Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Artisans Invitational to spice up Ketchum

Dozens of artists to show their works in the downtown core

Express Staff Writer

Katherine Ragghianti’s handmade purses will be featured at the third annual Artisans Invitational Show this week in Ketchum.
Photo courtesy of Katherine Ragghianti

    Find original artwork and feel good about where the money’s going at this year’s Artisans Invitational Show in Ketchum.
    Organized by Janet Dunbar of Dunbar Interiors in Ketchum, the show is in its third year. Dunbar hopes to give valley artists and selected out-of-state artists a high-profile venue to show off their talents. The show will be held under tents on Fourth Street between East Avenue and Walnut Avenue  this weekend, from Aug. 1-3.
    “The whole purpose is exposure,” Dunbar said.
    The 30 to 40 participating artists will donate 10 percent of their sales revenue to Swiftsure Ranch Therapeutic Equestrian Center, a nonprofit organization near Bellevue. Swiftsure has been helping people with physical and mental disabilities for more than 20 years.
    Dunbar selects the artists from her travels across the states to art shows in the Midwest and East Coast. She tries to keep it a maximum of four artists per style or medium, so that there isn’t too much competition.
    Dunbar’s motives in the smaller, more intimate art show are both to foster an art scene in the core of Ketchum and to introduce Wood River Valley art enthusiasts to new artists. The chance to give back to the community monetarily is also important to her. Last year’s donations went to The Community Library, Dunbar said.
    The show doesn’t just boast two-dimensional art: Cathryn Nowicki is a jeweler from Colorado who has shown her pieces at the Artisans Invitational since its inception. Dunbar discovered Nowicki at the American Craft Council show in Baltimore, Md.
    Another jeweler with a booth at the show is Merete Abbott. Abbott lives locally and features both knitwear and pearl jewelry. In her short biography she submitted to Dunbar, Abbott said she grew up in Denmark and began knitting with her mother at a young age. She went on to say that she enjoys the “hunt” for high-quality materials.
    “[I] have always been in love with pearls,” she wrote. “Large, small, perfect[ly] round and baroque.”
    Washington state resident Katherine Ragghianti will feature handmade purses made from fabrics she collected in Japan. The purses feature embellishments that speak to the Asian flair of the fabrics.
    Dunbar is no newcomer to the Wood River Valley art scene. She was one of the founders of the Ketchum Arts Festival, which began in 1999. She started it on a piece of empty property adjacent to her residence in order to showcase local artists.
    True to its name, the Artisans Invitational is an invitation-only event for the artists. The handpicked selection, Dunbar says, makes for a very “pretty” show.
    The Artisans Invitational Show runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 1-2 and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Aug. 3 in downtown Ketchum.
Amy Busek:

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