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Ketchum Children Offer Their ‘Stay Sunny’ Depictions
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Thursday, July 21, 2022
 

Editor’s Note: Ketchum’s Big Hole at the town’s southern entrance has been a Big Eyesore for a couple years. But, thankfully, a few have tried to mitigate the effect with messages and art, starting with a sign that proclaimed “Future Site of Trump Towers” and Visit Sun Valley’s “Stay Sunny” messages.

You may have wondered who the newest artists are who have brightened that corner. Here’s their story:

STORY AND PHOTOS BY SARAH MANSFIELD

It all started when a concerned Ketchum citizen, Tim Mascheroni, Owner of Mascheroni Design/Build, reached out to Ketchum Mayor Neil Bradshaw about covering up the hole across from the Limelight Hotel as you enter town. Visit Sun Valley hosted a giant mural there during the summer and fall of 2021. However, it had to be taken down once the snow fell and it started to show wear.

 
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Upon receiving this request, Mayor Bradshaw reached out to the team at Visit Sun Valley to see if they would be interested in being part of the project to cover up the hole once again.

“We jumped right on the opportunity to work with this community member and the city to create a banner welcoming locals, visitors, and newcomers alike to Ketchum,” said Scott Fortner, executive director of Visit Sun Valley. “The Stay Sunny campaign messaging was a perfect fit for this partnership.”

Mascheroni and his wife, Cynthia, had one request this time around: Incorporate children’s artwork.

“We loved this idea,” Fortner said. “Stay Sunny has taken several iterations and partnered with various events and businesses around town. But, up to that point, we hadn’t involved children from the community.”

 
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The next step involved finding a group of children that wanted to be involved with the project. Sarah Mansfield, Marketing Coordinator for VSV, knew about the afterschool program that the City of Ketchum’s Parks & Recreation Department ran.

“I thought it could be a great match. We could add to the programming while educating the children and city employees about the Stay Sunny campaign,” she said. “I reached out to Sarah Leath, Youth Recreation coordinator for the City, and the idea took off.”

Fortner’s wife Susie, a retired art teacher, helped create a lesson plan, asking each child to paint their interpretation of what Stay Sunny meant to them. Visit Sun Valley provided the supplies, including the paint and 12-by-12-inch canvasses, while the kids supplied their creativity for two days after school.

“I’m always looking for creative ways to engage the kids after school,” Leath said. “It was fun to see the kids get so excited about the project and seeing their pride in our community.”

Leath and Mansfield asked the children: “What does ‘Stay Sunny’ mean to you?”

They got responses varying from “The Elkhorn pool,” to “happiness and kind people.”

Ketchum business, Blueprinting, Inc., helped scan the canvasses in high resolution and then passed them off to local graphic designer Kate Elgee to digitally create the banner. Windy City Arts produced the banner and waived the installation cost as a donation to Visit Sun Valley and the City of Ketchum. This banner was a true community effort, that included the support of the Harriman Hotel, LLC and key members Jack Bariteau and Andy and Jerry Blank and their family office.

And their payment? On Monday Visit Sun Valley hosted an ice cream social with some of the children and Mayor Bradshaw as a thank you for their effort and support in creating the banner.

 

 

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