Tuesday, November 19, 2019
Ketchum Arts Festival to Boast Tiny House, Bolo Ties, Sustainable Clothing and More
EJ Harpham, president of the Ketchum Arts Festival, has been welcoming art lovers and shoppers to the festival for years.
Thursday, July 11, 2019


Susan Rahmen kept the books for a number of Wood River Valley clients between 1989 and 2005. But it failed to satisfy her overflowing creative juices.

She began drawing landscapes and taking art classes. And in 2009 she traded her career in numbers for a career designing clothes using only environmentally sustainable materials, like fast-growing bamboo and hemp.

“Years from now I want to say that we helped the clothing industry be less abusive to people and animals. It’s a different mindset, a more sustainable mindset,” said Rahman, who moved back to Sun Valley in October 2018 after a few years in Telluride.

Colt Turpen makes a variety of wooden craft.

Sun Valley shoppers and art lovers will be able to check out Rahman’s fleece women’s crew neck, hand-dyed sleep slips, hand-dyed silk scarves and tiger skirts, along with baby rompers, T-shirts and hand zip shirts boasting hand-painted elephants and other images at the Ketchum Arts Festival, which takes place Friday through Sunday.

The festival will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, July 12-13, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, July 14, at Festival Meadows on Sun Valley road.

It will boast more than a hundred Idaho artists. And it will also feature a Kid’s Activity Tent offering free hands-on activities, live music and food.

Among the artists is Colt Turpen, who will be making his fourth appearance at the festival. Turpen runs a lumberyard in Shoshone where he seeks out reclaimed wood to build tables and benches.

Lisa Horton creates bolo ties with large cabochon stones and smoothly sculpted bolo slides in bronze and silver.

This year for the first time he will be bringing one of his tiny cabins, a 200-square foot cabin made of various types of woods that can be used as a getaway or family guest house.

“They’re my most popular items right now,” he said.

Wendy Pabich, an artist, scientist, explorer, environmentalist and yogini, paints artwork that is a celebration of all that is big, bold, happy and inspired by a deep connection to nature, spiritual practice and adventures of the mind, body and soul.

“Creating beauty is my way of sending compassion, empathy and love out to the world,” she said.

At 40 Susan Rahman realized bookkeeping wasn’t her true calling and so began designing sustainable clothing with hand-painted images.

Pabich has been painting since she could walk—her mother painted and her sister went to art school. Pabich’s work is fairly intuitively and increasingly abstract. She will be bringing a couple large-scale paintings that are 5-by-7 feet and 36-by-60 inches to the festival.

“For me it’s 80 percent meditative. And it my large-scale paintings require full body involvement,” she said.

Hailey artist Lisa Horton is showcasing bolo ties, which are enjoying a resurgence in popularity among younger women and men, especially as wedding wear.


Wendy Pabich revels in bright colors.

The Native American simple neck scarf slides of the late 1800’s evolved after World War II into ornate silver slides strung on leather cord with fanciful tips. The decoration of those early bolo slides was representative of the Hopi, Navajo, Zuni and Pueblo silversmiths who made them, Horton said.

Bolo ties were an instant hit with men in the Western United States and are still the “official state necktie” in places like Texas and Arizona where they are the go-to look for weddings and funerals and any other time you’d wear a suit with your cowboy boots, she added.

“A bolo tie is in essence that Western staple of neckwear, the leather cord strung through a decorative slide tensioner that keeps it in position,” said Horton who sells some of her ties at Tara McFarlane and Jacob Frehling’s Maude’s Coffee and Clothes. “It’s what you do with the parts that has made bolo ties so interesting for collectors for over a hundred years.”



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