Living in a small home in Carbondale, Colo.,30 miles downvalley from Aspen, studio potter Alleghany Meadows initially bought his 1967 Airstream trailer as a guesthouse. He then thought better of it and remodeled the trailer with refined hardwood floors and cabinetry to serve as an exhibition space. "I had always liked Airstreams for their design beauty and quality workmanship," says Meadows. "The gallery remodel idea came as a brainstorm on how to make a living as an artist by taking my work to markets, universities and museums." With his mobile gallery, he's able to show his artwork nationwide.
Meadows also represents other artists' pottery in his Airstream. "I pick artists whose work I would want in my home and whose work is different than mine, because I can learn more that way," he says. "I also look for work that's made with the quality and vision that'll stand up to the test of time-work that isn't purely for now, but might be considered masterful and beautiful in 500 years."
With an independent artist's flexible schedule, Meadows gets in a fair number of ski days. He learned to ski when he was 6 at a small Colorado ski hill, and by the time he was 10 and on the ski team, his mother, also an artist, would write notes excusing his absence from school on powder days. Meadows has kept up that dedication. This year, he won't travel until spring and is teaching his 5-year-old daughter, Lily, to ski. He likens the risk-taking of skiing to his art. "I like to push the limits of my abilities," he says. "And with wet, pliable clay on the pottery wheel, I seem to gain the most when I'm right on the edge."
Meadows received a Watson Foundation Fellowship for field study of potters in Nepal, and he was an artist in residence at Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Aspen. "I loved the valley, the mountains, the culture, the arts and the people," he says. "After graduate school, my wife and I knew we had to move here permanently."
His nomadic gallery has exhibited coast to coast, but it can be found at the Aspen Farmers Market in the summer. For Meadows's spring tour schedule, visit art-stream.com.