Since the westward expansion of the early 1800s, American artists of every genre have sought to capture the raw, untamable, rugged and sometimes mysterious nature of the Wild West. This summer in Sun Valley, Idaho, that tradition continues. With both historic and contemporary exhibitions, featuring artists like Albert Bierstadt, R.S. Riddick and Andy Warhol, the local galleries of Sun Valley are keeping our Western history (and our world-class cultural art scene) very much alive. With cultivated and thoughtful gatherings like these, it’s no wonder that ArtPlace named Ketchum as one of the “Top 12 Small Art Towns in the U.S.” for 2013.
Hunt Slonem at Gilman Contemporary
The newest collection of works by celebrated contemporary artist Hunt Slonem will be introduced during his summer exhibition, “Here Comes the Sun,” at Gilman Contemporary (June 15-July 29). Featuring a lush body of artwork, this show will debut an array of paintings that delight in the color, texture and expression for which the artist is renowned. A master at capturing both the inner and outer beauty of his chosen subject, Slonem is fascinated by the manipulation of paint and he works quickly to create jarring color juxtapositions that, when combined with his trademark etching style, capture the light and dazzle viewers with an ethereal beauty. An artist of international prestige, Slonem’s artwork hangs in over one hundred museums worldwide.
Cowboy Artist R.S. Riddick & Painter Glenn Dean
Wood River Fine Arts, an Expressions Gallery, recently announced the addition of Cowboy Artists of America (CAA) member R.S. Riddick as one of its prominent new artists for the summer. At the 2012 CAA show at the Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City, Riddick achieved Gold Medal Awards for oil, watercolor and drawing as well as the Anne Marion “Best of Show” Award. It was the first time in CAA’s 49-year history that one artist received all four of these awards. Also represented this summer will be nationally acclaimed painter Glenn Dean. Dean’s inspiration for landscape painting was first kindled when he saw the work of such early California Impressionists as Edgar Payne, Guy Rose and Maynard Dixon, who influence Dean to this day. His award-winning paintings evoke the color, depth and solitude of the Southwest desert, coastal California and the mountainous Sierra Nevada.
Broschofsky Galleries “Best of the West”
This summer’s “Best of the West” exhibition at Broschofsky Galleries will feature an array of artists’ styles, subjects and interpretations of the American West. Historical works date back as far as 1832, with early explorer artists such as Albert Bierstadt, Karl Bodmer and George Catlin. These prints document encounters with Native American and wildlife during expeditions into uncharted wilderness, providing each artist’s different interpretation of the territory. Edward Curtis’ 30-year project, “The North American Indian,” illustrates his photographic documentation of every tribe west of the Mississippi from 1898-1928. Russell Chatham, David Dixon and Tom Howard display their very dissimilar styles and accounts of our surrounding landscapes. More contemporary takes on the American West range from Ewoud De Groot’s unconventional meditative works to Andy Warhol’s pop art depiction in the “Cowboys and Indians Portfolio.” Other artists include Michael Coleman, J.C. Dye, Glen Edwards, Jack Koonce, William Matthews, Gordon McConnell and Theodore Villa.
Gordon Stevenson at OCHI Gallery
This summer, Ochi Gallery will present their third solo show with Gordon Stevenson (a.k.a. Baron Von Fancy), which will include a variety of works by the tongue-in-cheek artist. His loud, bright abstractions, his word-type sign paintings, a collection of objects and other playful works will make up the exhibition opening July 5 at Ochi Gallery, Walnut Avenue location.
Thom Ross “Wild Meets West” Exhibit
During the “Wild Meets West” July exhibition at Kneeland Gallery, noted Western artist Thom Ross will challenge viewers with his distinctive paintings, asking them to reexamine what they know about the history of the West. An avid historian, Ross’ themes frequently include whimsical moments from the past which are factually based but not widely documented, such as Indians playing croquet or Ping-Pong. His contemporary style, which involves the use of a completely red under-painting on his canvases, imparts a vibrancy and excitement seldom found in the more traditional style of artwork used to depict historical figures and events. Included in this exhibition will be vibrant canvases by Linda St. Clair and Gampi prints from Chicago-based Pete Zaluzec.
Jennifer Bellinger Contemporary Realism
Jennifer Bellinger’s contemporary realism oil paintings cover a broad spectrum of subjects, from still life and animals to landscape. The summer show will feature desert botanical paintings which she refers to as “Garden Still Life.” Her work captures the early morning light of the Arizona desert, with a focus on strong designs rich in color. Bellinger’s paintings are complimented by the beautiful work of nationally recognized Idaho artists: jeweler Michele Black, furniture-designer Wes Walsworth, and sculptors Russ Lamb, Dave LaMure Jr., Ken Newman and Lou Whittaker.