Isa Catto Accepts the Melva Bucksbaum Dedication Award at The Art Base - Aspen Real Life
Isa Catto Accepts the Melva Bucksbaum Dedication Award at The Art Base

Isa Catto Accepts the Melva Bucksbaum Dedication Award at The Art Base

With much thanks to Art Aspen for the invite, last weekend I attended the “pARTy” at The Art Base, a gala supporting The Art Base mission to foster creative expression in the visual arts for all ages and abilities.

At the event the Melva Bucksbaum Dedication to the Arts award was presented to Isa Catto by James Surls and Charmaine Locke. As per her website, Isa Catto is a visual artist whose compositions move between abstraction and representation, but are first and foremost informed by color. She pulls inspiration from a variety of sources: the cultivated landscape of her high altitude garden, the wilder one at large surrounding her native Colorado Rockies, and the more subterranean territories of mythology, literature and poetry. These sources are conduits to more universal terrain, where she explores the rigors of loss, belonging, authenticity and connection, all the while examining the arenas of motherhood, sanctuary and redemption.

The event was presented by Art Aspen, Fidel Duke, Palladium Properties and Woody Creek Distillers. Event Chairs were Newton Bartley & Eric Calderon.

Isa’s thank you speech was so moving that we invited her to share it with all of our readers:

“Anyone who is here tonight understands the importance of the Art Base and its mission, but we have a lot of work to do.Anyone who is here tonight understands the importance of the Art Base and its mission, but we have a lot of work to do.

We are in a time when arts education is rarely a treasured part of critical thinking and of the school curriculum. There is a clear and present danger of the arts being dismissed as peripheral, irrelevant or, as equally troubling, simply an accessory for the wealthy — instead of a necessity for a vibrant society.

Every artist, and anyone who is passionate about the arts, needs to champion them in every way possible, and we can start by showing up for each other as a cohesive community—locally and nationally. For example, we have to push back on the perception that local artists are sub par or amateurs or that art is just for the super talented, or for the anointed art stars and their celebrants. We all belong.

I know the world would be a better place if we make more room for people to be creative, especially kids, and if we honor what my friend Marcia Butler – Author calls the creative imperative. When anyone one of us creates anything, we lock into a narrative beyond the to do list, beyond class barriers, the endless labels and assumptions, the sinister allure of status and money, the distraction of our wretched national and global news.

Instead, you tap into a deeper world and that vibration carries forward into your immediate environment and how you move through it. You become more curious, more authentic and you learn how to solve nonlinear problems. When you create, you have access to a vast subconscious plane — where you are reminded of your insignificance, along with your significance.

We need to nurture and celebrate these creative efforts — big AND small — for our collective spiritual health and the health of this planet. So let’s be advocates in every way we can by working to integrate the arts into every facet of our lives.

I am so grateful to places like the Art Base who hold this creative space for us all. Thanks again.”



Isa Catto Studio in on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and can be found at

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