Art for Every Aesthetic

The Arts & Crafts Festival hosted by the Sun Valley Center for the Arts brought the highest quality arts in every medium to town for the 45th year

The Arts & Crafts Festival hosted by the Sun Valley Center for the Arts brought the highest quality arts in every medium to town for the 45th year

Sun Valley’s reputation as a destination for art collectors and those who simply appreciate objects of beauty is well deserved. With dozens of local galleries exhibiting works produced in every medium from some of the most important artists of our time, this is a sophisticated arts scene. The Sun Valley Gallery Association hosts nine gallery walks each year that are free, open to the public, and extremely popular places not to only enjoy exhibition openings, but to see and be seen. The next walk will be held on Friday, August 30, and is sure to be one of the highlights of the summer social calendar. Grab a group of friends, reserve a table for dinner and plan to enjoy a wonderful evening on the town, all while enjoying world-class culture.

Another marker of area’s commitment to the arts took place over the weekend as the Sun Valley Center for the Arts (SVCA) held its 45th annual Arts & Crafts Festival in Ketchum. From August 9 to 11, nearly 150 painters, sculptors, jewelry makers, metalworkers, photographers, printmakers, glass, fiber and wood artists (among others!) set up their tents and shared their talents with the steady crowd of browsers and buyers.

The annual SVCA Festival is a feast for the senses

The annual SVCA Festival is a feast for the senses

This juried show accepts more than 500 artist applications each year. The Larry Harris List of the Nation’s Best Art Festivals ranks the Sun Valley Center Arts & Crafts Festival among the top 20 in the Pacific Northwest and California. The quality of the work is evident in even a cursory browse through the field of fine art. Artists from Minnesota, Oregon, New Mexico, Florida, Iowa, Louisiana and many of the other 50 states deserve their spot at the Festival.

Local artist Alison Higdon shares her talent for encaustic painting with the crowd

Local artist Alison Higdon shares her talent for encaustic painting with the crowd

But like most things in Sun Valley, what is perhaps most appealing about this Festival is its lack of pretense; its welcoming atmosphere. A true community event, the weekend attracts serious collectors and neophytes alike. Children are invited to enjoy the arts at an activity tent and everyone is encouraged to watch local artists at work during daily demonstrations. A wide range of live music, good food and lots of places to sit and chat help keep the event casual and inviting.

Though not a gallery per se, the Sun Valley Resort is also a treasure trove of art. Their specialty? Thousands of archival black and white photos depicting nearly a century of the area’s rich history. Stroll the hallways at the Sun Valley Lodge for a glimpse of the glamorous Union Pacific era when celebrities frolicked in the area’s fresh air and sunshine. Pop by the Sun Valley Inn to peruse their exhibition. The collection extends from the Gun Club to Roundhouse Restaurant; from the Sun Valley Club to Trail Creek Cabin and is definitely worth a lingering look.

Enjoying a live concert outside at River Run is one of the joys of summer

Enjoying a live concert outside at River Run is one of the joys of summer

Next up for the SVCA is a concert by Josh Ritter & the Royal City Band on Wednesday, August 14, at River Run Lodge. Known for his distinctive “Americana” style, Ritter is a successful songwriter, guitarist and author. An evening spent listening to live music beneath the summer shadow of Bald Mountain is an experience that can’t be replicated. Buy dinner from the grill or grab a picnic and find your spot on the lawn. Tickets are now on sale for this event, as well as for what promises to be a truly memorable night at the Sun Valley Pavilion when megastar Clint Black brings his extremely popular brand of country music to the Valley on September 12.

Special room and ticket packages at Sun Valley Resort are available for the Josh Ritter and Clint Black concerts, as well as the Huey Lewis and the News concert that takes the Pavilion by 80s storm on August 21.

Not bad for a little mountain town, eh?


And another type of artistry is on display this week as three show skaters from Sun Valley On Ice continue their quest for the million dollar prize as they compete Tuesday night on America’s Got Talent. Their act, Aerial Ice, features Joel Dear, Kim Navarro and Brent Bommentre with three others and moves to Radio City Music Hall this week. Tune in from 8 – 10 pm on NBC and be sure to vote them on!

Golfing for a cure

Minnesota Twins slugger and Baseball Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew founded the Danny Thompson Memorial Golf Tournament to raise funds for research into the disease that killed his teammate. The event returns to Sun Valley Resort this month for the 37th consecutive year.


Statistically, discovering someone you love has cancer is an experience almost everyone will go through. I was starting week two of a new job as arts editor of the Idaho Mountain Express when I got the news. My father, who was more than 5,000 miles away in my home country of England, had acute myeloid leukemia. For Harmon Killebrew, one of the most prolific power hitters in major league baseball history, discovering that his Minnesota Twins teammate had leukemia ignited a philanthropic urge in the man who hit 573 home-runs in his career.

During that career, baseball journalists lamented Killebrew’s understated personality. “Killebrew is so quiet that sportswriters have given up trying to jazz up his image,” said Time magazine in 1964. “He didn’t go out, he didn’t go ballistic, he didn’t go anything but bald,” wrote Steve Rushin in this Sports Illustrated article following the Hall of Famer’s death in 2011. But this baseball-star-turned-Boise-insurance-salesman had a more permanent legacy ahead of him: funding research into a cure for cancer.

While my father won his battle with the disease, Danny Thompson lost his, passing away in 1976 at the age of 29. The tragedy of such a young life and great talent being cut so short inspired Killebrew and his friend Idaho congressman Ralph Harding to start an annual event to raise money for research into the disease. Debuting in the summer of 1977 as a celebrity clambake, the Danny Thompson Memorial Golf Tournament has generated over $12 million for the battle against leukemia.

A Payette boy, Killebrew chose to host the event at Sun Valley Resort, on whose magnificent courses the four-person two-best ball tournament has been played ever since. Drawing stars from the world of baseball and Hollywood, such as Joe Washington, Jack MorrisDon Felder and Kevin Sorbo, the tournament’s high profile has helped generate substantial donations to the University of Minnesota Cancer Research Center in Minneapolis and St. Luke’s Mountain States Tumor Institute in Boise. “Due to the participation and support of nationally known celebrities and sponsors, the tournament has not only raised in excess of $11 million that has gone directly to leukemia and cancer research, but over the years these funds have been used in various matching grant programs leveraged to the million dollar level annually,” Tournament Director Georgie Fenton said in an interview with the Idaho Mountain Express in 2011.

Killebrew lost his own battle with cancer in 2011, and last year the tournament was renamed in its founder’s honor. The first Killebrew-Thompson Memorial Golf Tournament raised $700,000, bringing the grand total collected over 36 years to $12.5 million. Not bad for a round of golf in an idyllic setting.

Huey Lewis and the News return to Sun Valley to entertain at the Killebrew-Thompson Memorial Golf Tournament on Wednesday, August 21.

This year’s tournament runs from Wednesday, August 21 through Saturday, August 24. Registration for the 2013 tournament is now closed, but tickets are still available for the benefit concert on August 21 at 8 p.m. featuring Huey Lewis and The News. Purchase tickets from $54 to $255 here, or opt for a $159 hotel package of one night’s lodging and two show tickets by calling 800-786-8259 or clicking here.

Jennifer Tuohy


Huey Lewis and The News to play the Sun Valley Pavilion August 17

Huey Lewis and The News photo

Huey Lewis and The News

Huey Lewis and The News will perform at the Sun Valley Pavilion Wednesday, August 17, 2011 to kick-off the 35th Annual Danny Thompson Memorial Golf Tournament and Auction Gala. Tickets on sale May 18.

Huey Lewis and The News have sold over 20 million albums worldwide with pop hits such as "Heart of Rock & Roll," "Stuck With You," and "If This Is It" to name a few.
Concert tickets on sale May 18 at the Sun Valley Recreation Center Box Office: (208) 622-2135 or online at:

For more information about the Danny Thompson Memorial Golf Tournament and Auction Gala please call (208) 726-1049 or go to:

Huey Lewis and The News


Benefit Concert for the Danny Thompson Memorial Leukemia Fund

Performance starts at 8 pm                                Doors open at 7 pm

TICKETS can be purchased on-line at, through Sun Valley Recreation Center in the Sun
Valley Village, or by calling (208) 622-2135/888-622-2108. Tickets are non-Refundable.

Premium ($250) tickets include access to the VIP Cocktail Party (6:30pm) with The Band at the Pavilion Terrace.

WILL CALL/TICKET OFFICE opens at 6 pm the night of the show at the Pavilion. They can also be printed at
the Recreation Offce in the Sun Valley Village in advance prior to August 17th, 2011.  Phone: (208) 622-2135.
SEATING is reserved inside the Pavilion

- Please note – for the frst 5 rows, people may venture up front near the stage
- The last 5 rows are exposed to the weather

Huey Lewis & The News will perform for approx 90 minutes with no intermission. For more information about
the performer, please visit

No Food or Beverage allowed except purchased at the no-host bar at either East or West Terraces inside
the Pavilion which will be open before and during the show.  Snacks will be available as well.

No photography or video allowed.

Daycare/babysitting for your children is available as well with arrangements made in advance: please call
(208) 622-2288 for further details.

For numerous other fun Sun Valley Resort summer activities and planning, please go to