Night Watch In Sun Valley: Solar Eclipse And The Arts

Jun 29, 2017

Vanessa Marsh, "Landscape 30" (2015).
Credit courtesy of the artist and Dolby Chadwick Gallery, S.F.

Idaho cities in the path of the total solar eclipse on August 21 are preparing to host hundreds of viewing parties. Some cities are more accustomed to welcoming tourists, like Sun Valley. 

Courtney Gilbert, from the Sun Valley Center for the Arts in Ketchum, explained, "Hotels started selling out about two years ago. The city of Ketchum is partnering with the city of Sun Valley to organize a day of activities that will take place in Festival Meadows."

She walks through an art show called Night Watch, curated by the Center's artistic director Kristin Poole. The exhibition features work by six contemporary artists, three of whom, Gilbert said, "are internationally known artists with long-established careers." The artists are Michal Rovner, Peter Alexander, Vija Celmins, Anna Fidler, Vanessa Marsh and Robert Zakanitch.

Peter Alexander, "Starry Nights #4" (2007).
Credit courtesy of the artist

The works are predominantly black and white and eerie: celestial landscapes and shadowy figures. They are all considerations of the night sky. The artistic focus on nighttime may seem out-of-place in connection with a daytime solar eclipse, but Gilbert doesn't think so.

"Well, the solar eclipse is an example of an event that creates a kind of moment of false night that seems full of possibility and mystery." 

The opening reception begins Friday, June 30, at 5:30 p.m. The exhibit will be up at The Center in Ketchum through August 26, 2017.

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