By Sabina Dana Plassé
The Sun Valley gallery scene is an extraordinary enclave of fine art, which attracts art collectors and art lovers from all corners of the world. Sun Valley galleries feature some of the most highly collected artists in today’s contemporary art world creating a unique experience for anyone browsing galleries around town. Making a tour of art even more unique, many Sun Valley galleries pride themselves on featuring regional and western artists. Sun Valley gallery owners are essential resources to the community providing endless information and ideas on art and culture. Adding to the fine art experience, the Sun Valley Gallery Association, serving the area for over 30 years as an active leader in the valley’s visual arts community, hosts monthly Gallery Walks. For more information, visit svgallery.org
Gail Severn Gallery
The Gail Severn Gallery has on display an array of exciting exhibitions including “Hidden Agendas” by Inez Storer. For over five decades, Storer has pursued her unique style of figuration despite periods in which abstraction remained the prevalent avant-garde style. Storer’s accessible works of art are formally satisfying and rich in content. She addresses universal themes of identity, spirituality, imagination, and history. When asked about her Gail Severn Gallery exhibition Storer said, “Early ocean travels nearly always had the freedom to ‘tour’ different ports and accounts added up to the many adventures one had on those tours. Life is so complicated these days that one doesn’t ‘do tours’ as easily for obvious reasons…too many regional skirmishes. But, I imagine that this Art Tour is full of wonderful, nourishing situations that will enrich a journey.”
The Gail Severn Gallery also presents “State of Nature III” devoting three exhibitions spaces to its annual show featuring artist portrayals of the natural world. Artists included in this exhibition are Jenny Honnert Abell, Divit Cardoza, Morgan Brig, David deVillier, Betsy Eby, Michael Gregory, Valerie Hammond, Hung Liu, Lynda Lowe, Robert McCauley, Kennan Moser, Gwynn Murrill, Ed Musante, Christopher Reilly, Jane Rosen, Brad Rude, Anne Siems, Allison Stewart, Boaz Vaadia, and Theodore Waddell.
Internationally recognized artist Julie Speidel presents “Pactolus” at Gail Severn Gallery, a show which includes her newest sculptures and encompasses an array of cultural influences reaching back through antiquity to the stone and bronze-age peoples of Europe, the early Buddhists of China, the indigenous tribes of her native Pacific Northwest, and on into twentieth-century modernism anchor this exhibition. Concurrent with Speidel’s exhibition at Gail Severn Gallery is the announcement by the Tacoma Art Museum for Julie Speidel’s installation of seven sculptures and three benches. Speidel’s “Erratic Repose” will be a permanent installation for the new Tom Kundig-designed glass vestibule and entrance.
More fine art on exhibition will be work by Victoria Adams, which includes her large-scale landscapes and small, intimate jewel-like paintings of oil on linen. Featuring her signature interest in sky, weather, and watery reflections, Adams’ focal point is the inherent radiance of light found in nature. The gallery will also exhibit “Poiesis” by Lynda Lowe. Lowe paints poetic worlds with a power and a delicacy that blend imagination and intellect. Images rendered in exquisite detail are combined with scientific diagrams, poetry fragments, and gestural marks resting on a lush and densely layered ground.
Often lauded as the most famous American artist of Chinese decent and known for paintings drawn from Chinese historical photography, Hung Liu’s works focus on what she calls the “mythic poses” that underlay the photographic surfaces of history. Representing such elemental human activities as laboring, eating, journeying, leaping, fighting, dreaming, and carrying one’s burden, these “mythic poses” come from particular historical circumstances, but seem epic, trans-historical, and allegorical.
The gallery will also present works by Cole Morgan an American-born Belgian artist, who creates detailed mixed media paintings with a process of layering and combining mediums. He unites his own spontaneous visual-language of bright colors, mysterious handwritten scrawl, scratches, glimpses of under painting, and magical characters with formalist, abstract compositions.
An exhibition by Kenna Moser whose delicate work with beeswax, vintage envelopes, stamps, and collaged pieces are filled with beauty and poetic statements. Embedded under layers of purified wax, found letters, and documents, some dating back to the early 18th century and some offering illuminated manuscript on vellum, Moser’s works provide a mysterious sense of times gone by. For more information, visit gailseverngallery.com.
Sun Valley Center For The Arts
Providing the Wood River Valley with engaging arts and ideas, the Sun Valley Center for the Arts continues its long tradition of exceptional programming with its summer exhibition “Western Light, Ecstatic Images.” This exhibition explores the metaphysical and spiritual use of light in paintings made in the American West. The exhibition focuses on the work of curator and painter Frederick S. Wight, whose shimmering Southern California landscape paintings share an affinity with works by artists affiliated with New Mexico’s Transcendental Painting Group and Northern California’s Dynaton group. The exhibition will have several interactive programs available including a printmaking workshop, lectures, and other highlights. For more details, visit sunvalleycenter.org.
Lipton Fine Arts
When Gary Lipton came to Sun Valley 27 years ago, he brought his art collection with him and his passion for collecting contemporary art. Lipton Fine Arts represents Lipton’s lifelong dream to own a gallery and share his passion for the works he collects. Presenting works mostly seen in museums, high-end metropolitan galleries, or in large corporate building lobbies and public spaces, Lipton Fine Arts not only sells and collects contemporary art by modern masters such as works by Jim Dine, Alexander Calder, Robert Motherwell, Saul Steinberg, and Jean Dubuffet, but the gallery also sells antique furniture, America Indian art, organic dyed oriental rugs, Navajo classic blankets, American art pottery, and paint-decorated dowry chests. Works from Lipton Fine Arts can also be seen at the Knob Hill Inn dining room in Ketchum. There, works by Annie Leibovitz and Alexander Calder are featured. This summer, Lipton Fine Arts exhibits a custom motorcycles and tattoo show. Lipton Fine Arts will also exhibit photographs by Wood River Valley resident Jerry Levy in August. For Labor Day through Christmas 2014, the gallery will present American Indian art and paint decorated formal furniture from New England and artwork by Marc Chagall. Visit liptonfinearts.com to learn more.
The Kneeland Gallery will feature a three-person exhibition, “Vistas and Visions,” which includes artists Neal Philpott, Andrzej Skorut, and Kent Lovelace. Skorut’s richly colored and contemplative landscapes contain elements of formalism interpreted in a contemporary fashion through the use of non-traditional materials to create texture in the surface of his canvases. A realist painter, Philpott seeks to capture the Kneeland Gallery (continued)
ephemeral nature of the Northwest, which might feature a meandering road or distant farmhouse nestled in trees. Light play animates his work and creates the lines, forms, and structure that give his interesting compositions their charge. Lovelace feels most at home in the countryside of Italy, France, and Ireland where he captures images of scenes reminiscent of his childhood in the scenic east Bay of San Francisco. He connects with the environment by preferring to paint intimate visions of tranquil moments rather than dramatic mountain vistas. The use of copper plate rather than canvas as a support for his paintings allows the oil and glazing to impart a luminosity to his work. In an adjoining exhibition at the Kneeland Gallery, “Cowgirl Up” features work by Jennifer Lowe who has combined the landscapes, animals, and people of her native Montana with a unique approach to painting. Using the untraditional medium of Livestock Marker, which she applies with both her fingers and a brush, Lowe’s work embodies a sense of play or wonder attributable to her acute awareness and love of nature and her surroundings. Visit kneelandgallery.com for more information.
Images For Design
Photographer James Bourret has spent a lifetime involved in the arts and in the design field as a photographer and architect. He strives to celebrate and share his love of strong imagery and his reverence for the natural world through vibrant, powerful, and moving fine art photography. Bourret’s background in architecture has influenced his photographic sensibilities. Images For Design provides large-scale photographic art for design installations. Images For Design imaging and printing capabilities enable the creation of high quality ultra-large photo installations to suit any environment, from hospital and hotel public spaces to restaurant, cultural, retail, entertainment, and home environments. A large selection of images are available and commissions for new images are welcomed. Bourret’s photography captures the lure and magnificence of the Wood River Valley, the Sawtooth National Recreation Area, and many more beautiful locations in south-central Idaho. He says, “My photographic work and my background as an architect are more connected than one might think. There’s a bridge between the two involving strong dynamic composition and 3-dimensionality, color, and materiality, and the importance of detail. My background also gives me the ability to understand 3-dimensional space from drawings and work with design teams to create installations suited to and integrated with the space. For more information, visit imagesfordesign.net.
Saddletree Gallery has been a Ketchum staple for fine art photography, painting, and framing for more than 30 years. Owner Jerry Hadam has grown his gallery business as a photographer, framer, and purveyor of regional and statewide Idaho art while showcasing unique Native American works including cedar artist Lee Wilkerson. Hadam’s gallery includes stunning works by Idaho artists with paintings by Ed Anderson and Kevin Bowers and photography by Tory Taglio, Ed Cannady, and several others with new works by Steve Malshuk. Hadam also has a collection of Warren Miller images. For more information, visit saddletreegallery.com.