Past Exhibitions in Ketchum 2012

Crossing Cultures: Ethnicity in Contemporary America

Dec. 7, 2012-Feb. 23, 2013

In 2000, the U.S. government made changes to the census form that illustrate significant shifts in the way the country thinks about race, culture and identity. For the first time, respondents could select multiple categories of race and/or ethnicity. While the idea of race still operates across our nation, the way we think about it has become more complicated. This multidisciplinary project looks at the role race, ethnicity and cultural heritage play in the 21st century— as factors that are not limiting, but are instead elements in larger constructions of self. How do we take signs, symbols and customs from our traditional cultures and translate them into our contemporary lives?

According to a study by the Pew Research Center, one in seven marriages are now between spouses of different races or ethnicities, and more young Americans define themselves as multiracial than ever before. Despite the fact that racial and ethnic boundaries seem to be blurring, familial roots or place of origin continue to help define identity for many Americans. Others find their skin color or physical features automatically link them with a group with which they may or may not identify. And this connection often shapes how they are perceived by society at large.

The exhibition features large-scale installations by artists Joe Feddersen and Bob Dix alongside work by Julie Chang and Ana Serrano. Each of the artists in the exhibition makes work that focuses on signs and symbols—symbols with personal, private meaning, with historical or traditional cultural significance, and with contemporary, popular relevance. They share a concern with the differences but also (and perhaps especially) the overlaps in symbols from their family backgrounds and those they find in contemporary culture. Their artwork considers the fluidity, humor and contrariness of identity in contemporary America, where factors like race, ethnicity and our families’ cultural origins are always part of the way we identify ourselves, but offer up varying solutions in different situations.

Participating Artists:
Joe Feddersen
Bob Dix
Julie Chang
Ana Serrano

In Collaboration with the Blaine County School District: A Film by Jona Frank and Mary Trunk
Crossing Cultures also features a film by Jona Frank and Mary Trunk. The filmmakers are spending several days with Blaine County School District students, conducting interviews about family heritage and traditions. From this series of interviews, they are creating a short, original documentary that will help us get at the cultural diversity of our valley’s residents.


Happily Ever After?

Sep 28–Nov 30, 2012

If Hollywood movies and popular TV series are any measure, fairy tales are enjoying a resurgence of interest. We think of them as entertainment for children, but they are among the darkest stories we tell. Wicked stepmothers abandon children deep in the forest. Babies are stolen by witches and imps. Cunning wolves impersonate helpless grandmothers. While some fairy tales have happy endings, others do not. The Matchstick Girl freezes to death, while the vain girl so enchanted with her Red Shoes loses both her feet before dying of a burst heart.

Many classic fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen have roots in earlier stories, stories passed orally and through the written word from generation to generation. We continue to tell these terrifying stories for the same reasons they have been told for centuries. They serve as cautionary tales, warning children of the consequences of immoral behavior and (perhaps especially) the perils of the natural world. The protagonist in The Red Shoes learns to regret her vanity. Sleeping Beauty’s evil stepmother dies of rage. Had Little Red Riding Hood listened to her mother and not spoken to the Wolf, she could have spared her grandmother the horror of being swallowed up whole. And poor Thumbelina, captured by frogs, engaged to a mole, and finally saved by a bird. Rich with colorful characters, mysterious settings and wondrous events, fairy tales serve as warnings about the importance of appropriate behavior as well as the dangers that lurk in the forest. They occupy our imagination as young children; as we grow up, our understanding of them shifts and deepens. This project is an exploration of fairy tales’ roots, commonalities and hidden meanings.

The exhibition features work by contemporary artists exploring the complex ideas behind storytelling and fairy tales. Some question or re-tell traditional cautionary tales. Others create work that draws on the fantastic imagery and powerful narrative that define the fairy tale, evoking classic stories without referring to them specifically.

Participating Artists:
Claire Cowie
Andrea Dezsö
Kent Henricksen
Erin Rachel Hudak
Walter Martin and Paloma Muñoz
Kiki Smith

The installation by Andrea Dezsö is generously sponsored by Ellen Hanson and Richard Perlman


Making Camp

July 13 – September 19, 2012

Camping trips create memories for all of our senses. The smell of wood smoke, the taste of burnt marshmallows, the sound of tent flaps zippering open and closed, night skies full of stars, hard ground under our sleeping bags. We go camping to get closer to nature and, in a way, to travel back in time. Camping allows us to pretend, for a bit, that we aren’t completely dependent on the grid that powers our real lives, that we’re living in a pre-industrial era. For many of us in the Wood River Valley, camping is an essential summer ritual. It’s also a rite of passage for children and teens who head off to summer camp to experience the great outdoors, gain independence and learn new skills.

While camping offers many an escape into nature, for others, it is neither recreational nor optional. And often, what begins as a temporary living situation becomes semi-permanent. Around the world, camps are set up to house refugees fleeing natural disasters, war or political unrest. Camping by necessity, refugees often face challenges that range from crowded conditions to malnutrition to a lack of basic sanitation, healthcare and security.

For others, camping is a way of life that has kept some peoples on the move for centuries. But the 21st century has brought new challenges to some nomadic cultures. What happens to traditional nomads when making camp is no longer an option?

This exhibition explores camping in its different forms. It celebrates camping as we know it here in Idaho, an opportunity to head into the wilderness and to reconnect with the natural world. But it also looks at camping around the world and the role that camps play in the lives of those who have no other home, either by need or by choice.

Participating artists:
Afruz Amighi
Richard Bosman
Josefina Guilisasti
William D. Lewis
Ranu Mukherjee
Brittany Powell
Roberto Stephenson

Lot Project: Camp Out
Jul 6-Sep 3
The Center Lot
Corner of 2nd Ave. and 4th St., Ketchum

This spring, The Center invited proposals from local and regional artists to create a work of art from a classic canvas wall tent. The three winning proposals came from Idaho Falls artists Nathan Barnes and Mallory Kappmeyer, Laramie, WY, artist Diana L. Baumbach and Boise artist Earle Swope. They are cutting, painting, printing on and placing objects in tents to offer their reflections on the camping experience and the different forms it takes. Click here to see pictures of their altered tents.


Shoshone Falls: 3 Perspectives

April 20-July 7, 2012

Shoshone Falls, sometimes referred to as the “Niagara of the West,” has drawn photographers, artists, naturalists and tourists for more than one hundred years. The falls’ location in Twin Falls, Idaho, within 75 miles of the Sun Valley Center for the Arts, makes it particularly fitting for The Center to present artists who have explored this historic and environmental landmark. We hope these exhibitions provoke a renewed interest in the site as well as a deeper understanding of how artists shape and create dialogue around landscape.

This project has been generously supported by the Michael S. Engl Family Foundation.

Thomas Joshua Cooper: Shoshone Falls
Toby Jurovics Chief Curator & Holland Curator of American Western Art Joslyn Art Museum

The photographs in this exhibition are a conversation—a call and response—across 130 years. Photographer Timothy H. O’Sullivan first saw Shoshone Falls in September of 1868. Employed on two of the great 19th-century surveys of the West, he created a distinct style in response to the American landscape, one that answered the demands of the terrain he faced—his images are direct, matter-of-fact and rigorously made.

O’Sullivan’s photographs were also a touchstone for Thomas Joshua Cooper. Born in San Francisco in 1946, Cooper has spent the past four decades exploring the relationship between landscape, place and history. He is concerned with geography—not simply the topography of a particular site, but how it has been mapped and classified and the people who have explored it. In studying his predecessor’s images, Cooper recognized an awareness of photography’s capacity for metaphor, an idea that became central to his own artistic practice.

This exhibition has been supported by Lannan Foundation.

Peter de Lory: Falls of the West
Seattle-based photographer Peter de Lory has long been interested in the landscape and infrastructure of the American West. From 1974 to 1983 de Lory served as Photography Artist-in-Residence for the Sun Valley Center for the Arts and, while here, he photographed Shoshone Falls. Most recently, he has developed a body of work on waterfalls, seeking them out in national parks, urban areas, state preserves and along interstate freeways. His images are black and white carbon pigment prints that tell the story of America’s parks as well as our curious relationship to nature and natural wonders.

Wade Kavanaugh and Stephen B. Nguyen: In Response to Shoshone Falls
Wade Kavanaugh and Stephen B. Nguyen have been collaborating on large-scale, site-specific projects since 2005. They work with Kraft paper, twisting, coiling, crinkling and stacking it to evoke environments ranging from an old growth forest to glaciers and crevasses. Kavanaugh and Nguyen’s installations consider the role of the sublime in our experience of nature and the relationship between the natural and the constructed landscape, between our memory of a landscape and its reality. At The Center they create a response to Shoshone Falls, exploring its physical structure, the sensory experience it creates for visitors, and issues of water flow and irrigation.


Urban Lifecycles

February 17-April 13, 2012

We tend to think of cities in opposition to nature and the environment. But cities are really living, breathing organisms –complex systems that shrink and expand, sometimes thriving, sometimes declining or even dying. Cities are susceptible to the same kinds of threats as natural ecosystems; their topographies and borders vulnerable to the effects of war, economic development (and decline) and shifts in population and demographics. Cities also respond to the effects of forces like crime and gentrification. U.S. cities have faced particular challenges in the last fifty years or so; the development of suburbia in the 1950s and 1960s drove many middle and upper class citizens out of major cities, leaving lower income residents struggling to maintain urban infrastructure, schools and services. The decline in American industrial production has hit some cities particularly hard.

Why do some cities manage to come through cycles of decline and decay and emerge as thriving centers of urban life while others stagnate or wither?

We tend to define a successful city as one with a booming economy and physical growth. But strong economies sometimes push out longtime residents who can no longer afford city rents. And the physical expansion of a city often means poorly regulated sprawl. Are there different ways to think about urban renewal? In shrinking its borders, could Detroit (or any other struggling city) make itself more manageable and more successful?

Arts and culture often get left out of the discussion about healthy cities. But not only are they vital to the emotional health of a community, the arts are tools for economic revitalization. Perhaps the arts offer a new model for thinking about what it means for a city not just to survive, but to thrive.

This multidisciplinary project explores the urban life cycle – growth, decay, renewal – examining the impact economics, public policy and cultural life have on cities in the 21st century, and how cities may be able to reinvent themselves in ways that reject traditional models of success.

Visual Arts, Ketchum

The Ketchum exhibition features work by artists using a variety of media to explore ideas about urban growth, sprawl, decay and revitalization in cities in the U.S. and around the world, from Detroit and Utica to Berlin, Havana and Yokohama. The exhibition also includes an installation by Boise-based artist Amanda Hamilton exploring the history of Ketchum and the cycles it has gone through over the last hundred and fifty years.

Participating artists:
Gustavo Acosta
Design 99 (Gina Reichert and Mitch Cope)
Detroit Tree of Heaven Woodshop (Mitch Cope, Ingo Vetter, Annette Weisser)
Jane Dixon
Amanda Hamilton
Andrew Moore