Explore the Ranch with an Artist’s Eye


3 Way Relationships: Artist – Land – Painting

an artist workshop led by Sandra Kaplan

Come paint with artist Sandra Kaplan at South Park’s Buffalo Peaks Ranch on Saturday, July 21st. Use the medium of your choice – watercolor, collage, oil, or acrylic. Both abstract and representational painters are welcome.
Sandra will paint while describing what for her becomes a meditative approach to the work. She encourages painting without preconceptions or strict general rules and emphasizes the artist’s connection to both subject and painting. The goal is for painter and landscape to mingle and meet in the finished work.
There will be individual instruction throughout the day, with a group critique at day’s end.
Sandra Kaplan has been painting for as long as she has memories. She graduated from Pratt Institute in NYC, is represented by the Sandra Phillips Gallery in Denver and has exhibited her work across the United States. For more on Sandra’s work, be sure to visit her website!
When: Saturday, July 21st, 10 am to 3:30 pm.
The workshop fee is $50, plus a $3.03 ticketing fee. More details and directions will follow. Feel free to send any questions to jeff@landlibrary.org

Click Here to Register


2016 workshop at Buffalo Peaks Ranch

Stay Tuned for an Exciting Summer Ahead!

This summer we will be hosting artist & writers workshops, our 4th annual Summer Book Club, Re/Call, a Labor Day weekend art exhibition with artists from across the country, plus much more.
Please join us this summer, and enjoy the inspiring learning landscape that is Buffalo Peaks Ranch!
The stories of people and the land couldn’t be told in a better place than this high mountain ranch, threaded by trout streams and elk trails, with traces of native tribes and early settlers still visible on the land.” – Jeff Lee, co-founder of the Rocky Mountain Land Library

The Wild Wet World of Buffalo Peaks Ranch


A view of the Lambing Barn from the South Platte River. That barn will be the site of a River Hut Library, housing books on water & rivers!

This summer, Buffalo Peaks Ranch is as dry as we’ve ever seen. Maybe that’s why we headed to the banks of the South Platte River this past weekend. Here is the wild wet world that flows through this old ranch:


with beaver ponds:


willows in bloom:


Iris fields, and new wildflowers in bloom, with each passing week:


Water, our most limited resource in the arid West, will always be an important topic at the Land Library’s headwaters site.


For more on Buffalo Peaks Ranch’s River Hut Library, take a look at this book-filled earlier post, Water & Rivers at Buffalo Peaks Ranch!

The Great Globeville Wish List!

unnamed (14)

Thanks to the tireless help of many volunteers, we have erected shelving at our new site in Denver’s Globeville neighborhood, and moved in over 30,000 Land Library books.
The Globeville library design plans has been underway ever since,  and it’s clear that the space is in need of some furniture!  We’re scouting out the following items from second hand stores and donations:
– Library Table (as long as possible, like the example above!)
– Two long folding worktables
– Armless benches
– Wall plant holders
– Rugs (4-6′, square or round)
– Desks
– Office chairs
– Upholstered chairs in good shape
– Coffee table (round or oval)
– Table, wall and floor lamps
– Throw pillows in good shape
– 1-2 floor fans
– Cool object to hang over the door
If you have something you think could make a good addition, please send a photo and dimensions to: jeff@landlibrary.org
Note: if you have an item that’s not on the list, but you think would be great anyway, please let us know!

It was fun, but the heavy lifting is officially over!

Stay tuned for our first volunteer work days, when we’ll actually be touching the books, and getting them ready for the shelves in Globeville, and at Buffalo Peaks Ranch.
We hope to have our first sessions sometime in June, or early July. If you missed our volunteer sign-up in the Spring, email jeff@landlibrary.org, and we’ll get you on the list!
unnamed (15)

Join us in Globeville!

Join us in July!

48 (3)


For Two Place-Based Writers Workshops!

IMG_4726 copy

Environment as Inspiration:
Observing Landscapes, Bookscapes, Mindscapes with author Emily Sinclair
Saturday, July 7th, 10:00 am to 3:30 pm
Annie Dillard wrote, “Seeing is of course very much a matter of verbalization.” In this daylong class intended for non-fiction and fiction writers of all levels, we’ll explore how observing and writing about our surroundings — whether the natural world, the local coffee shop, or more imaginative environments, like the pages of a favorite book — enrich and deepen our work.
Our day together will be spent writing, reading, and discussing our own work and that of published writers, with the goal of drawing inspiration from the physical world around us. Writers will leave with new ways of seeing and understanding place.
The workshop fee is $50, plus a $3.03 ticketing fee. More details and directions will follow. Feel free to send any questions to jeff@landlibrary.org
Poetry and Place with poet Jodie Hollander
Saturday, July 14th, 10:00 am to 3:30 pm
Returning to Buffalo Peaks Ranch after very popular 2017 & 2018 poetry workshops, Jodie Hollander and attendees will discuss several aspects of writing and poetry including structure, development, and the creative process. Come prepared to write your own poetry, and explore questions with an internationally published poet.
Jodie Hollander studied poetry in England, and her poems have appeared in journals such as The Poetry Review, PN Review, The Dark Horse, and Verse Daily. Her debut book, The Humane Society, was published in 2012, and her most recent collection, My Dark Horses was published by Liverpool University Press. For more on Jodie Hollander’s work, be sure to visit her website.
The workshop fee is $50, plus a $3.03 ticketing fee. More details and directions will follow. Feel free to send any questions to jeff@landlibrary.org
For much more on our 2018 Ranch Schedule, see our full schedule here!

Finding the Cosmos in the Bramble


Andrew Beckham returns to Buffalo Peaks Ranch!

Finding the Cosmos in the Bramble: A Photographic Study of Seeds, Stars & Sedges

Saturday, June 9th, 10 am to 3:30 pm

Join artist and photographer Andrew Beckham for a day of exploration and photographic inquiry along the banks of the South Platte at Buffalo Peaks Ranch.
In the morning, we’ll look at a range of photographic approaches to seeing the land through the lens (literally and metaphorically) of cosmology, followed by significant time in the field, making images and collecting natural objects for further photographic study back at the Ranch. Andrew will share techniques and ideas for how to creatively engage with the “cosmos in the bramble.”
Suggested Equipment: DSLR, tripod, laptop with PhotoShop or similar software. For field exploration: sturdy boots, backpack, water bottle, layers (fleece, rain jacket, etc.).
Workshop fee is $50, plus a $3.03 ticketing fee. More details and directions will follow. Feel free to send any questions to jeff@landlibrary.org

A Vortex of Brambles — Andrew Beckham

Andrew Beckham serves as the Visual Arts Department Chair at St. Mary’s Academy in Englewood, Colorado, where he teaches aesthetics, photography, works on paper and the illustrated book. In recent years Andrew has devoted much of his creative practice to the design and construction of artist’s books, some of which have been placed in the Special Collections Departments at both the Penrose Library at the University of Denver and the Norlin Library at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Two of these books, The Lost Christmas Gift and Firmament, have been acquired by enthusiastic publishers (Princeton Architectural Press and GFT Publishing) who have helped to bring his work to a much wider audience.


In the fall of 2013, Andrew Beckham’s first solo museum exhibition was installed in the Taylor Museum at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center.


 “Andrew Beckham is a lot of things, but I would consider him a visual poet, using language both written and visual to construct nuanced work that is compelling, fragile, and poignant.” — Aline Smithson, Lenscratch

For more on Andrew Beckham and his work, be sure to visit his website!


A Big Day for Buffalo Peaks Ranch


What an amazing day! Yesterday the Rocky Mountain Land Library hosted it’s first volunteer Ranch Work Day of 2018. Denver was socked in with low clouds and showers, but somehow South Park managed to have a glorious blue-sky day.

Over 20 volunteers turned out, and before much time had past we had crews spread across the ranch doing a variety of tasks, including clearing the corral stalls of blown-in debris and preparing two old ranch trucks for their new lives. One truck will allow folks to string up hammocks for a night under the stars. And the old white pickup (seen above) will be the ranch’s new stage for live music!

We also cleared out a promising building that will soon house the ranch’s Childrens Library. While that was happening, another crew was rehabilitating an old caravan that will soon provide people a comfortable book-lined place to stay while visiting the ranch:


And it that wasn’t enough, we had a separate team digging holes, adding ranch manure, and planting seven hardy varieties of apple trees, along with two cherry trees!

Attach0 (1)

One of our (well-guarded) tree-planting teams.

What a remarkable crew! 

Attach0 (2)

Stay tuned for much more on Buffalo Peaks ranch’s best summer yet!

And if you’ve missed recent volunteer calls, feel free to email jeff@landlibrary.org for updates & shout-outs!