Mountain Arts 

Sun Valley Center for the Arts

Michael Chabon, David Sedaris, Gloria Steinem, Junot Diaz. These lit superstars—along with scores of other artists and performers—have all trekked out to the Gem State to participate in exhibitions at the Sun Valley Center for the Arts. The center takes a multidisciplinary approach, augmenting the art in its gallery space with guest lecturers, musical performances, themed classes and workshops.

"We try to gauge what is timely, what is contemporary, what types of subjects resonate with people in our community," said SVCA Executive Director Bill Ryberg. "I'm a firm believer that every community is different; there's different dynamics in any particular area."

Founded in 1971, the center operates two locations—a main gallery and office in Ketchum and a satellite in Hailey, featuring a classroom in the home where Ezra Pound was born. The center also hopes to open a location in Ketchum with flexible spaces for exhibitions and performances.

The center has its programming lined up through December, with a number of big name speakers and rad art thrown into the mix. Here are some of the highlights:

"Beam, Board, Breath: An Investigation of Trees," features work from six artists who look into symbolic and environmental aspects of trees. Sculptural artist Patrick Dougherty's site-specific massive twig installations are on display in the parking lot across from the Ketchum Post Office through January 2011. From Friday, Sept. 10, through Friday, Nov. 5, the SVCA will feature the exhibit "Water," exploring water's impact on the West. On Thursday, Nov. 4, the show will include speaker Maude Barlow, founder of the Blue Planet Project and senior adviser on water to the president of the United Nations General Assembly.

Other upcoming speakers include author Sir Salman Rushdie on Friday, Sept. 10, and This American Life radio heartthrob Ira Glass on Saturday, Sept. 25.

For more information on classes and other multidisciplinary components on the Sun Valley Center for the Arts upcoming schedule, visit

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