Tuesday, July 27, 2021
‘Night Sky’ Takes Its Place on Garage Doors
Youngsters show their enthusiasm for the art, which covers an 8-by-18-foot door and two 9-by-8-foot doors.
Sunday, July 11, 2021


The City of Ketchum has turned manhole covers into works of art, wrapped 23 utility boxes in art and covered three of Sun Valley Resort’s gondola cars in art.

Now the city has endowed three garage doors with art at its recreation center in Atkinson Park.

Mayor Neil Bradshaw cut the ribbon this week on “Night Sky,” a cover art installation commissioned by the Ketchum Art Commission.

The yurts provide a cozy feeling, said Courtney Gilbert, former chair of the Ketchum Arts Commission.

“As an architect, anything you can put on buildings that’s going to stay awhile piques my interest,” said Caleb Spangenberger, chair of the Ketchum Arts Commission.

The art is the work of Boise illustrator and animator Ben Konkol, who was selected by jurors from more than 20 artists. Since earning a BFA in Illustration at Boise State University, he has created art for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Scientific American and Blue Diamond Almonds.

His work on three doors of the Terry Tracy Recreation Center add to the scenery of the area at the base of Bald Mountain, while celebrating the mountain landscape of the region. It also pays homage to Ketchum’s designation as a Dark Sky Community and part of the nation’s first International Dark Sky Reserve—one of 13 in the world.

One panel salutes Baldy; another, the White Clouds Mountains, and still another, the Sawtooth Mountains. Tiny yurts signify the human presence on the land. Above, in the night sky is a bear, ram and other animals emblematic of the constellations.

Youngsters assist Mayor Neil Bradshaw in the ribbon cutting.

The work is similar to the illustrations in a storybook—the animals giving kids a chance to come up with their own stories, said Courtney Gilbert, who recently stepped down as chair of the Ketchum Arts Commission.

“Ben spends a lot of time backpacking in the Sawtooths,” she said. “He created a winter scene, but he didn’t want it to be stark white. So, he gave it a blueish color similar to the blueish tint snow takes on at night.”

While garage door art is certainly not traditional, it fulfills the Ketchum Arts Commission’s desire to put art in front of the public.

“Hundreds of school kids will get to see this every day,” said Gilbert, noting the doors’ proximity to Hemingway STEAM School and the City of Ketchum’s afterschool programs and summer camps.

Aries the Ram is one of 88 constellations in the night sky.

As a matter of fact, one group of youngsters—part of the city’s summer camp program--got to take place in the ribbon cutting. The kids counted down with the mayor, chanting “3-2-1” as Bradshaw snipped the red ribbon with his giant scissors.

“I like the bear!” exclaimed one boy.

“Ben did an awesome job,” said Camp Counselor Julia Mace. “The kids really like it—they enjoy identifying the animals. And some can identify the mountains they’ve been on.”

Ursa Major, which means “the great bear,” is the third largest constellation in the sky, its brightest stars forming part of the Big Dipper.

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