Sun Valley Museum of Art Gardens: Collaborations with Nature through August 20, 2022

A BIG IDEA project

Ketchum, Idaho—the home of Sun Valley Museum of Art (SVMoA)—is a town surrounded by vast areas of wilderness. This BIG IDEA project considers natural spaces that are in many ways the inverse of wilderness: gardens, where people collaborate with nature to shape or transform it in some way. Gardens are also places that transform those who experience them, whether as gardener or visitor.

Through a museum exhibition, panel discussion, lectures, tours, and films, Gardens: Collaborations with Nature uses the ideas of nature as collaborator, nature as curator, and nature managed as lenses through which to view the role of gardens in our lives. How do gardens inspire and express artistic creativity? How do they offer solace and joy, changing our human experience of the natural world? How do flora and human beings work together as partners in the creation of garden spaces? Four artists respond to gardens as spaces in which we manage and collaborate with nature—and nature, in turn, transforms us.

Sarah Jones

Based in Missoula, Montana, Sarah Jones uses gardens and flowers as tools for exploring ideas about what is ephemeral and what often goes unnoticed in our world. Jones’s installation for this exhibition includes recent paintings of flowers made with white paint on white fabric, suspended from the ceiling of The Museum’s project room like a hanging garden, immersing viewers as they move through the space. These quiet works reflect Jones’ interest in “the things that are barely there, the traceries and stains left behind by the subject, the residues.”

Katy Stone

Several years ago, Seattle-based artist Katy Stone visited SVMoA as an artist-in-residence and spent time making small installations in the gardens at The Museum’s Hailey House. Working with painted Mylar, sequins, and other materials, she collaborated with flowers and plants to create temporary artworks that invite viewers to look closely as they discover her subtle interventions. Stone is creating new interventions in the flowerbeds outside The Museum. Visitors can enjoy them as they evolve throughout the course of the exhibition, which also features photographs of Stone’s works in Hailey.

Ana Maria Hernando

Denver-based artist Ana Maria Hernando spent time in the Wood River Valley in the summer of 2021, visiting a variety of gardens and leading a community workshop and film screening. She returns for this exhibition to install a large-scale textile work made in response to her residency. Working with materials like tulle and organza, Hernando creates sculptural works and installations that evoke lush gardens, immersing viewers in the colors and textures of fantastical flora. The exhibition also includes a floor piece and recently made prints. Hernando works with a range of collaborators, from the cloistered Argentinean nuns who cut and sew pieces of fabric incorporated into her installations to the Peruvian women whose handmade petticoats Hernando often uses in her sculptures.

Jil Weinstock

Based in New York, Jil Weinstock has spent the past two years creating a body of work she calls Unwanted Collaborators, using plant life, fabric, thread, paper, and rubber to explore the relationship between the natural and the artificial. Her delicate, painstakingly made works invite viewers to consider how humans, from the plant’s point of view, might be “unwanted collaborators,” while those who garden know the challenge of keeping weeds and other invaders from disrupting the gardener’s work.


191 5th Street East | Ketchum