Wednesday, December 14, 2011

African art, giving tree

Both benefit women and children

Express Staff Writer

Beaded artwork like this horse are painstakingly threaded by hand by artists working in South Africa, then sold abroad and the profits returned to their communities. Courtesy photo

There are many ways to make your Christmas money work long after the holiday is over.

This week, stop by Gilman Contemporary Gallery in Ketchum where what shoppers buy can impact locally and globally.

Thursday, Dec. 15, marks the return of the limited-edition exhibit of South African beaded artwork to Sun Valley. These art pieces are made by a contingent of Capetown bead artists to be sold outside their country with proceeds going directly back to fund programs there.

"Monkeybiz employs women that are infected or affected by HIV/AIDS," said Jane Letourneau, the Ketchum voluntary facilitator for the woman-powered company. "One hundred percent of the profits go back to Africa."

Letourneau said there are 150 pieces, mostly animals, ranging in price from $25 to $850.

"They are very intricate and run from the very tiny to quite large," Letourneau said. "But they are all unique."

Each piece is signed by the artist.

Monkeybiz has become a model for income generation and women's empowerment at the grassroots level. Last year's sale raised $10,000.

Similar items have been snatched up by celebrities like Halle Berry, Kevin Bacon and Donna Karan.

The party starts at 4:30 p.m. with wine, beer and appetizers.

For more information on Monkeybiz Bead Project South Africa visit

Those in the giving spirit can pull a tag from the "giving tree" in front of the gallery. The tags have requests from local children and women who are clients of the Advocates for Survivors of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. People are invited to take a tag, fill the request and return the items unwrapped, to the gallery.

Last year, a Grinch stole the tree before all the tags had been fulfilled, said gallery director Casey Hanrahan.

"Luckily, the community rallied and everyone on the list received their request," she said.

Gilman Contemporary Gallery

Where: 661 Sun Valley Rd. at Spruce Avenue, Ketchum.

When: Thursday, Dec. 15 at 4:30 p.m.

What: Wine, nibbles and charitable shopping.

About Comments

Comments with content that seeks to incite or inflame may be removed.

Comments that are in ALL CAPS may be removed.

Comments that are off-topic or that include profanity or personal attacks, libelous or other inappropriate material may be removed from the site. Entries that are unsigned or contain signatures by someone other than the actual author may be removed. We will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or any other policies governing this site. Use of this system denotes full acceptance of these conditions. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions. You are fully responsible for the content that you post.

The comments below are from the readers of and in no way represent the views of Express Publishing, Inc.

You may flag individual comments. You may also report an inappropriate or offensive comment by clicking here.

Flagging Comments: Flagging a comment tells a site administrator that a comment is inappropriate. You can find the flag option by pointing the mouse over the comment and clicking the 'Flag' link.

Flagging a comment is only counted once per person, and you won't need to do it multiple times.

Proper Flagging Guidelines: Every site has a different commenting policy - be sure to review the policy for this site before flagging comments. In general these types of comments should be flagged:

  • Spam
  • Ones violating this site's commenting policy
  • Clearly unrelated
  • Personal attacks on others
Comments should not be flagged for:
  • Disagreeing with the content
  • Being in a dispute with the commenter

Popular Comment Threads

 Local Weather 
Search archives:

Copyright © 2020 Express Publishing Inc.   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.