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Forests, Foraging and Fires August 23–November 12, 2014

Forests, Foraging and Fires offers our community the opportunity to participate in an in-depth conversation about our relationship to one of our most significant natural resources: the forest. The northwestern United States has long looked to its forests for sustenance, renewal and recreation. Our forests not only provide us with trees that heat and shelter us, but they are also a place we look to for spiritual and physical renewal. They are where we recreate and where we retreat. In the Wood River Valley, our forests are our lifeblood; their majestic beauty attracts people to our resort community. The forest is a place of mystery and magic, too—the setting for many a fairy tale. For Shakespeare and other authors and playwrights, the forest is a place of transformation. Visual Arts, Ketchum

And it’s a place of extraction, providing much more than wood. Today in addition to game hunters, people are going into the forest to seek out its wealth, foraging for everything from mushrooms to edible greens to poultices for healing. Simultaneously, the forest is becoming a significant threat as federal fire suppression policy coupled with years of drought has created an explosive tinderbox that poses a danger to our homes and communities. This project asks not only what we take from our forests, but what we need to do to sustain and nurture them.

Forests, Foraging and Fires

top: Shannon Durbin, Forest Fires 01, Series One, 2011, gouache on paper, courtesy the artist and Cullom Gallery, Seattle

Catherine Chalmers has spent several years working on a multimedia project focused on leafcutter ants in Central America. She is drawn to the parallels between human beings and these ants, which live in large colonies with complex social structures and sophisticated communication. Chalmers has created new drawings and a photographic scroll for the exhibition, which will also feature two Leafcutters videos.

left: Catherine Chalmers, Colonize the Earth (detail), 2014, pigment print, courtesy the artist and Ochi Gallery, Ketchum

Based in Los Angeles, Shannon Durbin is fascinated by the conflict between the role of fire in maintaining healthy forests and our need to protect communities from harm. She began a series of paintings on paper after reading about a major fire in Washington State started by a woman burning her diaries. Struck by the enormous consequences of this one personal gesture, she created the drawings to explore “the sometimes transcendent beauty of forest fires.” In the installation Thank You, Fog, Spencer Finch presents 60 photographs made at oneminute intervals as a bank of fog rolled over a densely wooded area of Sonoma County. These misty images allude to the forest as a living organism, ever-changing, and to its transformational qualities. Photographer Eirik Johnson has created two bodies of work considering what we take from our forests. Sawdust Mountain explores the logging industry and “the complicated relationship between the region’s landscape, the industries that rely upon natural resources, and the communities they support.” The Mushroom Camps looks at the lives of seasonal mushroom hunters in Oregon.

Gallery Walk

The paintings in William D. Lewis’s series Fish and Game were inspired by a visit to Idaho’s Fish and Game headquarters, where taxidermied animals line sterile hallways. Struck by this incongruity, he began making paintings of deer, antelope, bears and ducks in settings ranging from universities to consignment shops, giving us a wryly funny look at our relationship to the animals that live in the forest.

Fri, Aug 29, 5–7pm Free at The Center, Ketchum Start your Gallery Walk at The Center! We’ll be screening David Nash’s 12-minute film Wooden Boulder (1978–2003), which traces the twentyfive year journey of a large wooden sphere that Nash pushed into a river in Wales in 1978. Artist William D. Lewis will speak about his paintings at 6pm.

Based in Wales, David Nash has been working with found wood to create sculptures for more than four decades. Working on both small and extremely large scales, he sometimes chars the wood he works with (in part to preserve it) and often makes sculptures in forms he sees as universal: cube, sphere, pyramid. His work suggests the forest is both a natural resource and a place for spiritual and creative transformation.

top left: Anne Siems, Saratoga Tree, 2014, acrylic on panel, courtesy the artist and Gail Severn Gallery, Ketchum

bottom left: Gerri Sayler, Billow (detail), 2014, site-specific installation, courtesy the artist

Idaho artist Gerri Sayler has used 20,000 pipe cleaners—hand crimped and clustered—to create Billow, a site-specific installation evocative of a cloud of smoke rising within The Center’s gallery space. Sayler visited the Wood River Valley in May, spending time in areas affected by the 2013 Beaver Creek Fire. Billow is a response to her visit and to the effects of wildfires. Anne Siems’s paintings combine her fascination with botanical illustration, portraiture and early American painting. Inspired by the trees of the Pacific Northwest, particularly old growth stumps, she began a new series of paintings of figures dressed in 1850s-era costume with stumps she calls “grandmothers.” Her paintings allude to ecosystems’ life cycles and evoke the forest as a place of magic and mystery.

The Center hours & location in Ketchum: M–F 9am–5pm, Sats in Aug, 11am–5pm 191 Fifth Street East, Ketchum, Idaho 208.726.9491

Sun Valley Center for the Arts

Evening Exhibition Tours Thu, Sep 4, Thu, Oct 16 and Thu, Nov 6, 5:30pm Free at The Center, Ketchum Enjoy a glass of wine as you tour the exhibition with The Center’s curators and gallery guides. We’ll be screening David Nash’s 12–minute film Wooden Boulder (1978–2003) at the end of each tour. Favor de llamar al Centro de las Artes para arreglar visitas guiadas en español.

top right: David Nash, Harp, 2008, walnut, courtesy the artist and Haines Gallery, San Francisco

bottom right: William D. Lewis, Fish and Game (Headquarters Antelope), 2012, courtesy the artist and Ochi Gallery, Ketchum

Forests, Foraging and Fires A Big Idea presented by the Sun Valley Center for the Arts

top: Eirik Johnson, Freshly felled trees, Nemah, Washington from Sawdust Mountain, 2007, archival pigment print, courtesy the artist and G. Gibson Gallery, Seattle

Visual Arts, Hailey

Janet Starr: Abstract Landscapes Sep 11–Nov 13 The Center, Hailey From white cloth, Hailey fiber artist Janet Starr uses dye and a variety of techniques to produce artwork that is bold in color and graphic in design. Her work is an abstraction of the natural world, evoking forms like mesas, riverbeds and aspen groves. The Center, Hailey, is open on Thursdays from 2–5pm and by appointment 314 Second Ave South (corner of Second Ave. & Pine St.), Hailey

Opening Celebration right: Janet Starr, The Aspen Grove by the Big Pond in January, 2013, handdyed and discharged cotton, machine pieced, courtesy the artist

Thu, Sep 11, 5:30–7pm Free at The Center, Hailey Join us for the opening of Janet Starr: Abstract Landscapes. The artist will speak about her work at 6pm.

Events Lectures


Panel Discussion: What should our relationship with the forest be? Tue, Sep 16, 6:30pm Free at The Center, Ketchum Join our panelists for a reflective discussion about how we are linked to the forest and what our responsibility is for its management. Panelists include Ryan Haugo, Forest Ecologist at The Nature Conservancy; John Freemuth, Boise State Professor of Public Policy and Administration; Robin Garwood, Sawtooth National Recreation Area Biologist; and Thomas Richards, Forester and Vice President and partner of Northwest Management, Inc.

The Fruit Hunters

Timothy Egan Thu, Oct 2, 6:30pm Church of the Big Wood, Ketchum $25 / $35 nonmembers Timothy Egan has written several books chronicling the American West, including The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire that Saved America, which dissects one of our country’s worst-ever forest fires and its impact on national forest management. He is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, a popular New York Times columnist and a National Book Award-winning author. Generously sponsored by Jane P. Watkins and Richard & Judith Smooke Theatre Company of Fools presents a reading of:

A Walk in the Woods

by Lee Blessing Sat, Sep 27 Time and place TBA Free In a “pleasant woods on the outskirts of Geneva,” two superpower arms negotiators, a Russian and an American, meet informally after long, frustrating hours at the bargaining table. They continue their unofficial meetings as the talks drag on and the seasons change. Through their absorbing and revealing conversations we become aware of both the deepening understanding between these two wise and decent men and the profound frustration that they increasingly feel. “A work of passion and power with the ring of political truth.”—Time Magazine

below: Spencer Finch, Thank You, Fog (detail), 2009, 60 archival inkjet photographs,

Thu, Oct 9, 7pm Magic Lantern Cinemas, Ketchum $10 / $12 nonmembers A look at fruit fanatics who scour jungles and forests to track down and sometimes save fruits that are threatened by development and disease.

Forest Fires:

An Evening of Documentary Short Films Thu, Oct 16, 7pm Magic Lantern Cinemas, Ketchum $10 / $12 nonmembers Four short documentaries about forest fires and those who fight them. Total running time: 81 minutes. Up in Flames: A History of Fire Fighting in the Forest (1984) Wildland Fire, Smokejumping, and the Great Basin Smokejumpers (2012) The Lookout (2011) Forests under Fire (2012)

Classes and Workshops Exploring the Edible and Medicinal Plants of the Wood River Valley with Darcy Williamson Sat, Oct 4, 9am–12pm Location TBA $20 / $25 nonmembers Registration deadline: Fri, Sep 19 Darcy Williamson, an Idaho herbalist, will show students how our forest can help feed and heal us by learning how to identify local plant species. This class is geared toward high school students and adults. Drawing & Painting: Fire as Subject and Symbol with William D. Lewis Sat & Sun, Oct 18 & 19, 10am–4pm $155 / $205 nonmembers The Center, Hailey Registration deadline: Fri, Oct 3 Join Boise-based artist William D. Lewis as he leads students in this two-day workshop. Day one, participants will create their own charcoal, which will then be used for drawing studies. Day two will be devoted to producing an oil painting on panel based on these studies. Emphasis will be placed on capturing the beauty, terror and uncontrollable nature of fire. As an aid to this process, participants are asked to bring with them photographs taken during past fires, which will be used as source material for the drawings and paintings made during the workshop.

ed. 3 + 1 A.P., courtesy the artist and James Cohan Gallery, New York/Shanghai

Sun Valley Center for the Arts

Into the Woods, Into the Set with Joe Lavigne Tue & Thu, Oct 21, 23, 28 & 30, 6–8pm The Center, Hailey $100 / $150 nonmembers Registration deadline: Tue, Oct 7 Learn about the fascinating process of set design with Company of Fools Production Manager Joe Lavigne. Lavigne, who has designed sets for Company of Fools since 2006, will lead students through the design process using Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Into the Woods as a subject. Through visual research, script analysis and imagination, this class will explore the progression of scenic design. By the end of the program, participants will create either a set model or a rendering of their concept. FAMILY DAY Plant Identification and Scavenger Hunt with Darcy Williamson Sat, Oct 4, 3–5pm FREE Sawtooth Botanical Gardens and the Sun Valley Center for the Arts in Ketchum This Family Day starts at the Sawtooth Botanical Garden, where Idaho herbalist Darcy Williamson will teach families how to identify local plant species. Families will then have the opportunity to use their new skills by participating in a scavenger hunt. The first portion of the hunt will take place on the grounds of the Sawtooth Botanical Gardens, and the second portion of the hunt will finish at The Center in Ketchum. Families who finish the scavenger hunt will go home with their own local seedling to plant in their backyard.

Forests, Foraging and Fires Exhibition Brochure & BIG IDEA Multidisciplinary Project