Festivalgoers at last year’s 50th annual Sun Valley Arts and Crafts Festival enjoy sculptures in Atkinson Park. This year, festival ownership will change hands from the Sun Valley Center for the Arts to Altitude Events Group, headed by Art Daves.

Sun Valley is known for its thriving art scene, including numerous galleries, art workshops and its nationally ranked arts and crafts festival.

The 51st annual Sun Valley Arts and Crafts Festival will take place Friday, Aug. 9, through Sunday, Aug. 11, on the lawn of Atkinson Park in Ketchum, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. over the weekend.

This year, however, marks a turning point for the festival. Following last year’s 50th anniversary festival, the Sun Valley Center for the Arts announced a transfer of ownership and management of the event to Altitude Events Group, headed by owner and Hailey resident Art Daves.

“We’ve been wrestling with this question for some time, but The Center’s mission is based on education, and the time is right to focus our energy on those priorities,” Center Executive Director Christine Davis-Jeffers said. “It’s hard to let the festival go, but it’s critical that we direct our resources to educational programs that align with our mission and make the greatest impact.”

The annual festival gives locals and visitors alike the opportunity to interact directly with artists and learn what’s new in the world of arts and crafts. It includes artist demonstrations, music on Friday evening, food vendors and a free kids craft area, in addition to the artists’ booths.

The 2019 artists’ work includes ceramics, woodworking, glass, photography, metal, fiber and mixed media.

The festival implements a jury process to select artists and craftspeople to display their work, in order to ensure exceptional work in all categories. To retain the integrity of that rigorous process, The Center has assisted Daves and Altitude Events Group with the jurying, which consists of assembling a small panel of local artists and collectors. According to a press release, 125 artists out of a pool of 425 applicants were selected to have booths at the event.

“I feel honored to have been part of this beloved community event for the past eight years, and I am excited to pass the torch to Art Daves, who has extensive knowledge in the event-producing world,” said Sarah Stavros, former festival director at The Center. “I know he will use his expertise to grow and evolve this already successful event.”

From his perspective, Daves called it “both humbling and exciting at the same time to take over production of this wonderful special event in the Wood River Valley.”

“I’m indebted to the SVCA for this opportunity and look forward to carrying on the tradition of this cultural pillar in our community,” he said.

For more information on the Sun Valley Arts and Crafts Festival and vendor profiles or to volunteer for the event, visit the festival’s website, sunvalleyartsandcraftsfestival.com.

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