Arts August 2, 2012

Summer Art Scene

Sun Valley Summer of Arts 2012

It’s hard to believe that so much world-class culture could fit into such a small town in the middle of Idaho, but the Sun Valley Summer of Arts is again in full swing. This summer features enough internationally-featured artists, performances and music to keep you busy well into fall. Here are a few highlights to watch out for this year.

Jean Richardson’s Concomitant at Kneeland Gallery Bernadette Twirling, by Rodney Smith at Gilman Contemporary


Monthly Gallery Walks

Each year the Sun Valley Gallery Association (SVGA) hosts nine gallery walks free to the public. These exhibition openings are eagerly anticipated by locals and visitors as a way to take in the thriving arts scene in Sun Valley, while experiencing thought-provoking exhibitions of newly installed art, drinking wine and mingling with friends. Summer dates include Friday nights on July 6, August 3, August 31 and October 12.

This year, Gilman Contemporary Gallery celebrates its 5th anniversary with a July show that will feature pieces from Ashley Collins, Gerardo Hacer, Isabel Bigelow, Alex Couwenberg and Nick Brandt. August will feature legendary New York photographer Rodney Smith, with his classic and elegant monochromatic prints, during “Photographs, A Forty Year Retrospective” July 30th to August 24th.

Gail Severn Gallery, which celebrated their 35th anniversary last year, will be presenting “Private Spaces,” an exhibition between June 26th and July 21st that will feature the work of Linda Christensen, known for her signature solitary figures and depiction of the intimate female character.

Art abounds in Ketchum. Sculpture pieces feature prominently along the downtown streets and local businesses often open their doors in celebration of the SVGA Gallery Walk events. Many businesses (such as restaurants and beauty salons/spas) proudly display works hand selected by gallery owners and Sun Valley Real Estate even converts their office space into a gallery to display new works by Sun Valley resident and artist Jeannie Catchpole. This July 6th will feature a special exhibit with Catchpole and her husband/partner Steve Behals, with whom she has been collaborating for the past four years.

Plein Air Painting Workshop

This summer, Kneeland Gallery presents its annual three-day “Plein Air” exhibition featuring eight of the gallery’s premier plein air painters: Steven Lee Adams, Robert Moore, Lori McNee, Shanna Kunz, Jack Braman, John Horejs, Fred Choate and Bart Walker. “En Plein Air,” a French expression meaning “in the outdoors,” is used to describe the act of painting on location during this three-day demonstration. The artists face the challenges of changing light, strong shadows and time restrictions while attempting to capture the subtleties of their subject. This challenging and fast-paced technique requires that many artists bring in one or more wet paintings to be hung for the culminating Friday night Gallery Walk on August 3rd. 

Ballet Beneath the Stars

San Francisco Ballet’s summer/fall tour includes a one-night-only performance at the spectacular Sun Valley Pavilion at Sun Valley Resort on July 8, 2012. It is a special evening and the San Francisco Ballet’s summer/fall tour includes this Sun Valley performance, as well as dates at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow, Sadler’s Wells Theater in London, the Hamburg State Opera House and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.  The program includes choreography to “After the Rain,” “Don Quixote” and “The Dance House,” as well as solo performances and pas de deux from “In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated.” The performance will kick off Sun Valley’s Summer of the Arts which will include four weeks of performances by the highly acclaimed Sun Valley Summer Symphony; music performances and events sponsored by the Sun Valley Center for the Arts; and the well-known Sun Valley Writer’s Conference in late August. Visit or for more details and tickets.

Linda Christensen’s Fixing Hair in Kitchen at Gail Severn Gallery; Winter Aspens by R.A. Heichberger at Expressions Gallery


“Nez Perce: Promises”

The Caritas Chorale and orchestra will present “Nez Perce: Promises,” a newly commissioned cantata with libretto by Diane Josephy Peavey and music by David Alan Earnest. Caritas Chorale commissioned the new work in 2011 and hopes to present it as a gift to the Nez Perce tribe, who call themselves the Nimiipuu, on June 23. Local performances will be held in Sun Valley at the Community School on July 14 and in Hailey July 15 at the new Performing Arts Center, with both concerts beginning at 3 p.m. “Nez Perce: Promises” traces the bitter story of the tribe after their support of Lewis and Clark through their flight and reservation life (more of the story is available at

And don’t miss the new work by Dave McGary—a name that is gaining momentum each year as a specialist in Native American artwork, specifically sculptures, statues, monuments and busts—which is being introduced by Expressions Galleries. Called the contemporary “Master of Realism,” McGary’s newest work, the Battle at Bear Paw, will debut July 13th at Expressions Galleries with an accompanying cocktail party, Chorus and Nez Perce Dancers. The “Native Landscapes” exhibition will also feature works by Mary Roberson, Bill Mittag and R.A. Heichberger for the entire month of August.

Massv: Music & Arts Showcase

Invoking the spirit of Mardi Gras and drawing some inspiration from Bonnaroo, MASSV is a family-friendly event that will feature music for everybody and is designed as an historic celebration of cutting edge music, arts and expression at the foot of the majestic Bald Mountain in Ketchum. MASSV Music and Arts Showcase Sun Valley makes its debut this summer during a two day festival, July 13-14, at the Simplot lot (across from the Ketchum Post Office). It will include cutting-edge performances by leading national touring acts and a celebration of some of the best of Idaho’s rising star bands. If the music isn’t enough, artistic entertainment will include jugglers, stilt walkers, break dancers, hula hoopers, African drummers and all sorts of talented and eye-catching entertainers to keep the senses alive for the two-day extravaganza that will end each night with laser shows in downtown Ketchum. Visit for more details and artist schedules for this collaboration between art and music. -Kate Elgee




This article appears in the Issue of Sun Valley Magazine.