Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Mosaic of talent

New art tour highlights local artists

Express Staff Writer

Richard Rush, Untitled, Mixed Media
Courtesy photo

   An artist’s studio is the place where they live out loud. But sometimes all that creativity can be exhausting enough without having to muster the energy to attract customers for it.
    It was with that in mind that artist and gallery owner Brooke
       Bonner and Suzanne Hazlett created the Wood River Valley Studio Tour, an Idaho nonprofit organization to celebrate and promote the artistic talent of the valley via an annual two-day, valley-wide gallery walk.
    The tour is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 19 and 20, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and then concludes with an artists’ reception from 5-8 p.m. Saturday, at the Wood River Fine Arts gallery in Ketchum. By the time the tour officially gets under way, many will have become familiar with the project from last Friday’s Gallery Walk.
    Wood River Fine Arts hosted the introduction party for the group, with a display of more than 50 tiles from participating artists grouped in a mosaic.
    But to get a bigger picture of the bigger picture, art lovers will want to stop by the website at and download the maps to plan their gallery tour, or stop by the Visitor’s Center in Ketchum for a brochure. This is a self-guided adventure and there are no tickets.
    Bonner assures there will be “no macaroni necklace artists” on the tour. “It’s curated in a sense. People need to be actively creating work, they have to have a body of work, they have to send us images of work. We really didn’t have to turn anyone away. These are all established and committed artists who just don’t have a lot of time to market themselves.”
    The owner of the former Green Antelope Gallery, which created a popular south valley gallery tour before closing last year, Bonner said this all-encompassing tour could be a vital link between artists and their work for years to come.
    “We want this to be a cultural draw during the shoulder season that people plan on coming to check out with other events,” she said. “We hope that this really supports the community. There are lots of price points for people to connect to and then truly collectible artists as well.”

Get your piece of the action
The tiles artists created for the mosaic revealed at last week’s Gallery Walk are for auction individually, with proceeds going directly to the project. Bidding is open online now at


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