Special Projects

Carters of the Moon John Grade Sculpture
image: John Grade

Committed to contributing to the national arts dialogue

The Sun Valley Museum of Art seeks to provide artists, musicians, thought leaders, and authors with opportunities to develop their practice and create new work.

Special projects and commissions take many forms and can be solo endeavors or collaborative and cross-disciplinary in nature. Often, they allow artists to experience and respond to the land and history surrounding us in this unique place within the Intermountain West.

Past Commissions

Daniel Gordon - Camas with Onions and Potato
Daniel Gordon

From The Colour of Its Bloom:
Camas Prairie

May 29–August 8, 2020

From the Colour of Its Bloom: Camas Prairie considers a unique landscape in Southern Idaho that is home to multiple ecosystems and social histories, and is named for the Camas Lily, which blooms each spring and has traditionally been an important food staple for the Shoshone and Bannock people. The project will consist of an exhibition including 4 commissioned bodies of work, 1 outdoor sculptural installation in the city of Ketchum, a signage project in collaboration with the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes and a catalog. The exhibition will feature new artwork by Daniel Gordon, MK Guth, Anthony Hernandez and Sopheap Pich, and an essay by Judith Freeman.

With generous support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Robert Lehman Foundation and numerous private individuals.


John Grade’s Spur as part of Craters of the Moon Special Project
John Grade’s Spur

Jason Middlebrook’s Homage to the Limber Pine
Jason Middlebrook, Homage to the Limber Pine


Craters of the Moon

May 20-July 30, 2016

An exhibition in two parts: one at Craters of the Moon National Monument near Arco, Idaho, and one at the Sun Valley Museum of Art in Ketchum, Idaho. Coinciding with the National Park Service Centennial, the project celebrated Craters of the Moon, “a weird and scenic landscape” (in the words of Calvin Coolidge) that evolved over eight volcanic eruptions that occurred 15,000 to 2,000 years ago. The exhibition featured work by five artists, each considering Craters of the Moon from different points of view. SVMoA commissioned two of these artists to create large-scale sculptures to be located outdoors at Craters of the Moon National Monument during the summer of 2016 and then permanently relocated to public sites in the city of Ketchum in the fall of that same year.

John Grade’s Spur, was inspired by Craters’ extraordinary geology and Sun Valley’s ties to the Union Pacific Railroad. Grade digitally scanned the interior of a lava tube he explored at Craters of the Moon and then created a 75 foot long sculpture from Alaskan cedar that visitors can walk through.

Jason Middlebrook’s Homage to the Limber Pine is a 13 foot high sculpture that was modeled on the dramatic forms of the dead limber pine trees that dot Craters’ lava fields.  Covered in slate mosaic, Homage to the Limber Pine mimics both the silvery exterior of the dead trees and the lava surface of the park.

Other participating artists included Binh Danh, Charles Lindsay and Cindy Tower.

The project was generously sponsored by the City of Ketchum, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, Craters of the Moon National Monument, National Park Service, and private donors.


Bees BIG IDEA project
Emmet Gowin




April 13-June 22, 2018

Partnering with Cameron Cartiere and the chART Collective as part of their ongoing project Border Free Bees, The Center worked with community volunteers to make paper embedded with native pollinator plant seeds. 3,333 bees cut from the paper were installed on the museum walls and ceiling alongside 6,667 bees from earlier Border Free Bees projects. In June 2018, museum staff and volunteers lay the sheets from which the bees were cut on an outdoor lot in Ketchum, alongside other plant starts and seeds.  The plantings emerged into a pollinator pasture over the summer.

Museum exhibition generously supported by the Dawson Family.

Community partners include:
  • Boulder Mountain Clayworks
  • City of Ketchum
  • Environmental Resource Center (ERC) Ernest Hemingway STEAM School Five Bee Hives—Tom Harned
  • The Haven
  • Idaho Department of Fish and Game Local Food Alliance
  • Magic Valley Beekeepers
  • Native Landscapes
  • The Sage School
  • Sawtooth Botanical Garden
  • Squash Blossom Farm—Sara Berman Wood River Community YMCA Wood River Sustainability Center

Past Special Projects


Scott Fife
Scott Fife

Hailey House Residencies

Once or twice a year, the Sun Valley Museum of Art's curators invite an artist to participate in a residency at SVMoA’s Hailey House, a Victorian home that was the birthplace of the poet Ezra Pound. Usually held in May and/or October, the residency offers artists the opportunity to spend time in the Wood River Valley with the goal of making work for an upcoming SVMoA exhibition.

Past residents include:

  • Scott Fife
  • Holly Andres
  • Anna Fidler
  • Katy Stone
  • Julie Green
  • Pat Boas



The Community Library logo


Hemingway House Sessions

The Hemingway House Sessions are a collaboration between the Sun Valley Museum of Art and The Community Library to connect visiting artists to our local history and an iconic writer in an intimate setting inspired by views of the Big Wood River and Idaho mountains. Visiting artists are invited to respond to this creative space where Ernest Hemingway sought sanctuary in the last years of his life.

The Community Library is a privately funded, public library located in Ketchum, Idaho. As part of its Center for Regional History, it stewards a Hemingway collection and manages the Hemingway House and Preserve. The private residence is home to a writer-in-residence program.

View the Hemingway House Session videos