Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Collect calls

Studio Tour offers tips on collecting art

Express Staff Writer

“Don’t Play with Fire” is a mixed-media work by Judith Kindler, who will open her Ketchum studio to the public as part of the Wood River Valley Studio Tour. Kindler’s work also is on display at Gail Severn Gallery in Ketchum.
Courtesy photo

    Comic cubicle dweller Dilbert wouldn’t know what to do with himself in an artist’s studio, a workplace where the tools of the trade are colorful, imaginative and maybe even a little messy.
    Welcome in.
    Local enclaves of creativity will be open to the public when 55 artists welcome visitors to their workplaces for the second annual Wood River Valley Studio Tour.
    On the free, self-guided tour of studios in Sun Valley, Ketchum, Hailey and Bellevue, you can watch professional artists at work and ask what inspires them. Although you don’t have to buy anything, you might even be inspired to purchase a piece of art.
    If you’re thinking about collecting art, or already have a collection, or like to collect information about art, the tour is offering a series of educational programs leading up to next weekend’s tour.
    From Sept. 23-25, three art galleries in Ketchum will host “Collectors’ Lectures,” starting with “The ABCs of Art Collection from Acquisition to Conservation” at the Gail Severn Gallery, followed by “The Art of Bronze Casting” at Wood River Fine Arts and “Focusing on Fine Art Photography” at Gilman Contemporary. Each lecture will include wine and music.
    Gallery owner Gail Severn, who will help lead the “ABCs of Art Collection” lecture, offered a preview of some of the ideas and tips she’ll share:
    1. Call yourself a collector.
    “Collecting can start with something that doesn’t have monetary value, like shells off the beach,” Severn said. “It’s not just the ultra-wealthy who build collections.” Rocks, cars, teapots—they all count.
    2. Love is all you need.“Is a great collection defined by the ability to separate works from millions of others, or is it just that people love it and love living with it?” Severn asked. Answer: all of the above. “The idea of having a collection can be as serious or as fun as one wants to make it,” Severn said.
    3. Light is not your artwork’s friend. “UV rays can affect everything from fabric on a sofa to Asian rugs to a painting hanging on your wall,” Sevren said. “Understanding how destructive light is, however, gives you opportunities to protect from it,” such as using glaze on windows.
    4. It’s not the heat …
    Idahoans live in a dry climate where humidity isn’t a pressing concern. But those from damper environments need to take steps to limit damage. And even in dry Idaho, hanging art in bathrooms is not a good idea. Also, you display a work outdoors, “be aware that we have problems with hard water,” Severn said. Minerals from sprinkler water can build up on a sculpture.
    5. Keep frames in mind.
    Proper framing is part of protecting artwork, Severn said. Conservation- or archival-quality materials are a must (i.e., don’t use cardboard as your backing board).
    Severn said the Collectors’ Lectures will also cover such topics as insurance, restoration and storage.

Wood River Valley Studio Tour

WHAT: More than 50 artists will open their studios to the public.
WHEN: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 27-28, with additional activities Sept. 23-28.
WHERE: Bellevue, Hailey, Ketchum and Sun Valley.
EXHIBIT: A group exhibition of works by participating artists will be on display Sept. 23-28 at Aurobora, 340 Walnut Ave., Ketchum, with a reception from 5-8 p.m. Sept. 26.
COLLECTORS’ LECTURE SERIES: Each lecture runs from 5:30-7 p.m. at a gallery in Ketchum.
Sept. 23: “The ABCs of Art Collection from Acquisition to Conservation,” Gail Severn Gallery, 400 First Ave.
Sept. 24: “The Art of Bronze Casting: What Every Collector Should Know,” Wood River Fine Arts, 300 East Ave.
Sept. 25: “Focusing on Fine Art Photography,” Gilman Contemporary, 661 Sun Valley Road West.
COST: Free.
DETAILS: Maps for the self-guided tour will be available at more than 200 valley locations and online at


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