“Mayhem, chills and thrills” was the tagline for the second (dare I say “annual”…?) Death to Day Jobs exhibition at the Ochi Gallery. The young and budding artistic talent of the Wood River Valley (including Charlotte Baker, Chatham Baker, Andrew McCabe, Tal Roberts, Rudi Broschofsky, Aaron Pearson, DeSiree' Fawn, Mark Oliver, Travis Bartlett, Ray J. Gadd and Jen Galpin) arrived with new, reworked and restored projects geared towards the theme “A New Frontier.”
Art lovers of every type and dress code gathered at the Lewis St. location last Friday to sip and swirl cold beer (poured by Sawtooth Brewery), talk, mingle, pause and cock their heads thoughtfully at the nearest wall, mingle and talk some more. Throughout the night, DJ Zeban Stroebel-Haft entertained the ears while the artists rubbed elbows with the locals.
The original Death to Day Jobs exhibition was the brainchild of graphic designer Chatham Baker who, together with wife Charlotte, co-curated last year’s show. Pauli Ochi, director at the Ochi Gallery, said, “He came to me with the idea, and I loved it because we could make it whatever we wanted it to be." She was surprised not only by the turnout in 2012, but by the local buzz and excitement generated months later. “I never anticipated it being an annual event, but I realized there is so much support for it—and even need for it—in the community. I could see it getting even bigger in the future.”
This year, the Ochi Gallery doubled the number of exhibiting artists and had a turnout that reached over 300 people. Graphic designer Andrew McCabe, who has worked in the snowsports industry for over a decade, sold out of his painted ski signs.
“We wanted the theme for this year to be broad—people could, and did, interpret it very differently,” said Pauli. There was everything from short film, oil on canvas and lithographic photo transfers to black and white photography and Krink. And while sweeping in genre, all the works were focused on the idea of the “frontiers” faced by our young Sun Valley artists—of boundaries and borders, limitation and marginalization, and what it means to confront and challenge those realities by pushing the envelope towards new territory.
The importance of shows like Death to Day Jobs 2, which are few and far between, is that they do exactly that—challenge established norms within the art industry to make room for fresh and innovative ideas to take shape. They also, said Pauli, provide our young creative community the ability not only to collaboate, but to create. “When you give young people a space and opportunity to produce fine art, you’d be surprised by what they’re capable of,” she said. “It’s very different from their commercial work, and for me it’s really fun to watch them experiment and grow.”
Pauli, who is very young herself, has become a driving force for showcasing emerging and affordable artwork in the Valley. “I don’t think people realize what a strong undercurrent of [unknown] artists are in this town,” she said. “Each year we do a show like this, the list just keeps growing.”
Although these up-and-coming artists all slave away at day jobs that aren’t exactly “dead” (yet)—working as marketers, builders, gardeners, ski instructors, etc.—they are doing important work, in a cooperative of talented youth, to breathe fresh life into our Sun Valley art scene. And the community, as shown last Friday, is ready to rally support for them in return.
For more information on Death to Day Jobs 2, including artist interviews and bios, visit here.