I have spent the last several months here in the Wood River Valley and have had a terrific time. The valley is even more beautiful than it was when I lived here years ago. And there is now lots of public art that I have really enjoyed.
There is one work of "art" on display, however, that I think has had its run and should seek other pastures—pastures far, far away. And that piece of work is the 30-foot-tall, man-killing Kalishnakov and M-16 rifle sculptures that sit so visibly alongside the highway between Ketchum and Hailey. That "work of art" represents one of the worst aspects of mankind (the tendency to slaughter each other) and to have it staring you in the face every time you drive up or down the valley is a real pain, and never fails to damage my mood. I try my best to "airbrush it out" as I drive along, but it always gets into my consciousness and I don't like it there.
I am sure there must be other parts of the world that would appreciate the piece, perhaps Darfur or the training camps of the Taliban. Actually though, those locales would do better, as would we, without such an ugly glorification of that negative side of human nature. Perhaps those metal sheets should be turned into plowshares.
The owner of the property on which that sculpture sits would be doing the valley a service to invite the artist to wrap up his "artistic" effort and travel on.
Newport Beach, Calif.