The Sun Valley gallery scene is a complete surprise to those not familiar with the sophistication and caliber of art housed within the galleries and studios that dot our streets and line our Valley. But for anybody who knows the history of the place, it is just another notch in the belt of firsts that helped establish Sun Valley as so much more than just America’s first destination ski resort.
It all began in the late ‘60s when a woman by the name of Glenn Cooper (later Janss) came to Sun Valley to start anew with her five children after the death of her first husband. She had been living in Los Angeles and was known as a cultural tour de force there—nominated by the Los Angeles Times as “Woman of the Year” for her contributions to the arts; specifically, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. While convalescing from a hip injury one winter, longtime family friend and Sun Valley Resort owner Bill Janss (he would become her husband years later) asked Glenn if she could help develop an art center for Sun Valley. She did, forming the Sun Valley Creative Art Workshops in 1969 and becoming instrumental in both the development of what would become the Sun Valley Summer Symphony and the Sun Valley Center for the Arts in later years. That was nearly 45 years ago, but Glenn Cooper Janss essentially created the space for the galleries and artists to thrive in Sun Valley and Sun Valley Resort supported those efforts.
Today, there are dozens of galleries in the Valley and hundreds of working artists with studios or gallery spaces. Each year, the Sun Valley Gallery Association hosts nine Gallery Walks, which are eagerly anticipated and free to the public. Locals and visitors alike take in thought-provoking exhibitions of newly installed art from nationally and internationally acclaimed artists, enjoy wine, mingle with friends and browse for inspired pieces to add to, or start, their collections. Artists are frequently in attendance and gallery shows often represent world premiere exhibits and groupings.
To help you navigate our vibrant arts scene, we’ve compiled a few gallery tips and highlights to take with you on your next tour of our incredible and diverse galleries.
The East Side of Town
Where: 661 Sun Valley R0ad, Ketchum
The Personality: L’Anne Gilman and the lovely ladies at Gilman Contemporary anchor the eastern side of Ketchum’s gallery scene. They exhibit artists who present an innovative vision to painting, sculpture and photography—with a special emphasis on photography. They also serve a mean margarita on most Gallery Walk nights. L’Anne says she “opened the gallery in 2007 after working in the field for almost 17 years in Chicago and here in Sun Valley. Feeling like a niche was missing for new and younger collectors, I opened the gallery with a mission to broaden the appreciation of contemporary art by representing emerging and mid-career artists with a strong focus on photography.”
Shining Moments: “Outside of the fact that we are still going strong despite having opened just before the Castle Rock fire and the downturn in our economy just months later, I am most proud of being able to use our gallery and many of our shows to help benefit a number of local non-profits. I recognize that we live in a rare and beautiful place that has such amazing community support and it is important to give back.”
Nearby: Iconoclast Books is next door, so you can pick up a latté or something for your nighttime reading on your way home. And be sure to check out the high-end designer shopping in The Colonnade at Elle Rose, Sway
Don’t miss: Shows by emerging artists in the fall. Get there early before the margaritas are gone.
Center of Town / Town Square
Where: 360 East Avenue, Ketchum
The Personality: Minette and John Broschofsky say they started collecting art in the ‘80s focusing on Western art—historic, traditional, modernist and contemporary. “Travels to find our treasures brought us to places like Santa Fe, Taos and Denver,” they add, “and we found ourselves really getting consumed by our interest in art and decided to open Broschofsky Galleries in 1987. Our son Rudi joined the gallery in 2006 after college and has been very instrumental in our shifting focus toward incorporating more emerging contemporary Western artists.”
Shining Moments: “We’re amazed at the caliber of clientele in Sun Valley and their art sophistication is outstanding. The project that we enjoyed the most was working with a couple who wanted to put together a great collection ranging from historic to contemporary. For some of the contemporary pieces, they chose unique Andy Warhol pieces we had from the Cowboys & Indians portfolio. For historic works, we were requested to procure a group of Edward Curtis iconic photographs from his ‘The North American Indian’ project (1898-1928). Having a whole roomful of these incredible images, many of which we had only seen in books, has been one of our greatest thrills. We are proud to have put together this museum-quality collection.”
Nearby: The Courtyard also houses Wood River Fine Arts and the venerated walls of Frederic Boloix Fine Art is less than a block away. Afterwards, grab a bite to eat—two great restaurants are within walking distance. Dashi (one block south, across Sun Valley Road) and The Ketchum Grill (2 blocks north) are two fine restaurants, both on East Avenue, that serve award-winning cuisine in the epitome of “Ketchum casual”—jeans or silk and jewels.
Don’t miss: Screenprints from Andy Warhol’s 1986 suite “Cowboys & Indians” or original photographs from the Edward S. Curtis project “The North American Indian” (1898-1928).
WOOD RIVER FINE ARTS
Where: 360 East Avenue, Unit 2 , Ketchum
The Personality: Wood River Fine Arts is the collaboration of four dear friends, Dave and Molly McGary, Sandy Gregorak and Tom Bassett. “The stars seemed to align in October of 2012 to make the gallery a reality,” says Tom Bassett, “when a phone call from the McGarys brought Sandy, the McGarys and I to Sun Valley as partners.”
Shining Moments: Sandy and I are most proud of the fact that the gallery has been a tremendous success in its first year, including hosting the reception for the first annual Wood River Valley Studio Tour. That success strikes an even deeper chord since our partner Dave McGary passed away suddenly in October of this year. Seeing Dave’s excitement and pride in the gallery was truly a gift for us.
Nearby: Grab a bite at Moose Girls Café or wander over to Town Square for a hot chocolate or latté at Starbucks (one of the few Starbucks locations that serves beer and wine).
Don’t miss: Life-size sculptures by revered nationally and internationally-acclaimed artist Dave McGary.
FREDERIC BOLOIX FINE ART
Where: 351 Leadville Avenue North (In the Galleria Building), Ketchum
The Personality: Frederic Boloix states simply, “I’ve been in the art business for 25 years, specializing in modern masters Picasso, Matisse, Chagall, etc., and contemporary art. Frederic Boloix Fine Arts has had a presence in Ketchum for 20 years.” Frederic’s connections run deep and strong. And while his gallery may be tucked into a corner of the Galleria Building, it is an important stop on any gallery tour.
Shining Moments: “I’m proudest of having featured a collection of paintings by Marc Chagall, which was a first for the state of Idaho.” Frederic was also instrumental in bringing artist Francoise Gilot (Picasso’s former lover) to the Valley for a cultural presentation and educational series. Pretty impressive for a small town in the middle of Idaho!
Nearby: Just across the Galleria you will find Bellissimo, for unique and one-of-a-kind designer embellishments for the home, which is a type of art gallery for the home. And one of Ketchum’s most revered institutions, The Pioneer Saloon is just steps away, as is one of Ketchum’s newest restaurants (by one of its most established chefs), chef Scott Mason’s Enoteca Restaurant and Wine Bar.
Don’t miss: Any show that features the arresting works of contemporary artist Salustiano (Seville, Spain)—whose work reportedly so captured actress Sharon Stone when she first viewed it in Los Angeles as part of “The missing peace, artists consider the Dalai Lama” exhibit that she commissioned a portrait after discovering that the piece she wanted to buy had already been sold.
LIPTON FINE ARTS
Where: 411 N. Leadville Avenue, Suite 3, Ketchum (next door to the Coffee Grinder)
The Personality: A relative newcomer to the local gallery scene, Lipton Fine Arts opened in December 2012 and presents Modern Art, American Indian art and original works from well-known artists Alexander Calder, Jean DeBuffet, Sam Francis and photographer Annie Leibovitz.
Nearby: Grab a Grinder from owner Nikki Potts at the coffee shop next door, one of the first in Ketchum and a local institution, or step into Rasberrys for eclectic homemade cuisine.
LYNN TONERI • R.C. HINK GALLERY
Where: 400 Sun Valley Road, Ketchum
The Personality: Noted for her large-scale landscapes, Lynn’s images now include dynamic watercolors of native plains and Rocky Mountain animals. R.C.’s flamboyant character stools and animal chairs from the surrounding territories and beyond are stampeding through the gallery.
Jennifer Bellinger Fine Art
Where: 511 East 4th Street, Ketchum
The Personality: A professional artist for over 40 years, Jennifer Bellinger’s still life paintings are held in collections around the world. Her gallery represents the sculpture of Idaho artists like Dave LaMure, Jr., the furniture of Wes Walsworth and art jewelry by Michele Black.
DAVE NORTON FINE ART
Where: 511 Sun Valley Road, Ketchum (downstairs from the Sheepskin Coat Factory)
The Personality: David Norton began collecting Western art in the early 1970s, specializing in the Taos founders (Society), and Maynard Dixon pieces. This led to a sizeable art collection and his interest spread to contemporary Western artists as well.
Gallery Gulch / 1st Avenue
GAIL SEVERN GALLERY
Where: 400 First Avenue North, Ketchum
The Personality: Gail Severn Gallery anchors the north end of Gallery Gulch, which is fitting since it stands as one of the longest running galleries in town—along with Kneeland Gallery at the south end of First Avenue. Gail Severn says she “started the gallery in 1974 in a small building called ‘Vargold Lane’ The original name was Images Gallery (the name changed in 1980). The gallery is 38 years old this year.”
Shining Moments: “I am grateful for the long-term support of residents and visitors that enabled us to grow the gallery and build the building named after my father, Russell Severn. Being able to continue the arts tradition that my mentors, Bill and Glenn Janss, shared with me when I worked for them at the Sun Valley Center for the Arts is a privilege. And to be a part of the early stages of building the strong nationally recognized arts community we have in the Valley—and the fact that we were named one of the ‘Top Ten Small Arts Communities in the Nation’ speaks to the caliber of arts in our communities.”
Nearby: Java on Fourth is right next door, if you need a pick me up to combat all that wine (or margaritas from Gilman Contemporary). Grab yourself a Bowl of Soul or Keith Richards and keep going … you only have a half dozen more galleries to visit.
Don’t miss: After touring the four exhibition spaces and framing shop, don’t miss a private tour of the two-acre sculpture garden.
HARVEY ART PROJECTS USA
Where: 391 First Avenue North, Ketchum
The Personality: Native Australian Julie Harvey says the gallery opened initially for a three month temporary exhibition of Australia’s most renowned aboriginal art center, Papunya Tula Artists of the Western Desert. That was 3 1/2 years ago! “As it turned out, that exhibition was so popular we have kept our doors open ever since”, Harvey laughs, adding “Harvey Art Projects is an organization dedicated to developing cultural awareness, understanding and appreciation of the finest Australian aboriginal art in America. We are the only dedicated gallery in America working directly with Australian aboriginal art communities, which means we spend much time traveling to very remote regions of Australia to work with artists and bring back exhibitions to the US”
Shining Moments: “Being able to bring the actual aboriginal artists on regular visits to Sun Valley as a way to represent their communities and talk about their work. We hold regular film screenings and artists talks in conjunctions with The Community Library in Ketchum.”
Nearby: This is the heart of Gallery Gulch, with galleries and shops on all sides. For a welcome diversion, be sure to stop into one of the unique and more “artsy” shops nearby—Consign Design, or Esmeralda Gordon, Jewels of the Empress, on either side of Harvey Art Projects USA, or Holli Jewelers across the street.
Don’t miss: Be sure to hit one of the opening receptions with the aboriginal artists in attendance.
Where: 320 First Avenue North, Ketchum
The Personality: Andria Friesen. “After working in the art business for a number of years I decided it was time to open my own gallery,” Friesen says of opening her gallery in Ketchum. “On careful consideration, I narrowed my choices to two locations, Sun Valley, Idaho, and South Florida. I opened in Sun Valley in 1986 and have had no regrets. We are now celebrating our 27th-year anniversary and I continue to garner memories from artists and clients that will last forever.”
Shining Moments: Celebrating 27 years as a premiere gallery in Sun Valley and conceiving and publishing the book project: “Speak For
The Trees,” which Andria said “was the privilege of a lifetime.”
Nearby: Browse the stunning wearable art from hand-curated jewelry designers in the living gallery of Holli Jewelers next door or step upstairs to locally-founded SQN Sport and grab a few essentials (all made in the USA).
Don’t miss: Any of the glass art exhibits, especially those of William Morris for the incredible intricacies with the material.
Where: 271 First Avenue North, Ketchum
The Personality: Established in 1982, Kneeland Gallery was originally the Wood River Gallery and was located in a very small corner of the building which now houses PK’s Ski & Sport (across from Frederic Boloix Gallery). George and Diane Kneeland purchased it 31 years ago, and, as Diane says, “We never looked back.” They have not strayed from their original vision and continue to represent traditional paintings and sculpture, focusing on landscape, still life and wildlife subjects by emerging and established artists.
Shining Moments: George and Diane Kneeland were instrumental in founding and writing the bylaws for the Sun Valley Gallery Association and they also established the plein-air event that is hosted in Sun Valley every August for the past 22 years.
Nearby: If this is the end of the line for you, finish the evening with a refreshing El Dulce Fuego and tapas at Boca. Or continue around the corner to Main Street Ketchum where you can choose from B. Restaurant, The Sawtooth Club, Cornerstone, The Pio or Enoteca.
Don’t miss: The Plein-Air show every August, where visiting artists are invited to paint scenes of their choosing from around the Valley. Sometimes the paint is still drying at the gallery exhibit and artists are always in attendance.
Ketchum / North Ketchum
Ketchum / North of Ketchum
Where: 119 Lewis Street, Ketchum
The Personality: The eldest of five boys, Denis Ochi wanted to follow in his father, Fred’s, footsteps and become an artist, but eventually realized that his true talent lay in promoting the work of others. He opened OCHI Gallery in 1974. Since then the gallery has assumed several locations in Boise and Sun Valley, representing the work of both contemporary masters and emerging artists. His eldest daughter, Pauli, now acts as director of the gallery and works to bring new artists to Ketchum.
Don’t miss: The “Death to Day Jobs” exhibit of emerging local artists every spring—it features incredible work representing a real pulse of the Ketchum underground.
SUN VALLEY CENTER FOR THE ARTS
Where: 191 Fifth Street East, Ketchum
The Personality: More a museum than a gallery, the Sun Valley Center for the Arts (SVCA) is the oldest arts organization in the Valley. One of only five accredited museums in Idaho, The Center produces multidisciplinary projects connecting the visual arts, performing arts and humanities at facilities in Ketchum and Hailey.
Nearby: Globus, for eclectic Asian cuisine, is less than a block away.
Don’t miss: The music, lectures and other programming, especially the youth classes and activities or family days.
BOULDER MOUNTAIN CLAY AND ART GALLERY
Where: 491 E. 10th Street, A10, Ketchum
The Personality: The Gallery features work by Susan Ward and the clay artists of Boulder Mountain Clayworks. Local artists selling one-of-a-kind clay art as well as functional ware of the best quality are shown.
Nearby: The Knob Hill Inn is across the street for a great bar and fine dining at the Grill at Knob Hill Inn (with much of the same talented team originally behind Warm Springs Ranch restaurant).
Don’t miss: Supporting The Hunger Coalition through purchase of the painted bowls in collaboration with the community and Boulder Mountain Clayworks.
JACK BURGESS GALLERY
Where: 491 E. 10th Street, A3-L, Ketchum
The Personality: Carved mantels, doors, and bronze sculpture. The gallery features work ranging in size and style from delicate carved leaves to large fireplace mantels and bronze sculpture.
Where: 491 E. 10th Street, A1, Ketchum
The Personality: Iconic fine art images of the American West and Western memorabilia, along with a full collection of coffee table books, calendars and outdoor lifestyle shots.
KIRK ANDERSON PHOTOGRAPHY
Where: 115B Northwood Way, Ketchum
The Personality: Limited edition fine art prints, notecards, postcards, stock photography. Studio visits by appointment and often open on Gallery Walk nights.