Ofili’s monumental exhibition, Night and Day. Rita de Alencar Pinto, independent curator and founder of Vanity Projects, set up shop at the museum’s stunningly positioned rooftop deck with three of her best nail artists. Rita and I have been dear friends for 15 years. She helped me find my way in San Francisco when first moving there to go to undergrad at the San Francisco Art Institute. I visited her in London when she was studying at Sotheby’s. I have had the pleasure to be around since the initial conception of Vanity Projects and watch it catch fire into the amazing force of creativity and collaboration that it is today. So when Rita told me she was doing a Pop up in Aspen, of course I marked my calendar to make to happen. It was an added delight when I discovered that the exhibition she would be here for was none other than Chris Ofili.
I headed up to Aspen with my good friend Ama Mills-Robertson, who I met over 5 years ago when I was a docent for the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver. Ama works with their educational programs, as well as trained me to be a docent. We sparked a friendship that continues to this day. Ama and I share an affinity for Ofili’s work, so we were very excited that this exhibition had found its way from the New Museum in New York to the Aspen Art Museum. We drove up Saturday for nail art, the exhibition and a lovely patio dinner at Jimmy’s Bodega with Rita and her nail crew. Sunday, the rain dampened our hiking plans, so we decided to go back to the museum in the morning and look at the exhibition again. There is so much imagery and story in each of Ofili’s new works, that a second viewing to take it all in was just what we needed. After the museum, the rain let up and we spent the afternoon visiting boutiques and art galleries in the quaint streets of Aspen, as well as enjoying a patio brunch. My yorkie, Jasmine, joined us for the afternoon around town. Aspen is such a dog friendly town, it was so fun to have her with us. In the late afternoon we headed back to Denver via the scenic route of Independence Pass. It was a majestic drive through the mountain side with dramatic and moody clouds. The perfect punctuation to an artistic and inspired weekend in the mountains.
To follow Vanity Projects, check out @vanityprojects and @vanityprojectsmia on Instagram.
Ria Lopez, @rianailz
Gina Oh, @ohriginails