Idaho Arts Quarterly » Central Idaho

Fall 2005 Report

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Sun Valley Center Hires New Development Director, Looks to Move Locations

The Sun Valley Center for the Arts augmented its recent expansion efforts on July 6 by announcing the hire of Sally Boettger, former fundraising director for the Idaho Chapter of the Nature Conservancy, as the center's new director of development.

Boettger comes to the Sun Valley Center with an extensive and diverse background in nonprofit management. She worked for the Nature Conservancy in Sun Valley for six years, and has provided consulting experiences to other Wood River Valley nonprofits throughout her eight years living in the area.

Boettger will have her hands full at her new post, as the center has been exploring for several years the possibility of finding a new home where it wouldn't face the space limitations posed by the current facility. The Center's proposed new site is just two blocks away, across the street from the Ketchum Post Office on Fourth Street West.

After being hired, Boettger wasted no time in making her mark. Within a month of her hire, the center broke its own fundraising record at the annual Sun Valley Center for the Arts Wine Festival, bringing in over $1.1 million over a single well-lubed weekend, according to the Idaho Mountain Express. The event has become one of the most acclaimed of its kind nationally, with highlights including a 2006 Lexus GS sedan bringing in $68,000. No word on how much the designated driver cost.

CSI Theater, Foyer Set to Open

The Magic Valley will have a new, intimate performing arts venue this October when the College of Southern Idaho finishes a two-year, multi-million dollar expansion of its Fine Arts Center. The facility already boasts a capacious 970-seat auditorium, but will soon also have a state-of-the-art theater with around 300 seats and a 70-foot fly-loft.

"We'll have the opportunity to present some more intimate shows," said Camille Barigar, course developer at CSI, "whereas in the 970-seater, some of the smaller shows were lost." In addition, the new venue will serve as a rehearsal space and stage for a wide variety of school events, touring artists and community shows. Barigar said the expansion would also create additional classroom space in the Fine Arts Center, and will feature an elegant three-story foyer with curving staircases that she compared to the Morrison Center's.

"It's just an architectural gem," she said.

Sun Valley Installation Stolen, Recovered

Sun Valley's Fourth of July weekend festivities were marred by the theft of two sculptures from an elaborate historical installation. The pieces, both approximately 9-foot-tall figures painted on plywood cutouts, were among 200 similar pieces in a re-creation of Custer's Last Stand that filled the Festival Meadows along Sun Valley Road. According to Carrie Molter, manager of Kneeland Gallery, which leased the land for the installation, artist Thom Ross camped next to the sculptures for a night but was told by police on Friday, June 30, that they preferred him not to do so. Come Saturday morning, however, both Ross and Molter were dismayed to discover that the piece "American Horse" had been removed in the artist's absence.

"It was kids," Molter told BW. "Young, high-school-aged boys. Late at night, on two consecutive nights, they took pieces and weren't really planning on doing anything with them. It was a prank."

Molter is privy to this information because two of the thieves' female friends, fearing that the sculptures would be destroyed after the theft was covered in local media, decided to return them. Utilizing Kneeland Gallery's offer of an anonymous, no-questions-asked return, the girls handed the pieces--the second of which the gallery had not yet realized was missing--over to local police in time for the touring exhibition to pack up for its next stop in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Molter says the gallery was willing to offer a reward, but it was refused by the girls. The next time Kneeland organizes an outdoor exhibition, however, Molter promised that security will be of greater concern.

"We were too trusting, to think that in Sun Valley, nobody would do something like that," she said.

Severn Gallery Seeking Stolen Encaustic

Just days after the theft from Kneeland, fellow Sun Valley art hotspot Gail Severn Gallery was also robbed during a gallery opening. The missing piece, an abstract encaustic on paper by artist Rana Rochat, was taken between 8 and 9 p.m. on August 5. The gallery is offering a no-questions-asked return policy, and would also be willing to provide a reward, according to gallery owner Gail Severn.

"Our biggest concern is that it is encaustic, and if someone did it as a prank, they wouldn't know how to take care of it," Severn told BW. "If they put it in the trunk of a car, it could be ruined by now."

Regional ICA Grants

The Idaho Commission on the Arts (ICA) made several grant awards to individuals and organizations. Several award recipients are in Central Idaho. The following are the region's highlights.

The ICA's Community Development Grants to Organizations are awards that go to arts organizations that demonstrate exceptional artistic merit, strong management, strategic evaluation and marketing strategies and community-based planning, support and collaboration. From 84 applications, 60 were awarded funding. In Central Idaho, these awards include: in Buhl: $4,650 to the Buhl Arts Council; in Hailey: $6,225 to the Trailing of the Sheep Cultural Heritage Center; $8,880 to Company of Fools; in Ketchum: $3,162 to the Caritas Chorale; in Sun Valley: $3,675 to the New Theatre Company; $14,273 to the Sun Valley Center for the Arts; $4,750 to the Sun Valley Performing Arts Centers; in Twin Falls: $5,625 to the College of Southern Idaho.

The ICA's Arts in Education Grants are designed to help arts organizations, communities and educators foster the development of young people (grades K-12) and their teachers by supporting existing programs and development of innovative curricula. Those receiving grants show effective leadership, partnership and outreach in valuing and communicating the arts. North Idaho recipients include: in Buhl: $4,112 to the Buhl Arts Council; $3,698 to the Buhl Public Library; in Sun Valley: $5,760 to the Sun Valley Performing Arts Center; in Twin Falls: $11,673 to the Boys and Girls Club of the Magic Valley; $6,360 to the College of Southern Idaho.

Recipients of the ICA's QuickFunds award include: in Hailey: $990 to Company of Fools; $970 to the Hailey Public Library; in Salmon: $980 to the Salmon Arts Council; in Twin Falls: $940 to the Twin Falls School District; $950 to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Magic Valley.