Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Gallery Walk stops traffic

Ketchum enjoys successful evening of art seekers

Express Staff Writer

The opening of Tail?s West gallery at Gallery Walk featured animal inspired art. Gallery owner Terry Tischer welcomes four-legged patrons. Photo by David N. Seelig

The streets of Ketchum were buzzing with people Thursday evening for the last gallery walk of 2006. Despite the chilly air and snow crusted streets, fur clad patrons spilled out of gallery doors chattering about the many new exhibits that debuted.

At Ketchum's Forest Service Park the Ketchum Sun Valley Historical Society Heritage & Ski Museum opened its doors to a steady flow of people who learned a few interesting facts about the history of skiing in Sun Valley and commented on the striking evolution of skate and ski technology.

The trek from the Heritage & Ski Museum to First Street, the heart of gallery walk, allowed for a brief stop at Dill & Spowze in the lobby of Zions Bank where Idaho artist Barbara Michener presented her encaustic pillar triptychs.

Michener's wooden pillars are painted and covered in wax. They give the wood based objects a soft appearance. This exhibit of wall hanging triptychs is a grouping of three pillars representing some aspect or season for each month of a calendar year. A total of 36 pieces were displayed throughout the Zions Bank lobby. Michener has grouped all the pieces together previously for a show at a downtown Boise office building.

Upon arrival at the Kneeland Gallery, artist Lori McNee Watson was at the door greeting viewers for her collection of oil on canvas paintings of goldfinches and other passerine birds. In addition, fellow exhibitors Steven Lee Adams and Robert Moore were available to discuss their prominent landscape paintings.

A few doors down First Street at The Woods Gallery a bustle of people filled the building, which featured the smooth, finished wood art of Siegfried Schreiber. Schreiber's pieces are very inviting, and several of his works are kinetic designs that amused and intrigued people of all ages.

In the back room of The Woods Gallery, photographer Will Steacy was on hand to talk about his exhibit, "The Human Stain." Steacy brought together two collections of photographs from documenting the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Based in New York City, Steacy has spent several months in New Orleans collecting images that he found and others he photographed and has transformed into pieces that tell stories of individual recovery and ruination. Steacy's work sparked a great deal of conversation from many discerning viewers.

At Gallery DeNovo, Dominic Couturier's abstract paintings, "Medioeveo Prossimo," gave off a brilliant appearance from their glossy alkyd and shellac outer layers. The groupings were a nice compliment to a winter gallery walk.

Further down First Street Anne Reed Gallery had an overflow of gallery enthusiasts to view "Retrospective/Prospective." Jan Hendrix's monotypes presented calm and intriguing prints of horse, bird and plant imagery. Their simplistic forms offered a great deal of inquiry.

Next door at the Friesen Gallery, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary, a packed house viewed glass pieces by William Morrison. They are rich in color and meticulous in design. Morris's pieces are objects that must be seen in person. In addition, Dennis Evans' encaustic and mixed media pieces such as "Prima Materia Absondita" feature actual seashells and mechanical devices protruding from the paintings. Evans' work allows for a great deal of interpretation and intellectual conversation.

A last stop at Gail Severn Gallery, where gallery assistants were busy guiding patrons through several exhibits, gallery attendees hovered around Victoria Adams' oil, wax on linen paintings. The magnitude and moody landscapes of Adams' paintings are very inviting.

It's difficult to make it to all the galleries where there were so many new exhibits, but the great turnout for this month's gallery walk, whether it was a social gathering or a real search to buy art, proves that Ketchum is a celebrated home for art lovers.

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