Art Sale helps Thrift Shop give more

People browse merchandise during a preview event Friday, Aug. 5, 2022, before the Aspen Thrift Shop’s annual art sale at the Red Brick Center for the Arts in Aspen. The main sale runs Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times)
Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times

Chances are you’ve contributed something over the years to the Aspen Thrift Shop. Today is your chance to buy something great and continue the virtuous cycle of giving. Yes, the annual art sale is here today and you have so much time from 10am to 2pm

You may have benefited from the proceeds. The 73-year-old, all-female organization 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 promotes.

Catherine Sand of the Thrift Shop explains, “We relieve locals of their stuff because we all have too much of it! Sell ​​it to people who need it at super low prices – this is the only place to buy truly affordable clothing and merchandise in Aspen and donate the proceeds back to the community.



The art sale, which Sand started eight years ago, will add its share, about $30,000, to the kitty for organizations and scholarships at the end of the day.

What awaits at Red Brick Center for the Arts? Perhaps it’s better to ask what it isn’t. Art! Of course. Books, paintings, photographs, posters, sculptures, jewelry, clothing, ceramics, pots, pans, the whole artful kitchen and sink, no doubt.



People browse merchandise during a preview event Friday, Aug. 5, 2022, before the Aspen Thrift Shop’s annual art sale at the Red Brick Center for the Arts in Aspen. The main sale runs Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times)
Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times

Here is an initial list of some of the most important treasures:

  • Signed Terry Rose print of the 1987 Choices for the Future Symposium held at Windstar, also signed by John Denver.
  • Tom Benton Signed Prints.
  • Works of folk art.
  • Australian and African Artifacts.
  • The official Angelo Accardi catalogue, the deluxe edition.
  • Architectural Prints by Michael Graves.
  • Steuben glass.

“I’m finding more as I unpack our storage,” Sand says. “It’s a total treasure hunt and cornucopia. Also some amazing vintage and very valuable clothes – we are only selling 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 by volunteers. Working people, pensioners, all kinds of people and all ages. You just have to be willing to donate your time. Oh, and be a woman.

Sand said the store is always looking for more volunteers. Most are “open” about two days a month at the store at 422 E. Hopkins Ave., open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and Tuesday evenings from 4:30 to 7 p.m.

The store went through periods of poverty during the height of the pandemic, Sand said, as did other nonprofits and businesses. They closed for long stretches. Sometimes they could not accept donations.

“However, we have made a magnificent recovery and the shop is overcrowded and grants are being given to the community,” she says.

Thrift Shop’s guiding philosophy on the giving side is to give as much as possible to as many groups as possible.

People browse merchandise during a preview event Friday, Aug. 5, 2022, before the Aspen Thrift Shop’s annual art sale at the Red Brick Center for the Arts in Aspen. The main sale runs Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times)
Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times

“We believe our grants—environmental, arts, human services, education and child care—reflect the diversity of our donors, volunteers and clients and are an important demonstration of local commitment to organizations that can use this evidence to to support their other fundraisers,” she says.

Proceeds from the store and art sale make their way down the Roaring Fork Valley in the form of grants and scholarships.

But why the sale at the top of 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 store to sell everything, and besides, I realized eight years ago when I started the sale that there’s so much amazing stuff that it would be fun to see it all in one place at one time.” “

But only today and only from 10 to 2.

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