Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Around Town

Express Staff Writer

“The Savannah Tree” by David deVillier. Courtesy photo

David deVillier to lead painting class

Acclaimed painter and sculptor David deVillier will set up at the Sun Valley Center for the Arts late this month for a five-day intensive course focused on advancing the way students think about creating art.

Each student will be encouraged to think about how paint is used to convey personal and individual creative expressions. The class will explore a series of painting problems that require the use of imagination and invention. Students will work on drawings and small painting studies before advancing to a larger painted surface; students will not be working from still life, photography or the visible landscape. Paints for this class are oil, acrylic or watercolor—whatever students are most comfortable with—and all levels of experience are welcome.

The curious can see deVillier's work at Gail Severn Gallery. The artist spends his time between Sun Valley and LaGrande, Ore.

The course will be held Jan. 23-27. For details, contact The Center at 726-9491, ext. 10, or visit

Submit for Pick of the Flicks

This was the year of 3D for sure. From documentaries to kids films, filmmakers took storytelling to new heights, not always successfully, but definitely paving the way for grander efforts to come.

Before auld film favorites are replaced with new, the Express invites readers to submit a list of their top five favorite films of the year, as well as their absolute worst one of all.

Please take a minute to submit a line or two about what made a movie No. 1 on your list, as well as what made the worst movie so bad.

Send your responses to and please include "Top 5 movies" in your subject line. The deadline is Jan. 18.

The results will be published before the Oscars are presented Feb. 26, so there's time to catch up on films you didn't have a chance to see in 2011.

Christmas tree pickup benefits students

Call a member of the Wood River High School Band to come take away your tree Saturday, Jan. 7, for a small donation and help send band students to the Heritage Festival in Anaheim, Calif., this spring.

Last year's band members swept the competition and are gearing up to do the same again, but they need a little help with expenses.

Call 481-0389 to get on the pickup list. The fee is $10 for trees up to 8 feet and $20 for trees more than 8 feet tall. The trees will be delivered to the recycle center in Ohio Gulch.

Find out 'why torture is wrong' at nexStage

Start off the New Year with a laugh and take a seat as nexStage Presents delivers the latest plays read by local professional actors on Tuesday, Jan. 10, at 7 p.m.

Jon Kane directs "Why Torture Is Wrong and the People Who Love Them," by playwright Christopher Durang, who scripted a farce about terrorism and 911 that takes off when a woman, played by Charlotte Hemmings, wakes up hung over and married to a possible terrorist. Other players include Scott Creighton, Claudia McCain, Richard Rush, Keith Moore, Steve D'Smith and Kathy Wygle.

"Durang is considered America's funniest playwright," Kane said. "To make something like this funny is an extreme balancing act, and this is insanely funny."

Cookies and wine precede the free event. The nexStage is on Ketchum's Main Street.

Empress of the ice

Gretel Erhlich comes in from the cold to share her insight on the arctic.

The author will speak Thursday, Jan. 5, as part of the Sun Valley Center for the Arts' speaker series and its current exhibit called "Thin Ice: Journeys in Polar Regions."

Ehrlich's newest book, "In the Empire of Ice: Encounters in a Changing Landscape," builds on the nearly two decades that she has spent in the arctic, and exposes a mysterious world, threatened environment and its indigenous people.

According to The Seattle Times, "Ehrlich has accomplished an extraordinary feat: She has taken a forbiddingly beautiful and haunting and alien landscape and depicted it in an equally beautiful and haunting prose."

Ehrlich is an award-winning and widely published author of 13 books, including three of narrative essays, a novel, a memoir, three books of poetry, a biography, a book of ethnology/travel and a children's book.

The talk will be held at the Presbyterian Church of the Big Wood in Ketchum at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 for nonmembers, $15 for members and $10 for students, and can be purchased by contacting The Center at or by calling


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