Magic Valley Arts Scene in Twin Falls, ID
Just one glimpse of the natural beauty of Southern Idaho makes it easy to see why an artist would find inspiration here. Arts events and strong community support bring the vibrant Magic Valley art scene into sharp focus.
Accomplished painter Joyce DeFord is a member of and instructor for the Magic Valley Arts Council, a founding member of the Plein Air Painters of Idaho, a Merit Signature member of the Idaho Watercolor Society and a Twin Falls native. Here, she paints as a sort of documentation.
“The Magic Valley is just full of beautiful, gorgeous places to paint,” she says. “I have always wanted to [be seen] as a great chronicler of life the way it was in Magic Valley.”
Twin Falls Center for the Arts
DeFord teaches plein air (painting on location), as well as watercolor classes, at the Magic Valley Arts Council’s facility: Twin Falls Center for the Arts. In addition to classroom space, the center has rotating art exhibits, an auditorium for performances, an outdoor plaza, and is home to Elevation 486 – a full-service restaurant – and the Full Moon Gallery – a co-op of local artists.
“We have this beautiful building that was dreamed of for many, many years … built right on the rim of the canyon.The view is spectacular,” DeFord says. “The community really came together to raise enough money to build this incredible facility.”
Visual Arts Events
The Arts Council collaborates with the Art Guild of Magic Valley to put on Art & Soul of the City – Magic Valley Has Art, a remarkably successful visual arts competition in its fourth year in 2014. Art & Soul of the City awarded $30,000 in prizes in 2013.
Art Hoag, who spearheaded the initial event, says he was motivated by the economic potential. Local businesses pay to display an artist’s work and artists pay an entry fee to participate. Community members then visit businesses to see the art and vote for their favorites.
“Everybody in the community becomes engaged,” Hoag says. “It’s a really positive and uplifting event.”
The Art Guild also hosts Art in the Park, a juried fine art and crafts show that’s been held in downtown Twin Falls every July for more than 50 years. DeFord has been a regular participant there and at the Snake River Paint-Out in Buhl each June.
Performing Arts Thrive in Southern Idaho
For Dr. George Halsell, it was the 100-plus-year history of the Twin Falls Municipal Band that helped inspire him to make the Magic Valley home.
“One of the first things that attracted me to Twin Falls when I was interviewing for the position at CSI was the Municipal Band. I thought, ‘Wow, this is so cool.’” Halsell says.
The band performs 10 concerts in the Twin Falls City Park each season under a band shell that’s been there since the 1920s. The Magic Valley Symphony does four subscription concerts per year. In 2009, it premiered a symphony composed and directed by Halsell.
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