Among the many cultural perks available to residents of the Wood River Valley, one relatively unknown one is the large amount of original art that adorns the walls in our hospital.
Just south of Ketchum, St. Luke's Wood River Medical Center runs an art program that aims to "enhance the visual atmosphere of the hospital for patients, staff and visitors alike," said Katie Pratt, the hospital art program manager.
The program consists of two galleries, the Lobby Gallery and the Local Artist Gallery (on the second floor above the lobby), alongside more than 160 pieces of original art scattered throughout the hospital. So, if you are unfortunate enough to find yourself in the hospital, thanks to the program you will be fortunate enough to have a beautiful piece of art on which to rest your eyes.
"Every room has original art in it, from the patient rooms, all of the emergency rooms, to the quiet rooms," said Pratt.
The two galleries rotate their displays every six months. This month, two new exhibits open for public viewing on Friday, Dec. 16.
The Lobby Gallery will host the new works of Andrew Young. This New York-born artist works in collage, creating pieces made from delicate papers that he hand paints. "Each piece reflects a deliberate, poised counterbalance between an 'aged' surface and contemporary formalism," said Young.
Combining a golden Italianate palette and an Oriental sensibility, he incorporates simple symbols of nature, such as a bird, leaf or tree. Young is represented locally by Anne Reed Gallery in Ketchum.
"Andrew's beautiful Italianate palette, his reverence for nature and his unerring eye for relationship of geometric shapes are all things that first attracted me to his work," said Barbi Reed, Anne Reed Gallery's owner. "Not only is his work visually beautiful, it is technically perfectly rendered, has content and always reflects a unique voice that is singularly Andrew's."
The new Local Artist Gallery show includes the works of Will Caldwell, Helma Cherian, Bonnie Gregory, Thia Konig, Kendall Nelson, Louise Wilson Noyes, Gay Odmark, Betsy Dodge Pearson, Ted Waddell and Gene and Judy Whitmyre. A variety of mediums, including painting, photography and printmaking, are on display. This artwork is offered for sale at affordable prices.
Pratt sources her shows from across the valley. "For the lobby exhibit I usually ask a gallery in town if they want to hang some work. Gail Severn Gallery and Kneeland Gallery have participated and this time Anne Reed agreed to hang artwork.
For the work in the Local Artist Gallery Pratt rotates from a pool of about 40 local artists. "I alternate the artists who are exhibiting new art and try to include different artists every six months. One of my goals is to get several new and different artists every show and this time there's an illustrator from Hailey, Mark Kashino."
Kashino is an established graphic artist based in Hailey. After more than 30 years working commercially (he designed a former Ketchum city logo), he is now making the move into fine art. The work he will be showing at St. Luke's are oil paintings of local landscapes.
Pratt is understandably proud of the program, now in its fifth year. "At this point people are calling me and asking to participate. It used to be that I had to beg artists when I started it. But we've been going long enough that now were on the map."
The winter/spring installations will be up through June 2006. The Art Program welcomes gifts and loans. For more information, contact Pratt at firstname.lastname@example.org.