Arts & Culture, Fall, Spring, Summer

Fine Art & Cheap Wine

An evening exploring Ketchum’s art scene.

Most of the time it’s hard to forget we live in a ski town, but once a month we are invited to indulge and be surrounded by the mad and creative folk of this mountain community. And tonight is my favorite type of Friday night: Gallery Walk–an evening of sipping wine and chatting about art all over town.

I know that I’m at risk here of sounding too romantic, but swimming in the joy of those who love to look, observe, listen, speak, and relish the moment with meaning and heart is something I just can’t pass up.



The night begins with a tour of the galleries, which is too much fun when your friends are the artists and they walk you around and explain their theories and inspirations (thank you Aaron Pearson). And even with the art of those who aren’t local (or present), there is always something new to experience. Whether it’s a photograph from an archival pigment print that lets you know you’re in the true West, or a colorful layering of fairy-tale inspired silhouettes that engulfs an entire room (and all of your visual faculties), the sights are broad and stimulating–and are beautifully coupled at all moments with a glass of wine.

An installation at the Sun Valley Center for the Arts “Happily Ever After?” Exhibit.


Rain Simpson shows me around the photography exhibit at Gilman Contemporary Gallery.



After strolling through the brisk air of late November, my group pays a visit to Open Mic night. It’s always lovely to visit an overly-familiar place after hours–the surrounding colors pop in a way that they can’t when you’re on the clock or running errands. People are weirder, suddenly, or maybe you finally have the space to notice.

During this part of our evening we are serenaded and harmonized, poeticized and rhymitized by coworkers and friends. There’s something about spoken word being spoken so quickly, while white and red wines mix in my system, that allows me to fully sink into the evening. Then an older man stands up to share with us that “There ain’t no tale worth being told ‘cept a tall one,” which makes me feel good about life.

The community is here, where it somehow can never be in the daylight in a ski town. These artists, readers, singers, poets, and harmonica ringers gather now—on this singular evening when they are all invited to share their talents with us.

I realize that no matter how beautiful the surroundings, what makes a small town worth living in are the people and the even smaller communities that you can find. Such diversity of thought and imagination live here, despite our small numbers and seemingly hedged demographics. Yet we are anything but little in mind and spirit, and nights like these will ever remind me of how much wonder there is to behold in people, especially in Sun Valley. ~  Martha

Words: Martha | Photos: Mark Oliver


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