Museums & Art Galleries
"Ketchum's lovely landscape inspires a lively art scene. Upward of 30 galleries dot the town and visitors can tour them on their own or during monthly Gallery Walks.” - New York Times
Sun Valley’s multi-faceted history encompasses legendary mountain men, the largest sheep-producing area in the United States, the first chairlift, home of legendary artists, writers, and the Hollywood elite, and of course America’s first destination ski resort.
Our local museums pay homage to this vibrant history. Stop by the Ketchum/Sun Valley Historical Society Heritage & Ski Museum to view relics of Sun Valley’s past. While exploring the town perhaps you will be lucky enough to spot local Idaho historian Ivan Swaner and his trademark mustache. He can often be spotted having a sip of coffee at Atkinsons' Market and is always willing to share a piece of local lore with an eager visitor.
The Sun Valley Center for the Arts is the oldest arts organization in the valley and presents a broad scope of year-round programming, including museum-quality exhibitions at facilities in Ketchum and Hailey. The Center has an innovative exhibition history and is one of five institutions in Idaho to have accreditation from the American Association of Museums. The Center’s visual arts, performing arts, lectures, and classes often all focus on a central theme or idea that has some currency with the local community as well as with the nation. Exhibitions include work by nationally and internationally known artists (Emmet Gowin, Ghada Amer, Walton Ford, Shahzia Sikander, Andy Goldsworthy, Shirin Neshat, Gabriel Kuri, and Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle). The Center is also an important educational resource for Blaine County schoolchildren, who tour exhibitions and participate in free after-school art classes.
Also, every trip to Ketchum should include a visit to our unique train of towering, original ore wagons. Pulled by a string of mules, the wagons once traveled through Central Idaho’s mountains on dirt tracks, delivering mail, food and household goods to mining camps. Returning home, they were loaded down with galena ore of silver and lead, destined for Ketchum’s smelter. These remarkable wagons, now housed in their own museum, are accompanied by a display that brings their world to life. And every Wagon Days, the ore wagons thunder through our streets once again, hauled by a 20-mule team and brake crew as the grand finale!
The sophistication of Sun Valley's thriving art scene is obvious from the range of work you’ll find in our art galleries at any given time - from modern masters to renowned contemporary artists. Monthly gallery walks allow visitors to meander from gallery to gallery, meeting friends and discovering artists. Visitors can stroll through the many area art galleries that are open throughout the evening.
Sun Valley's art galleries are some of the most unique in the west. Artists from all over the world are represented in over 20 local galleries, and the art ranges from depictions of local beauty to works by Picasso, Matisse, Chagall, Miró, Magritte, and Calder.
The galleries, located throughout the Sun Valley and Ketchum area, feature a wide variety of fine arts and crafts, watercolors, sculptures, and oil paintings. Evening Gallery Walks, held nine times throughout the year, offer an opportunity to view new exhibits and visit with many of the artists. Visit www.svgalleries.org for a map.
Gallery Walk Dates
Gallery Walks run from 5 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Friday, February 15
Friday, March 15
Saturday, May 25
Friday, July 5
Friday, August 2
Friday, August 30
Friday, October 11
Friday, November 29
Friday, December 27
Pre-arranged private gallery tours are available to interested groups and organizations. Contact the Sun Valley Gallery Association for more information.
Local legend Wendy Jaquet provides free guided tours during Gallery Walks. Join her at the Sun Valley Rec Office to hop on the 5 o'clock bus or her first stop is at Gilman Contemporary at 5:10.
Gallery Association Fact Sheet
What is the Sun Valley Gallery Association?
The Sun Valley Gallery Association (SVGA) is a non-profit organization that promotes an understanding of, and a passion for, the visual arts. The SVGA actively supports and encourages cultural outreach programs and educational opportunities for children and adults. The SVGA is in its 26th year, has 9 members, and holds 9 gallery walks throughout the year.
What sets the Sun Valley/Ketchum art scene apart?
The SVGA's galleries are unique for a resort town in terms of the quality of the work being shown and the artists represented. As opposed to similar resorts, the galleries in Ketchum do not show "commercial" art. In fact, many of the artists whose work is exhibited here have representation in well-known galleries in major urban centers nationally and internationally. The work is of such high quality and the artists so respected, the SVGA likes to think that galleries collectively serve as this region's museums.
What are SVGA's specific artistic or business objectives?
There is a great deal of variety among the nine member galleries. Work ranges from large sculptures to glass to paintings and photographs as well as works on paper. There is a wide price range. Both western and contemporary art as well as cutting-edge installations can be viewed. The art gallery of the Sun Valley Center for the Arts is represented among the galleries and as a non-profit installs some very interesting, provocative, and multi-dimensional exhibitions.
How has the art scene changed over 26 years?
The gallery scene has changed a great deal over the past 26 years and currently reflects the sophistication of our clients who are locals as well as second-home owners and visitors to this area.
Is there a typical Sun Valley/Ketchum art patron?
A typical SunValley/Ketchum SVGA client would be someone who enjoys not only the visual arts, but all art forms. This client is searching for something refreshing and of the highest quality. Our clients are interested in purchasing art here because they trust the galleries to be honest and committed. Those who come here often are people who appreciate not only the arts, but also the outdoors and this environment.
What do most people expect when they attend a gallery walk?
Because the SVGA requires its members to have new installations for each gallery walk, those who attend the walk can expect to find new exhibitions in each gallery. Those who stroll among the galleries find that they reconnect with friends whom they have not seen for a while, meet new people, and enjoy the community by sharing an evening together! The energy on these evenings is high and positive as people share what they have viewed.
For more information about the SVGA and its member galleries, please visit www.svgalleries.org.
- Date: August 8 to August 10Time: 10:00am - 5:00pm
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