Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Public art finds a home in Ketchum

Fourth Street Heritage Corridor makes room for sculpture

Express Staff Writer

?Raven and Wolf Pole? by Mike Olsen. 10? totem cast concrete composite at the Broschofsky Galleries on loan for the Fourth Street Heritage Corridor in Ketchum. Photo by Willy Cook

The completion of the first phase of the Fourth Street Heritage Corridor in downtown Ketchum this Fourth of July will be more than a celebration of renewed economic vitality in the resort city.

The completion also signifies the opening of a new gallery of sorts, and that gallery is the public sidewalks of the new corridor.

Curator Mark Johnstone has assembled sculptures for the official opening of the corridor so attendees can have a feel for the space with art.

"There are two parts to the master plan," Johnstone said. "The arts and the historical information will get built out slowly. There will be permanent and temporary art."

Sun Valley Gallery Association members were called on to exhibit sculptures so people could imagine how art can be part of the streetscape. What manifests on the Fourth of July, however, is only temporary.

"I went to the gallery association because of the tight turnaround," Johnstone said. "Other galleries are not excluded. It was the first and easiest way to do it."

In the future the arts commission in Ketchum will oversee the art and its installation.

"I want to make sure that people respect the work," Johnstone said. "Don't let dogs do their business on the pieces and don't lock bikes to the sculptures. The pieces are artwork, not jungle gyms."

Sculpture on the corridor will include works from Anne Reed Gallery, Gail Severn Gallery, Broschofsky Galleries, The Kneeland Gallery and the Friesen Gallery.

"People will immediately see the difference with wider sidewalks, live music, and food vendors," Johnstone said. "It will change the way people feel about Fourth Street."

Johnstone said there are two types of public art, permanent and temporary. Permanent public art is usually designed to be part of an infrastructure where it is not certain where the art begins and the design ends.

"I think we will have both," Johnstone said. "We hope that the arts commission will find new art, but the art decision will be worked out by the commission and the city, which is a process. People are going to work it out because there are so many choices."

Johnstone said Ketchum is a sophisticated city, and he hopes people will be inspired to come forward with their ideas and connections to artists.

"It has been said, but it makes all the difference in the world to live with art while shopping and interacting with it."

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