Big news blew in Jan. 2 from the snow-frosted Wood River Valley, when Sun Valley Center for the Arts in Ketchum announced a merger with theater troupe Company of Fools, based in Hailey.
Kristin Poole, the Center's executive co-director and artistic director, said the merger would add a "fourth leg" to the arts organization's programming, while maintaining the Company of Fools' name and location at the Liberty Theatre.
"So often we deal with topics that have such a great crossover in theater, it felt like we should be using that to explore some of the same ideas," said Kristine Bretall, SVCA's director of marketing and performing arts.
According to Bretall, the two organizations were in talks for as long as 18 months.
The merger will allow the consolidation of fundraising and operational procedures, while continuing to focus on programming, education and community outreach missions, according to officials. COF core company artists John Glenn and Denise Simone will continue to manage theater productions, performances and education programs, while the Center's executive co-directors Poole and Sally Boettger will continue their leadership roles.
"For us, planning-wise, it's really great to be able to work together on a more ongoing basis," said Bretall. "It's the difference between having a friend you see every day to having a pen pal."
Closer to home in Eagle, the Gallery at Finer Frames, 164 E. State St., welcomes a creative duo for a joint exhibition opening Thursday, Jan. 10. The pair includes painter Kevin McCain and his wife, writer Donna Cook. McCain paints Northwest landscapes, as well as the bright red bird that graces the cover of Cook's book, Gift of the Phoenix. Her novel will be on sale alongside McCain's paintings, with the author on hand to sign copies from 4-7 p.m.
In the online world, work by Idaho artist Rachel Teannalach was picked up by international home furnishing company Pottery Barn. According to the artist, her 24 landscape watercolors, now for sale on the Pottery Barn website, are inspired by Northern California and Idaho. The pieces were selected for inclusion among work by 13 other artists, and Teannalach will also have work for sale in the Pottery Barn catalog in the future.