Window Wonderland

This detail from one panel shows the great whimsy artists bring to the project

A detail from one of the panels

In a week’s time, when Thanksgiving memories are still fresh and bellies are still full, Sun Valley Village will provide a wonderful opportunity to take a stroll, shop and turn your thoughts to the holidays. Next Friday, November 23, storefront windows in the Village will come to life with eye-popping, three-dimensional, beautifully conceived and crafted scenes depicting the “Language of the Holidays” throughout the world. The new Holiday Window Stroll is certain to be one of the highlights of the season and will hopefully become a Sun Valley tradition.

A transformation of Village shops is underway as Jonnie Hartman, a talented artist in her own right, is busy unpacking everything from bags of brightly colored gumballs, oversize glass jars and Chinese lanterns, to hand-crocheted flowers and huge silver ornaments.  Spread carefully around a staging room in the Village, 13 window-size panels in various pieces, are quickly taking form into a whole.

Holiday window panels awaiting installation

Holiday window scenes awaiting installation

The panels, created by four international illustrators, Danielle Davis (United States), Ben Javens (England), Miguel Ornia-Blanco (Argentina) and Janine Rewell (Finland), are whimsical, bright and detail-dense. According to Jonnie, the artists create the scenes digitally and then transfer images onto enormous, flexible panels – something akin to supersize foam core board but with a waterproof and durable surface. Layering is crucial to the designs.  A sophisticated laser-cutting machine creates lattice borders, drifting snow and hundreds of other details you will have to see for yourself to fully appreciate.

Installation begins at the Sun Valley Signature Store

Jonnie Hartman plans the best way to begin work on a China-themed window

The holiday window dressings are rich in breadth and depth. In the Sun Valley Signatures & Gift Shop this morning, Jonnie was busy measuring and centering the background panel for a display depicting holidays in China. Drill in hand, she readied to hang the panel a foot or so back from the front window of the shop. Once the picture is secured, Jonnie’s next step is to bring the scene to life.  In this case, that means layering a serpentine dragon across the backdrop, hanging paper lanterns and adding dozens of unique touches to the life-size diorama. Stunning.

Throughout this week, installments will go up throughout the Village, as well as in the Sun Valley Inn and Lodge, creating a temporary gallery that encourages a free and interactive self-guided stroll.  Starting on November 23 and continuing through January 4, 2013, participants will receive “passports” at any window location. Visit each one to receive a stamp bearing a holiday greeting, then enjoy a special treat at the end of the stroll

The windows are a part of Sun Valley’s Winter Wonderland Gala.  On December 1, join in the festivities at Sun Valley Village to kick-start the season. Free and fun for all, activities include cutting the ribbon at the Gingerbread Village in the Boiler Room, a scavenger hunt, wagon rides, great food, a special visit from Santa and, of course, a look at those windows.  Festivities begin at 1 p.m and last into the early evening.

Sun Valley’s new window displays promise to fulfill that universal yearning for simpler, more meaningful holidays. The vibrant colors, exquisite details and evocative images will transport you around the world and serve as a reminder of what the season is truly about: friends, family, giving and sharing.  Take a moment to stop, stare and appreciate the season in front of these gorgeous works of art – a gift to the community from Sun Valley!

This window-in-progress sums it up! Merry Christmas!

This window-in-progress sums it up

–RES

Crochet flowers will be added for texture and color

Crochet flowers will lend texture and color

Gumballs will be used in the displays

Bright gumballs add to the whimsical feel of a display

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