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New Gallery Openings

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Husband and wife, R.C. Hink and Lynn Toneri, are no strangers to the Valley art scene. If you drive on Sun Valley Road, you can’t miss the huge fluorescent flamingo in scarlet cowboy boots which has beckoned art collectors into the couple’s vivid gallery for some years now. Deciding to add their unique flair to the South Valley, Toneri and Hink opened a second gallery in Hailey last spring.

Toneri—a striking redhead whose artwork reflects her personal “color”—tells me that the second gallery was a consequence of her decision to open their frame shop to the public.

“Donna Payne has been framing for me for 27 years,” she says. “She’s a perfectionist and we felt it was time to share her with the rest of the world.” After making the decision to open the frame shop, the Toneri/Hink duo decided that another small gallery in Hailey wouldn’t be a bad idea.

“Sometimes the local people who live in Hailey don’t want to make the commute up to Ketchum,” says Hink. “We wanted to cater to locals’ busy lives and have them be able to find us in Hailey.”

I ask Toneri what customers can expect from their Hailey location. “We show a taste of what’s popular in the Ketchum gallery” she answers. Without a doubt, that “taste” is extensive.

As well as their own work, Toneri and Hink represent 70 other artists. Included are “two dozen glass blowers as well as a couple of dozen jewelry artists,” says Toneri. The gallery’s jewelry collection is definitely stunning: “Our work is powerful,” continues Toneri. “And we want all the art work to be able to stand out and complement it.”

Toneri and Hink’s own work is certainly splendid and larger than life. Their sense of humor breathes a special kind of vibrancy into their chosen medium, be it Hink’s carved wood furniture or Toneri’s stunning animal paintings. Toneri tells me, “Both our work is inspired by our adventures. We don’t paint or carve anything we haven’t experienced.”

Their experience translates into their work in different ways. Toneri’s animals and landscapes are infused with an ethereal quality. As Hink points out, “Lynn’s paintings are a wonderful stylized interpretive dream of what she has met in real life.”
Toneri agrees, “I like to make things more intense than reality.”

Examples of Toneri’s trademark intensity are richly depicted in her “Yellowstone” series: my particular favorite is Toneri’s “Raven.” “He was so mischievous” she says. “I wanted to glorify his personality in reds and purples.”

As for Hink . . . “I love wood,” he grins. “I want to take it to an art form through humor.” Hink’s sense of humor is revealed in his delightful “ceiling” art (“we are so conditioned not to look up” he says), and his astounding furniture. Hink shows me pictures of some of his loftier pieces: huge, elaborately-carved beds, a cowhide-lined bar, an enormous chair . . . all breathtakingly hand-carved and “finished” with a pair of his signature cowboy boots.
“He’s like I am,” laughs Toneri. “He magnifies things . . . makes them dramatic . . . everything is bigger than life.”

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