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Gallery Walk Features ‘Neurotically Meticulous’ Paintings and Ben’s Beg, Borrow and Steele
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Thursday, December 29, 2022
 

BY KAREN BOSSICK

Contemporary artist Ben Steele, whose whimsical art begs viewers to smile and get downright nostalgic,  is back at Friesen+Lantz for the gallery’s final exhibition of its inaugural 2022 season.

Steele, who lives and works in the artist’s colony at Helper, Utah, will receive fans at the gallery at First Avenue and Sun Valley Road during the New Year’s Gallery Walk from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 30. Art lovers can enjoy complimentary wine and beer while perusing Steele’s “Beg, Borrow & Steele” exhibition. And Funkhauzen will play a DJ set.

Steele utilizes the processes of the old masters in his work, which includes still life, portrait and landscape melding art history and pop culture references. A photo of an old “Sun Valley Coffee” can purportedly made by the Pioneer Mountain Co. shows a picture of Pioneer Cabin while a plane overhead tows the iconic sign “The higher you get, the higher you get.”

“Building this exhibition as a diverse experience, from dabbling in sculptural work to developing a multi-piece interpretation of Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup through the lenses of some of my favorite artists and art styles,” said Steele. “Getting to study and emulate the style and craft of these images throughout my career has brought me immense purpose. And I think that getting to recontextualize these works, as other artists have done before me, allows for them to continue to exist in other forms. Otherwise, they could disappear quietly into an Oligarch’s private collection or be only available to those who can visit them in the Louvre.

“I hope that this exhibition is truly an example of begging and borrowing but mostly Steele-ing,” he added.

  • Gilman Contemporary, 661 Sun Valley Road, will feature an exhibition titled “Deck Your Walls.” The group exhibition will offer a sneak peek at upcoming summer exhibitions showcasing art by Carmen McNall and Mayme Kratz. And it will include gallery newcomers Matt Duffin and Ghislain Brown-Kossi.

    Duffin explores such themes as solitude and irony in his “neurotically meticulous” moody encaustic wax paintings, using the stark contrast of extreme light and shadow to create works that are simultaneously dark and humorous.

    Brown-Kossi, an archaeological pop artist who grew up near Paris, seeks to communicate a universal language through symbolism and abstract design forms in art that reflects the heritage of his family, which hailed from the Ivory Coast.

    Other featured artists include Sun Valley artist Jill Lear, Brazilian artist Thai Mainhard and Hunt Slonem, whose work graces such collections as the Guggenheim Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

  • Kneeland Gallery, 271 First Avenue N., will feature Hailey native Caleb Meyer’s landscapes showcasing the rugged beauty of the Northwest. Meyer, a graduate of Boise State, apprenticed under Idaho artist Robert Moore and he has emulated Moore’s passion for layering oils to create vibrant, somewhat abstract, landscapes.

    Meyer will be joined by Montana artist Mark Gibson whose formal architecture training influences the architectural forms of the teepees that characterize his work. Also, Lori McNee, a former Sun Valley artist now living in Hagerman who will feature images of birds and landscapes.

  • Gail Severn Gallery, 400 N. 1st Ave., is showing a solo exhibition of Michael Gregory’s new oil paintings, which depict the iconic American landscape with barns and silos set on a terrain where space seems infinite. His paintings hearken back to another time, yet are strikingly contemporary.

    The gallery is also offering a preview of 2023 exhibitions, which will include works by Laura McPhee, Hung Liu, Rana Rochat, Kathy Moss, Betsy Margolius, Marcia Myers, Diane Andrews Hall, Don and Era Farnsorth, Jun Kaneko and others.

  • Hemmings Gallery, 340 Walnut Ave., will feature the work of former Sun Valley artist Deborra Marshall lBohrer. Bohrer will be present at the grand opening of the gallery.

    “Ed and Glin have an incredible vision and background for fine art, and it’s a privilege to be part of their gallery, especially in the company of the Hemmings Gallery artists,” said Bohrer.

    Bohrer loves nature and it shows in her work, which has become more abstract over the years. She featured an elegant sandhill crane as part of her “Elegance of Flight series. Her “Secrets from the Hidden Garden” features a look into the lives of those who live among us. She dove into what lies beneath the surface in her “Essence of Water” series, which featured big bold red salmon.

    Her work will be on exhibition in several upcoming shows at Art Fairs of New York, Santa Fe 2023 and online for the Marin Society of Artists FRESH ART 2022 exhibition through Jan. 22, 2023.

  • Sun Valley Museum of Art, Fifth and Washington streets, is hosting an open house and celebratory toast for alumni who received scholarships to pursue workshops in art and music. Those in attendance will get the chance to see artwork done for “Dams: Reservoirs, Reclamation, Renewal.” The exhibition will conclude at the end of the Gallery Walk.

    A new exhibition, “The Color of Sound,” will open Jan. 13.

  • MESH Gallery, 4th and Leadville Avenue, will show Jeffrey Lubeck’s photographs of Sun Valley and Sawtooth Mountain landscapes, along with a few images taken in the aftermath of this past summer’s Ross Fork Fire, which threatened to decimate the town of Smiley Creek.

Broschofsky Galleries, 360 East Avenue, features Western pop from such artists as Billy Schenck, along with classic scenes from photographers like David Yarrow.

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