Monday, June 1, 2020
Sun Valley Museum of Arts to Open Doors to ‘Free Play,’ Offer Classes
Tucker Nichols’s “Starfield Simulator.” Courtesy: The artist and Gallery 16, San Francisco
Wednesday, May 6, 2020


Sun Valley Museum of Arts hopes to reopen on May 18, giving viewers an in-person view of its new exhibition “Free Play.”

The museum had planned to open the exhibition just as Sun Valley-area residents were ordered to self-isolate at home to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

The Museum will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays beginning May 18, provide the coronavirus situation warrants opening. It has extended “Free Play” from May 22 to July 2.

“Free Play” explores the ways that artists, architects and designers create artistically thoughtful spaces for playful social interaction, recreation and engagement, recognizing the play triggers creativity in people of all ages.

The exhibition was inspired in part by influential 20th century sculptor and furniture designer Isamu Noguchi, who believed in the power of social spaces to unite art and play to build community.

The exhibition includes a selection of his models and drawings for playgrounds, play equipment and toys. And it includes photographs of the Terrain Park features on Sun Valley’s Dollar Mountain that incorporate his theories.

It also features wooden toys by Uruguayan artist Joaquin Torres-Garcia, paintings by his student Gonzalo Fonseca and interactive work by two contemporary artists Tucker Nichols and Matt Sellars. Nichols’s “Starfield Simulator” invites visitors to create their own constellations, while “Boomtown encourages them to build their own sculptural cities.

“We are delighted to reopen The Museum and invite people in to explore the exhibition, ‘Free Play’ that fortuitously is focused on the importance of play,” said SVMoA’s Artistic Director Kristin Poole. “Not only are there wonderful objects and models to see and absorb but there is also art for patrons to literally play with.”

SVMoA will also offer a full slate of summer classes for adults and two kids summer camps. It will kick those off with three Creative Jump-ins for adults: Learning to Draw Field Notes in Nature with Poo Wright Pulliam on May 30 and 31; Capturing the Camas Prairie, an Introduction to Landscape Photography with Alexi Nelson on June 6, and Woven Baskets with Sally Metcalf, June 30-July 2.

The SVMoA will adhere to Centers for Disease Control guidelines and the Governor of Idaho’s orders. Visitors and class participants are asked to wear masks and abide by social distancing recommendations. Anyone who feels ill or who lives with someone who is ill should stay at home. The number of people in program spaces will be limited to ensure safe distancing.

Two late-summer SVMoA concerts—Gregory Alan Isakov and Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals—may proceed, depending on current health guidelines.

SVMOA already cancelled the Steve Miller Band concert scheduled for July 15 and the Sun Valley Wine Auction scheduled for July 16-18.

“While the SVMoA summer looks a bit different this year, we are buoyed by your support, spirit and understanding,” said SVMoA Executive Director Christine Davis Jeffers.




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