Friday, August 22, 2008

Living artfully

The bad news in the valley this week is that the Sun Valley Center for the Arts is losing its hardworking executive director of seven years, Sam Gappmeyer.

At the last of the Twilight Series concerts at River Run on Wednesday night, the valley bid him a tearful adieu.

The good news is that The Center is as strong as it's ever been—a cornerstone of life in the Wood River Valley.

Yet, like many things in life, it's easy to take The Center and its dedicated supporters and staff for granted because they make injecting art into the lives of residents and visitors look easy.

It's never easy, but the results are extraordinarily beautiful.

The Twilight Series concerts each summer are just one example. They weave music of many genres into the rustic beauty of River Run's natural amphitheater as the audience picnics and watches the horizon turn red with sunset as colorful paragliders circle overhead.

The Center's art exhibits, annual art festival, concerts, speakers and classes for kids and adults broaden and deepen the dimensions of life here.

No, The Center isn't the only arts organization in the valley today—but it was the first. It laid the foundation and led the way for the others that followed, and it deserves accolades for creating a place where in a single day a person can encounter both the majestic vastness of nature and the artistic expressions of man.

Without The Center, the valley would be missing half of life, half of itself and, assuredly, half its beauty.

The staff and directors of The Center have taught the valley how to live artfully. Now and for all the great art to come, the valley is grateful.

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