Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Ketchum to celebrate golden anniversary

Artists sought for commemorative coin design contest

Express Staff Writer

The city of Ketchum will celebrate the 50th anniversary of its incorporation as a city on Oct. 16, 2011. To commemorate the milestone, the Ketchum 50th Anniversary Celebration Committee in association with the Ketchum Community Development Corp. has commissioned a 50th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Program.

"Anyone can participate in the contest, including kids," Ketchum City Administrator Gary Marks said. "All ideas are welcome."

Marks said the program is based on a similar anniversary celebratory program in Whitefish, Mont., which he oversaw. In addition, Marks is a coin collector.

All the coins will have a common design on their reverse or tails side. On the heads side, each of the five coins will have a separate design reflecting Ketchum's skiing heritage, mining heritage, the arts, animals indigenous to the area and railroad heritage. Idea submissions for the five designs are now being requested from valley residents.

A panel of judges will group all submissions and select a winning design from each of the five categories. Winning artists will receive $100 prize and if their design is minted, the winner is entitled to a .999 fine-silver, one-ounce commemorative coin bearing his or her design. Special orders will be possible and a series collectors set will be sold in wooden boxes and display boxes made from Wood River Valley aspen wood.

All design entries must be submitted in an official entry form, which is an insert in today's Idaho Mountain Express newspaper. Forms can also be obtained at Ketchum City Hall or the Kechum Community Development Corp. office. The deadline for submissions is Thursday, Jan. 6.

Coins will be issued in two-month increments and proceeds from the sale of the coins will be used toward creating a commemorative bronze statue to be placed in an as-yet-undecided spot in town in honor of the 50th anniversary.

In addition, another call for artists' proposals will be issued for artists to submit bronze statue ideas in 18-inch clay proposals. The clay statues will be placed on public display for a people's choice vote. When a winner is decided, miniature bronze statues will be created and sold to benefit the creation of the permanent bronze statue.

"It's a program where art begets art," Marks said. "As an artist and city administrator, I love marrying art and the community. We get to celebrate community, artists and art. Individuals can have commemorative coins and own a miniature bronze."

The first coin to be minted will take place on March 1, and the fifth coin release is planned for Oct. 16, the 50th anniversary.

"Keep designs simple and focused," Marks said.

For details, e-mail

Sabina Dana Plasse:

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