Who, What, Where, Now!
Death to Day Jobs
Ketchum’s Young Creatives
Ochi Gallery perfectly titled its recent show: “Death to Day Jobs.” To begin with, the opening featured six local artists (Charlotte and Chatham Baker, Andy McCabe, Rudi Broschovsky, Aaron Pearson, Tal Roberts) who still have day jobs. Considering the cans of Old Milwaukee, the tank tops and the usual mess of bikes crowding Lewiston Street, the name seemed to fit the audience equally well.
Organized by Chatham and Charlotte Baker, in collaboration with Ochi, as an exhibition of young and local talent, the show embodied sound philosophy: support your passion, whether that’s art or anything else. Wrote artist Aaron Pearson on Ochi’s blog: “I loved painting and drawing when I was little, and never really stopped loving it.” Just as some of us will never stop skiing, making music or writing. So, yeah, “Death to Day Jobs,” said the crowd of bartenders, yuppies, students, resort employees, retail clerks, personal trainers and mechanics --- if only on the weekends. Of course, everyone loved what they saw: show-specific contemporary artwork work from talented young painters and a photographer. But more than that we loved the concept; who doesn’t live by the saying, “No work on a powder day”?
While I’m admittedly unfamiliar with the art world, even in rural Idaho that culture is universally synonymous with wealth and exclusivity. In contrast, “Death to Day Jobs” was a kind of youthful, anti-establishment summons for the art community in Ketchum to broaden itself, to be more inclusive and to support the young artists who lack gallery opportunities. In an interview with Ochi, Chatham explained that “Part of the problem is that ostensibly art in Ketchum feels like it belongs to one economic-class, and that gets under my skin. There should be all types of art in this community.”
Of the nearly 20 art galleries in the Wood River Valley, only Ochi genuinely encourages emerging artists. In speaking with artists at the show I learned that there’s little ground between the prominent (and stubborn) local galleries and the coffee shops. However, “I think most people would be really surprised how large of a young art community already exists in this town,” says Rudi Broschovsky. “There are more artists in this town than non-artists; some just pursue it to a larger degree.” The issue is finding space for those serious artists and avenues for us to support them. Obviously, Ochi is making inroads; the last time I was with a young crowd in an art gallery? The Powder Covers show, also at Ochi.
Don’t let the gallery walks fool you, there is absolutely a scene of young creatives in Ketchum. They’re artisticallydiverse and hard-working. Some of them came out to Ochi as artists or observers, and they all have day jobs.