To enrich our community through transformative arts and educational experiences.
Celebrating 50 Years of Creativity, Community & Connection
Sun Valley Museum of Art has enriched our community through transformative arts and educational experiences for 50 years. Thank you for your support and involvement.
Since 1971, we have served this community—a community that is curious about the world and eager for arts and cultural experiences. We’ve welcomed amazing artists and thinkers. We’ve provided generations of local students with a strong foundation in the arts. We’ve connected our community through creativity, conversation, and BIG IDEAS.
We are so grateful to our many supporters as we reflect on our past 5o years and look ahead to 100 years
At this pivotal point in our history, we proudly honor our heritage while we look to a dynamic and bright future.
At Sun Valley Museum of Art we come together to think, to wonder, to create,
to expand our views and stretch our boundaries—to start a conversation.
We invite you to learn and be inspired with us.
That’s why we are here.
The Sun Valley Center for the Arts and Humanities, now called the Sun Valley Museum of Art, was founded in 1971 on the belief that a community cannot be built solely from the presence of a beautiful mountain but needs arts and culture to be both vital and sustainable. Since its founding SVMoA has aspired to enrich our community through transformative arts and educational experiences. As the oldest arts organization in the Wood River Valley and one of only five institutions in Idaho accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, SVMoA serves as the Wood River Valley’s cultural anchor, bringing families, friends, visitors and residents together for shared arts experiences. We offer exceptional year-round programming in visual arts, music, film, and the humanities.
Over the last 50 years, Sun Valley Museum of Art has grown from a handful of people presenting classes and events to a professional arts organization that serves more than 40,000 patrons every year. The original campus of the Sun Valley Center for the Arts and Humanities was established on land deeded by Bill Janss, owner of Sun Valley Company (1964-1977). Back in the early days when the Union Pacific Railroad owned Sun Valley Resort, the 6-acre property along Trail Creek was the site of kennels where the resort’s sled dogs were kept. For several years, SVMoA flourished at this location as a facility for high-level fine arts residencies. Many of the artists and faculty that worked at SVMoA in its first two decades have gone on to achieve celebrated careers.
Today Sun Valley Museum of Art located in Ketchum has become a cornerstone of the Wood River Valley’s rich and diverse arts scene. Our commitment to education and this community has never wavered and is reflected in programmatic choices that cultivate dialogue around relevant regional and national issues. Recognized as a thought leader in our state and region, our exhibition program is nimble and responsive, considering subjects that enhance our community’s understanding of place or current moment. As a non-collecting institution, SVMoA is uniquely suited to invite the most appropriate artists to explore the specifics of a topic or an issue and we regularly offer opportunities to artists, actors, musicians and playwrights to develop new work.
Sun Valley Museum of Art’s goals are guided by our core values and reflect our desire to be a place of education and discovery as well as a vehicle through which people can exercise their curiosity and creativity. SVMoA's purpose is to engage the whole community through arts and ideas, shaping our programs to encourage connection, conversation and active reflection.
SVMoA is deeply committed to adult and K-12 arts education. In addition to year round lectures, workshops and classes for adults, and our robust partnerships with local schools enable us to bring artists and authors, musicians and playwrights into direct contact with students in area classrooms. Our many outreach programs supplement the school curriculum through the Classroom Enrichment Program, in-school Professional Artist Residencies, Student Exhibition Tours, as well as Scholarships and Professional Development Opportunities for local students and educators.
Our core values serve as guiding principles that shape the organizational choices we make.
We continuously strive to excel in programmatic and operational effectiveness.
We offer compelling programming that stimulates the imagination, advances creativity, and promotes new perspectives.
We provide educational opportunities that enable all segments of our community to discover, re-discover and sustain the joy of learning.
We help build an engaged and connected community through transformative experiences that are accessible and inclusive.
We care for the resources entrusted to us through best practices in all we do.
During the early 1970s, the Sun Valley Center for the Arts and Humanities, now Sun Valley Museum of Art, recruited highly regarded art and humanities faculty from all over the country. They established the Wood River Valley’s first art gallery and taught intensive classes in photography, printmaking and ceramics for students from across the nation. The Center’s dance and theater workshops offered a broader arts experience, and conferences held by the Institute of the American West attracted prominent historians, academics and authors and an audience hungry for knowledge of the Western experience. Because of the Janss Corporation’s commitment to developing a year-round resort and attracting second homeowners to the area, an expanded community began to demand and support SVMoA’s programs.
In the mid 1980s, a decrease in federal funding for the arts forced SVMoA to closely examine its programs and finances. After careful consideration, the Board of Directors chose to restructure the programs to better align with its financial capabilities and the growing community’s needs. The Center’s philosophy was also redefined, with arts and educational opportunities for the local community taking priority. With this goal in mind, the organization redesigned its art workshops to appeal to a broader segment of the community, and made a commitment to present the talents of nationally and internationally recognized artists in the visual arts, the performing arts and the humanities.
Today, SVMoA is nationally recognized for its unique, multidisciplinary BIG IDEA programming. The directors of SVMoA’s visual arts, performing arts, and education and humanities programs, work in tandem with the Artistic Director to develop three or four BIG IDEA projects each year that explore relevant themes from a variety of perspectives. Inviting the whole community to participate in conversation, recent BIG IDEAS include refugees, the brain, Rock and Roll, the meaning of gender in the 21st century, the Great Basin and play and social structures.
In 2006, Sun Valley Museum of Art received accreditation from the American Association of Museums in recognition of its adherence to the highest standards of operation and programming. Only 5 percent of America’s arts and cultural institutions share this distinction.
In January 2013, SVMoA's Board of Directors approved a merger with Company of Fools, a long-standing and award-winning professional theatre company. As a prominent program within SVMoA, Company of Fools maintains its name and identity, basing its operations at the historic Liberty Theatre on Main Street in Hailey, Idaho.
In 2016, SVMoA received a donation of the Liberty Theatre, from Demi Moore and Bruce Willis, who had owned the property since 1995. Moore and Willis’ generous donation formalizes The Liberty Theatre as Company of Fool’s theatrical home and provides a permanent anchor for SVMoA programming in Hailey.
SVMoA’s museum and administrative offices are located in Ketchum. We also operate a facility in Hailey: a historic home that was the birthplace of Ezra Pound and a state-of-the-art, freestanding classroom.
SVMoA’s current strategic plan (2020–2023) includes a commitment to design, build, and remodel facilities to advance our programmatic promise including increasing the capacity of The Liberty Theatre and realizing a dynamic museum building that serves the community on a deeper level, providing artistic experiences that support learning and cultivate curiosity for locals, visitors, families and students.
Sun Valley Museum of Art needs a new facility—we are actively exploring opportunities to build a new space. We hope to update our community soon with renewed plans for a state-of-the-art facility that will provide the venue for SVMoA programs and exhibitions. The space will allow us to engage more people on a deeper level, create more immersive experiences, and ensure accessibility for everyone in our community.
Highlights from 50 Years of Programming Excellence
David Henry HwangwangHwant
Miranda JulyMichael Chabon
James B. Stewart
Kirk Wallace Johnson
Viet Thanh Nguyen
Henry Louis Gates Jr.
Neil deGrasse Tyson
Terry Tempest Williams
Sir Salman Rushdie
N. Scott Momaday
*exclusive of Institute of the American West conferences
Ladysmith Black Mambazo
Ririe Woodbury Dance
Turtle Island String Quartet
The Staple Singers
Paul Winter Consort
Lar Lubovitch Dance Company
Michael Franti & Spearhead
Lyle Lovett and his Large Band
Vienna Choir Boys
Northern Rockies Folk Festival – 20+ years of presenting
The Campbell Brothers
International Guitar Night
The War & Treaty
Pedrito Martinez & Alfredo Rodriguez
Lake Street Dive
Gregory Alan Isakov
Tedeschi Trucks Band
The Avett Brothers
Dinh Q. Le
Marion Post Wolcott
Carrie Mae Weems
FAQs / About Sun Valley Museum of Art
Sun Valley Center for the Arts and Humanities Incorporation
Jim Belson hired as first Executive Director
First invitational Arts & Crafts Festival
First Institute of the American West Conference: Native American Thought
Artist Workshops and Resident Masters: Ceramics (Jim Romberg), Photography (Cherie Hiser), Dance (Diane Hall)
Ceramic Workshops with Richard Shaw, Ken Little, Rudy Autio, Bob Shay, Don Reitz, David Middlebrook
Photo Workshops with Duane Michals, Mark Klett, Ellen Manchester
First Northern Rockies Folk Festival
Center Gallery opens in old Church at 3rd and Leadville in Ketchum
Tina Barney, Amanda Jaffe and Linda Kaumeyer in exhibition
Jim Romberg and Paul Soldner in exhibition
First annual Sun Valley Wine Auction
First Annual Wood River Music Festival
Terry Allen Concert with Mike Henderson, William Wiley, Terry Allen, Mike Henderson, William Wegman & William Wiley in exhibition, Paradox
Jo Harvey Allen Counter Angel performance
Print Dept. releases Indian Self Rule portfolio in conjunction with Institute of the American West conference, artists: David P. Bradley, N. Scott Momaday, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, Darren Vigil, and R. Lee White
Print Dept releases Potters and Prints portfolio with Akio Takamori, Robert Sperry, Kirk Mangus, Jenny Lind and Richard Shaw
Harry Kipper and Karen Finley in A Streetcar Named Potato performance
Cowboy Poetry conference, Hal Cannon, Director Institute of the American West,
Otto Piene commission of the Neon Rainbow
Christo and Jeanne-Claude lecture
Dale Chihuly exhibition
Center ceases residency programs on Trail Creek property and moves to Walnut Ave Mall
Sam Francis exhibition
First Annual I See by Your Outfit that You are A Cowboy exhibition
Dizzy Gillespie with Miriam Makeba concert, Trail Creek
Terry Tempest Williams lecture
Allen Ginsberg Reading
Center moves to current location from Walnut Ave Mall
End of Nature Lecture with Bill McKibben
Scholarship Program for High School students initiated
Arden Trio in residence biannually (thru 2003)
Looking at Photography exhibition, Smooke collection
First BIG IDEA exhibitions and traveling exhibitions: Uncovered and Recovered: Women Artists in the Modernist Tradition
After Lewis and Clark: Explorer Artists and the American West
Gaze of Hate BIG IDEA wins Governors Award for Excellence in the Arts
Class offerings: Willow Chair making with Don King, Painting with Ted Villa, En Plein Air with Connie Borup
Dos Culturas BIG IDEA
The Whole Salmon exhibition, travels to Boise Art Museum
Gay V. Weake and educator scholarships initiated
The Vanishing: Re-presenting the Chinese in the American West BIG IDEA
Ezra Pound House donated to The Center
Ethos Percussion in residence
Center receives museum accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums
The Mystical Arts of Tibet BIG IDEA
Family Day programs begin
Hailey Classroom Built with funds from the Wine Auction, dedicated to Benjamin and Theresa Castellano-Wood
Michael Chabon Lecture as part of Superheroes BIG IDEA
Purchase of Lot across street from PO in Ketchum
Gloria Steinem Lecture and Lunch as part of Domestic Life BIG IDEA
Modern Parallels: Paintings of Mary Henry and Helen Lundeberg exhibition
James Taylor and Carole King concert, River Run
Sir Salman Rushdie Lecture
Patrick Dougherty willow sculpture, Centerpiece, on Center Lot, Ketchum
Crossing Cultures: Ethnicity in Contemporary America BIG IDEA
The Center merges with Company of Fools
In-School Enrichment Program starts
Under the Influence of Rock and Roll BIG IDEA
Company of Fools productions of Enchanted April, Shirley Valentine, Peter and the Starcatcher
Role Play: Reimagining Gender in the 21st Century BIG IDEA
Donation of the Liberty Theatre
Craters of the Moon project, including two permanent sculptures for the City of Ketchum
George Saunders Lecture
One Night Workshop Series begins
Company of Fools produces Woody Guthrie’s American Song in conjunction with This Land is Whose Land BIG IDEA
Jon Meacham Lecture, in partnership with The Community Library
Sweet Remains in residency in Blaine County Schools
Name change to Sun Valley Museum of Art
Camas Prairie BIG IDEA, including long-term commissioned sculpture
SVMoA embarks on its next 50 years!
To serve the community at the highest level:
The Sun Valley Museum of Art is for you. It is for the Wood River Valley. It is for the artist, student, teacher, reveler and life-long learner in all of us. We believe the arts are essential—to individuals, to this community and to the creation of global citizens. We serve the community by offering inclusive access to multidisciplinary arts experiences and educational opportunities.
To clarify who we are:
We are a museum. The Sun Valley Center for the Arts has been an American Alliance of Museums accredited museum since 2006, a professional designation of best practices held by fewer than 5% of museums in the United States (only five of which are in Idaho). The name Sun Valley Museum of Art emphasizes our commitment to professional presentation and engagement, honors our participating artists and elevates our audience’s expectations. Our original name was ambiguous and did not capture the experience we offer our community. We are not a gallery. We do not sell art. We are not simply a community arts organization. We offer experiences and an investigation of ideas through the arts.
To deliver on our mission:
Education is at the heart of all our programs. We are committed to creating arts programs that lead conversations, explore ideas, inspire wonder and build connections in our community. Museums are a place for discovery and collaborative learning. Education empowers action and inspires change—at home and across the globe. Our clarified identity supports a growing audience, better brand awareness and new funding and relationship opportunities so we can best deliver on our mission.
To provide a space for investigating ideas:
Museums inspire learning. They ignite imagination and create opportunities for the exchange of ideas. SVMoA encourages conversation, piques curiosity and exposes people to new things—from performing arts to visual arts to music to hands-on learning. We are not didactic teachers; we facilitate human connection and encourage participants to think about something that deeply matters. Attending a Sun Valley Museum of Art program is an active experience that is illuminating and inspiring.
To celebrate the modern museum:
Museums today aren’t just buildings—they are dynamic and interactive places of learning. Sun Valley Museum of Art is part of a league of 21st-century museums that embrace the importance of creating experiences for their visitors. SVMoA offers multidisciplinary programs to educate, engage and inspire. SVMoA invites multiple generations to participate in intellectual and exploratory hands-on programs. Our exhibitions include artwork by nationally and internationally known artists, and we regularly commission new work from recognized artists. The new name will signpost the quality of the work inside and communicate our commitment to providing transformative arts and educational experiences.
Since 2001, our organization has recognized the necessity to clarify our brand. As we approach our 50th anniversary, we proudly honor our heritage while we look to our exciting future. Changing our name to SVMoA defines our offerings and energizes our audience as we shape the future of our organization and our community. We are a leader of the Wood River Valley’s thriving and vibrant arts and culture scene. Our audience is at an all-time high, and we are excited to accommodate a growing audience over our next 50 years.
The contemporary museum designation implies a place for learning, not a repository of materials. We are a non-collecting museum, allowing us to focus on timely, relevant and engaging programs and exhibitions that resonate with our community. We can curate with flexibility, changing our exciting exhibitions five times a year while addressing BIG IDEAS that are challenging, interesting and current.
Even better? There’s a cool word for our approach: kunsthalle. SVMoA is a kunsthalle (German for “art hall” or “art shed”), a non-collecting institution that presents art on loan from other institutions or individuals. The kunsthalle approach affords a museum freedom to program without allegiance to or responsibility for a collection and to curate exhibitions and programs that are responsive to the contemporary moment.
The approach also allows for leaner overhead expenses so SVMoA can focus on creating an amazing experience for you—not on acquisitions, storage, recordkeeping, and conservation. Curators and artistic directors are free to present coherent thematic exhibitions that are part of larger multidisciplinary BIG IDEA projects.
SVMoA EXHIBITIONS REGULARLY INCLUDE WORK BY NATIONALLY AND INTERNATIONALLY KNOWN ARTISTS, AND WE OFTEN COMMISSION NEW WORK FROM ARTISTS:
- Vija Celmins
- Michal Rovner
- Alfredo Jaar
- Dinh Q. Lê
- Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle
- Vik Muniz
- Martha Rosler
- Kiki Smith
- Xu Bing
- Andrea Zittel
- Mark Dion
- Spencer Finch
- Emmet Gowin
- Lesley Dill
- Marie Watt
SPECIAL PROJECTS AND COMMISSIONS
- Allan McCollum
- Camille Utterback
- Binh Danh
- John Grade
- Jason Middlebrook
- Patrick Dougherty
- Hung Liu
- Kim Abeles
- Sopheap Pich
19TH AND 20TH CENTURY ARTISTS
- Lee Mullican
- Charles Burchfield
- Helen Frankenthaler
- Helen Lundeberg
- Agnes Pelton
- Agnes Martin
- Arthur Wesley Dow
- Wolfgang Paalen
- Alfred Stieglitz
- Paul Strand
- Ida O’Keeffe
- George Nakashima
- George Catlin
- Fred Sandbck
- Timothy O’Sullivan
A museum is so much more than pictures hanging on a wall. Art is so much more than visual art. It is sound, sight, contemplation, emotion and empathy. This modern, contemporary conception of a museum embraces all art forms—offering experiences that educate, engage and inspire a community. Museum programs around the world feature music, film and dance productions. SVMoA provides access to a range of arts experiences, including live music, dance, film, lectures and hands-on workshops and classes that inspire, delight and engage people of all ages.
The name change will appropriately reflect the multidisciplinary arts and education opportunities we provide our community. As an accredited museum our mission remains the same: to enrich our community through transformative arts and educational experiences.
- BIG IDEA projects & Visual Arts Exhibitions
- K–12 Education Programs
- Youth & Family Education Programs
- Adult Education
- Music, Performance & Film
- Featured Speakers, Talks, Tours & Panel Discussions
- Special Events including the Sun Valley Wine Auction
Full list of SVMoA programs:
- BIG IDEA projects & Visual Arts Exhibitions
- Evening Exhibition Tours
- Art History Lectures
- Artist Talks/Lectures
- Gallery Walks
- Panel Discussions
- K–12 educational programs:
- Classroom Enrichment Projects
- Student Exhibition Tours
- Professional Artist Residencies
- Student & Educator Scholarships
- Youth & Family Education Programs:
- Teen Workshops
- Kids Summer Art Camps (for students entering grades 3–5 and grades 6–8)
- Free Afternoon Art (for families with kids ages 5–12)
- Smart Art! After-school Art Program (for students in grades 4 & 5)
- Adult Education:
- Visual Arts Classes & Workshops (Masterclasses & Creative Jump-ins)
- Craft Series Workshops
- Open Studios
- Writing Workshops
- Panel Discussions
- Art History Lectures
- Artist Talks
- Evening Exhibition Tours
- Music, Performance & Film
- Professional Artist Residency Program
- Summer Concert Series
- Performing Arts Series
- Special Engagements/Special Performing Arts Events
- Film Series
- Special Events & Fundraisers:
- Annual Sun Valley Wine Auction
- Guardian Circle special events
- Young Patron Circle (YPC) special events
SVMoA needs a new facility—we are actively exploring opportunities to renovate and build facilities to support our mission. We hope to provide an update in the near future with renewed plans for a state-of-the-art facility that will provide the venue for SVMoA programs and exhibitions. These spaces will allow us to engage more people on a deeper level, create more immersive experiences, and ensure accessibility for everyone in our community.
Stemming from questions dating back to 2001, in 2016, Sun Valley Center for the Arts leadership created a task force to address our brand and identity challenge. SVCA selected brand consultants Studio Lodato and Studio Riley and the award-winning strategic creative agency Red & Co. to develop our new identity. We set out to create a brand visual that was timeless, sophisticated, flexible, joyful and evoked a sense of place.
“Sun Valley Museum of Art's logo takes its inspiration from the jagged mountains surrounding Sun Valley. If you look closely, you’ll see it consists of sharp triangle shapes that make out the acronym but also the sun beaming in from above the mountain range. The sun and its red circle shape symbolize our love for and commitment to the community and the arts. The Berlingske font was designed to carefully balance modernization and classic typography. The abstract look of the letter mark along with this classic calligraphy-built serif creates a modern yet timeless identity.”
—Red & Co.
The new logo evokes the landscape of our home and location. The “A” mimics the “V” to create a clean and balanced graphic element. The small “o” feels like the sun in the mountains of this iconic valley. Sun Valley Museum of Art will also be called SVMoA—or The Museum—going forward, and the web address will be svmoa.org.
Red is vibrant, energetic, bold, identifiable and unique to this valley.
The continuity of using a circle provides a unifying and consistent graphic element from the old logo to the new logo. SVMoA will remain “central” or “at the center” of the arts in our community. The continuity of the circle connects to our deep history while capturing a sense of place and refreshing the look.
The two typefaces juxtapose one another: the font for SVMoA is clean, simple, contemporary and beautifully graphic. The font used for the lettermark “Sun Valley Museum of Art” is classic and elegant while nodding to the historical value of an established organization.
The People Behind SVMoA
Andrea (Andie) Laporte––President-Elect
Jim Reid—Vice President
Linda Bowling | Amber Busuttil Mullen | Kelly Corroon
Adam Elias | Ron Greenspan | Anita (Kay) Hardy
Caroline Hobbs | Barbara Lehman | Wendy Pesky
Kathy Abelson | Ruth Bloom | Michael Engl | Marybeth Flower
Philip Isles | Glenn Janss | Carol Nie | Van Gordon Sauter
Roselyne Swig | Patricia Wilson | Jeri L. Wolfson