Friday, May 27, 2011

Holiday weekend has something for everyone

Events and exhibits round out festival’s celebration of living well

Express Staff Writer

Courtesy photo Heyoka Merrifield will present the film “Sundancing With the Muse,” at 5 and 7:30 p.m. tonight at the nexStage Theatre in Ketchum.

Celebrating wellness in Sun Valley has become a Memorial Day weekend tradition. This weekend through May 30, the annual Sun Valley Wellness Festival will host workshops, presentations and events that bring visitors from across the nation.

David Pond, a frequent participant and valley visitor, recalls when the idea of a wellness festival was a conversation over pizza with Chapter One Bookstore owner and festival founder Cheryl Welch more than 14 years ago. Pond, an internationally recognized astrologer, author, speaker and workshop leader, has attended the festival for 11 years.

Pond is an interesting facet to the festival, not because of his history, but because of his studies of the heavens in relation to how people function on earth. Pond said the notion of life ending or "Judgment Day" has become a newsworthy topic as the world appears to be going through physical transformation. He said floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, volcanic activity and devastating tsunamis appear more frequent and have overwhelming effects. But, is all of this activity the end or a beginning?

"The universe is never over," Pond said. "And, we should not wait for it to be over. There is no last day. If something collapses, it's evolving. Life has not quit."

Pond said we are living in a rare natural cycle of time.

"From an astrologist's perspective, it's fun to see themes," he said. "A new calendar is a marking of time, not the end of the world."

Pond said new astrology signs are not really new, it's just a different way of looking at the stars.

"It's a difference in language and there is nothing wrong with that," he said. "It's like the difference between Fahrenheit and Celsius."

Pond will give a presentation, "The Astrology of 2011 and Beyond: Aligning With 'The Quickening,'" on Sunday, May 29, at 4 p.m. in the Sun Valley Inn Continental Room. He is also available for chart readings through a signup at Chapter One Bookstore in Ketchum. For details, call 726-5425.

Meet shaman and author

Besides Pond, a number of visitors are journeying to the valley this weekend either in conjunction with the festival or for other engagements that are also celebrating life and living.

At the nexStage Theatre in Ketchum, Heyoka Merrifield, a Montana artist and shaman, will present the film "Sundancing With the Muse," at 5 and 7:30 p.m. tonight, May 27. An artist reception and book signing will take place after the screenings. Tickets are $10 and are available at Chapter One Bookstore in Ketchum.

The film explores Merrifield's personal and creative journey as a sundancer for more than 30 years, which includes a near-death shamanic experience. Merrifield will have a booth at the festival at the Sun Valley Inn in the Exhibition Hall.

Chapter One Bookstore is also the host of a book signing with Boise resident Patti Murphy and her new book, "Mother Knows Best!," on Saturday, May 28, at 1-2 p.m. at the Sun Valley Inn in the Hands On Hall. Murphy's feel-good compilation of "momisms" has been a project long in the making.

"I became interested in momisms years ago," she said. "Moms say funny things to kids when they are growing up."

Momisms include, "shrimp tails are poisonous, if you eat them you will die" and "You're running away? Let me help you pack."

Murphy said the book is a gathering of Idahoan momisms and most of the submissions came through social media networking. Proceeds from the sale of the book benefit the Women's and Children's Alliance in Boise, which celebrates 100 years of public service for women and children escaping domestic abuse and sexual assault.

"The great thing about momisms is they are timeless," she said. "Moms pass them down from generation to generation. They are things they say to get kids to behave or teach a life lesson. They are a cultural and generational connection no matter where a mom lives."

Other events in valley

Other engagements around town include Gallery Walk on Saturday from 5-8 p.m. Ketchum galleries open their doors with new exhibitions. Several artists will be in attendance. For this month's gallery walk, the Sun Valley Center for the Arts offers a twist on art exhibitions. Instead of viewing art, participants can become art. The Center's new exhibition, "Geared: The Culture of Bicycles" will offer bike portraits and ask participants to bring their favorite bike for photographs, which will show at The Center in Hailey this summer. Along with portraits, the opening will have complimentary wine, beer or shandies with a selection of handmade bicycles and contemporary art related to bike culture. In addition, The Center will show "Klunkerz," a film about the early days of mountain biking.

Sabina Dana Plasse:

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