Tuesday, January 28, 2020
Wood River Valley Studio Tour Gets Interactive
This painting of Jill Lear’s was inspired by the photograph that follows.
Thursday, August 15, 2019


The seventh Annual Wood River Valley Studio Tour will have an interactive component this year.

Artist Alex duMauriee will create an 8-by-8-foot mural on the patio of the Ketchum Innovation Center on Saturday and Sunday, during which she will invite the public to change some of the imagery and take photos of themselves in front of the mural.

The free Studio Tour kicks off with an Artists Reception from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 16, at KIC, 180 Sixth Street West in Ketchum.

This photograph of a mighty urban oak inspired the preceding painting by Jill Lear.

The public will have the chance to meet the artists and see a sampling of each artists’ work during that time. There also will be an opportunity to bid on works of art in the Mosaic Project at the reception.

The free self-guided tour runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 17 and 18. It will feature artists in Ketchum, Sun Valley, Hailey and Bellevue.

The Mosaic Project and exhibition will remain on view during those times, as well.

Tour guides are available at the Hailey and Ketchum visitor’s centers and at KIC.

Sarah Bird was among the organizers of this year’s tour.

Last year’s tour attracted 3,000 people--many from outside the area, said Suzanne Hazlett, who co-founded the tour with Mary Williams and Brooke Bonner in 2012. That’s up from 700 the first year.

This year’s tour will feature 40 artists, including dozens of painters, woodworkers David Roberson and John Beehler, a few jewelry artists, handbag designer Cindy Kirk, fiber artist Sally Metcalf, sculptor Martha Schwerdtle and leathersmith Jack Sept,

Among this year’s participating artists is Jill Lear, who creates large-scale mixed multi-media paintings, drawings, works on paper and photographs inspired by trees.

For Lear a tree is not just a symbol of life but a primary conduit to a world above and below the surface. She uses a mapping process, giving her works longitude and latitude titles.

Several years ago, Lear introduced a project based on historic trees of Texas. This year she will debut a new body of work for the Wood River Valley Studio Tour titled “Urban Sprawl; Trees in Cities” at her Indian Creek studio. It focuses on how urban trees not only survive but thrive.

“I choose magnificent trees that reach out and embrace their environments with sprawling branches and intricate root systems,” she said. “My work shows the way trees use their innate capabilities to sustain themselves in their restricted environments while managing to give back to the community by removing CO2 and pollution from the atmosphere, by providing canopies of shade and by creating a cooler environment. We need these trees more than they need us.”

Lear will have a tree planted for every piece that sells through such organizations as urbanleaf.org, treesforcities.org, shoparborday.org, onetreeplanted.org.


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