Chances are you have contributed something over the years to the Aspen Thrift Shop. Saturday is your chance to buy something cool and keep the virtuous circle of giving going. Yes, the annual Art Sale is here, Saturday, and you only have so much time, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
You may have benefited from the proceeds. The 73-year-old organization run exclusively by women has given hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to community service groups ranging from A to Z — ACES to Youth Zone — just from the trash-to-treasure cycle the thrift store fosters.
Katherine Sand of the Thrift Shop explains: “We alleviate locals of their stuff, because we all have too much of it! Sell it to people who need it at super-low prices — it’s about the only place you can buy truly affordable clothes and goods in Aspen, and donate the proceeds back to the community.”
The Art Sale, which Sand started eight years ago, will add its bit, around $30,000, to the kitty for organizations and scholarships at the end of the day.
What’s there waiting at the Red Brick Center for the Arts? Maybe better to ask what isn’t. Art! Of course. Books, paintings, photographs, posters, sculptures, jewelry, clothing, ceramics, pots, pans, the whole artful kitchen and sink, no doubt.
Here’s a beginning list of some of the highlight treasures:
- A signed Terry Rose print for the 1987 Choices for the Future symposium held at Windstar and also signed by John Denver.
- Signed Tom Benton prints.
- Folk art pieces.
- Australian and African artifacts.
- Angelo Accardi’s official catalogue, the deluxe edition.
- Michael Graves architectural prints.
- Steuben glass.
“I’m finding more as I unpack our storage,” Sand says. “It’s a total treasure hunt and cornucopia. Also some incredible vintage and highly valuable clothing items — we just sell a few as there is so much in the shop, but what we have is special.”
The Thrift Shop (and Art Sale) is staffed only with volunteers. Working people, retired people, all kinds of people, and all ages. You only have to have a wish to donate your time. Oh, and be a woman.
Sand said the shop is always looking for more volunteers. Most “work” about two days a month in the shop, at 422 E. Hopkins Ave., open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and Tuesday evenings 4:30 to 7 p.m.
The shop went through some lean times during the height of the pandemic, Sand says, like other nonprofits and businesses. They closed for long stretches. They couldn’t take donations at times.
“However, we’ve bounced back magnificently and the shop is thronging and grants are being made to the community,” she says.
The Thrift Shop’s guiding philosophy on the giving side is to provide as much as possible to as many groups as possible.
“We believe that our grants — to environmental, arts, human services, education and child care — reflect the diversity of our donors, volunteers and clientele alike, and are an important demonstration of local commitment to organizations who can use this evidence to support their other fundraising,” she says.
Proceeds from the shop and the Art Sale find their way down the Roaring Fork Valley in the form of the grants and scholarships.
But why the sale atop a store open six days a week?
“It’s partly a question of space,” she says. “We just don’t have that much room in the shop to sell everything, and also I realized eight years ago when I started the sale that there was so much amazing stuff, it would be fun to see it all in one place at one time.”
But only Saturday, and only from 10 to 2.
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