Saturday, August 8, 2020
Sun Valley Center for the Arts Undergoes Name Change
The show-stopping red circle reinforces the notion that the Sun Valley Museum of Art remains at the center of art in the Wood River Valley.
Wednesday, January 29, 2020


Call it the Sun Valley Center for the Arts no more.

It’s the Sun Valley Museum of Art.

The Sun Valley nonprofit has undergone a rebranding as it heads into its 50th year.

Christine Davis Jeffers said the rebranding should allow for even bigger things on the part of the Sun Valley Museum of Art.

And its leaders will toast its new identity with a bright red reimagined logo, as well as a new website, at 11:45 a.m. today at the museum at Fifth and Washington streets in Ketchum. (The new website is

“Following a comprehensive brand assessment, in-depth strategic planning and thoughtful conversations with our core community, we are excited to announce a new name and redefined identity as Sun Valley Museum of Art,” said the museum’s executive director Christine Davis Jeffers.

The name change will reflect the multidisciplinary arts and educational opportunities SVMoA provides,  Davis Jeffers added. It also speaks to the caliber of the exhibitions. And it should enable the museum to attract even better works because others know it is following best practices.

“For 50 years this organization has been a pioneer in the arts,” said Davis Jeffers. “Our goal is to provide this community with transformative arts experiences. That goal will not change. In fact, it will allow for even more world-class arts opportunities for the valley, state and region. We are blazing an exciting new path in honor of our pioneering origins,”

Kristin Poole said more and more museums are providing programming beyond a collection of things to look at.

Actually, the Sun Valley Center for the Arts has been a museum for 14 years, having received its museum accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums in 2006. The accreditation reflects a professional designation showing the organization follows best practices held by fewer than 5 percent of the museums in the United States.

There are only five accredited museums in Idaho.

SVMoa’s Artistic Director Kristin Poole said she was “so pleased” with the new name as “it communicates who we are.”

“A museum is who we are and who we’ve been for a long time,” she said. “For 50 years we have been using the arts as a means to discovery—using multiple disciplines—with visual arts at the core. We all look to museums to learn, to be surprised, to shift our thinking. As an accredited museum, The Center has been able to provide opportunities for nationally-known artists to do new work. We believe the new name reinforces our work and honors the arts and the community we serve.”

Poole said 21st century museums are not the museums of our parents. Over the last decades, museums have become more audience focused, striving to please communities that expect them to be engaged in their collective life.

“The marble-stepped dusty institutions of the past where ‘preserve and protect’ were curators’ mantras and students were scolded to keep their voices down, hands to their sides, have evolved into lively participatory spaces offering activities for people of all ages. Today’s museums invite inquiry and participation, not passive learning,” said Poole.

The Sun Valley Center for the arts fully embraces that charge to invite inquiry and participation, she added.  The BIG IDEAs approach to programming was developed to explore ideas that are relevant to our time and place, creating opportunities for art to spur connection and dialogue about a variety of subjects including the demise of bees, refugees and mining.

“And in keeping with other forward leaning museums, our approach is not limited to the visual arts,” Poole said, noting the films play readings, lectures and concerts The Center stages to nurture conversation and curiosity.

Like other 21st century museums, The Center presents a multiplicity of voices in programs and finds way to make them accessible to everyone in the community.

“In fact, our commitment to serving this community extends to our decision to remain a free, non-collecting museum so that our focus can be on issues of currency rather than amassing objects. Alleviating the need to acquire, store and display a permanent collection frees up resources to support programming that connects audience to ideas and provides opportunities for artists to do new work,” said Poole.

The non-collecting museum, or kunsthalle, is not a new model, Poole added. It emerged in the 1830s in Europe with the idea that museums that borrow art to show will have more flexibility to respond to ideas and their communities.

Museums that operate this way include Dallas Contemporary, Cincinnati’s Contemporary Arts Center, Philadelphia’s Institute of Contemporary Art and the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Connecticut.

Brand consultants Studio Lodato, Studio Riley and creative agency Red 7 Co. helped develop the museum’s  new identity.

“They created a brand visual that is timeless, sophisticated, flexible and joyful and evoked a sense of place,” said SVMoA Marketing Director Holly Bornemeier. “The red is vibrant, energetic, identifiable and unique to this valley. The continuity of using a circle provides a consistent graphic element from the old logo to the new logo.”

The circle also reinforces the idea that SVMoA will remain at the center of the arts in our community, Bornemeier added.

The nonprofit Sun Valley Museum of Art was founded in 1971. It reaches an annual audience of 40,000 with programming that ranges from Company of Fools professionally-produced theater to K-12 arts education in local schools.


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