SVMoA Wine Auction Raises more than $1 Million for Arts Education

The 40th anniversary of the event welcomed 350 attendees during the nonprofit’s 50th anniversary celebration

Photos by Dev Khalsa Photography

Sun Valley Museum of Art (SVMoA) raised more than $1 million for arts education during its Wine Auction event July 19–23. More than 350 attendees, vintners, chefs, and supporters gathered to celebrate and support the arts.

Lg 8

“Arts education for local students and adults has been a through line at SVMoA for five decades,” said Artistic Director Kristin Poole. “The generosity of vintners and auction attendees has helped enable this important work for most of that history, including awarding to date over $1 million in scholarships to area students and educators to advance their artistic pursuits. We are so grateful.”

Dk 210721 7757

The reimagined weekend featured the Inaugural River Ranch Wine Walk where patrons strolled from home to home along the Big Wood River tasting hard-to-come-by vintages from Napa, Sonoma, Walla Walla and Willamette.

Dev Khalsa Assist

Thursday night’s Vintner Dinner Series was one for the books—vintners and chefs pulled out all the stops delivering intimate food and wine experiences in private homes and restaurants up and down the valley.


Trail Creek, the venue for Friday night’s Auction, was a timely nod to SVMoA’s roots and its beginnings 50 years ago. Founder Glenn Janss took to the stage and reminded attendees that, “the purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” (Pablo Picasso) 


Scholarship recipient Jimmy Avila read an excerpt from his award-winning essay prompted by The Alliance of Idaho and SVMoA’s writing competition: That Time I Knew I Belonged.

Dk 210721 7798

His performance, as well as Ashlie Pulleiro Prada’s vocal performance, earned a standing ovation and inspired $577,000+ in the Raise the Paddle for Art —$25,000 of which was a match by Paddle Raise Sponsor and longtime Wine Auction partner Wells Fargo Private Bank.

The evening ended with a full moon over Baldy and guests dancing to the jazz influenced Sammy Miller and The Congregation. 

Dev Khalsa Assist 

“This year’s more relaxed, intimate approach honored the auction’s beginning as a picnic among friends,” said SVMoA Development Director Peter Burke. “It was a humbling and gratifying week of reconnecting supporters who’ve dedicated so much to Sun Valley Museum of Art, the tradition of the Sun Valley Wine Auction and this community over the years. Thank you to all of the vintners, patrons, hosts, volunteers and community partners without whom the event would not be possible.”

Dev Khalsa Assist

Dollars raised enable SVMoA’s year-round arts programming, including many visits to local schools where students and teachers interact with visiting artists and musicians. Wine auction gifts also make it possible for Blaine County students to visit The Museum to experience and discuss the art on exhibition and engage in hands-on projects. School tours have grown in popularity every year, attracting K-12 students from across Blaine County and beyond.

Hp Wine Auction 12 1

In addition to SVMoA’s annual local student and educator scholarships, part of this year’s Wine Auction Paddle Up for Art will fund a new scholarship for a college-bound local student. The Kaslo/Hardy Scholarship will be developed in conjunction with local educators and provide a deserving student with  $5,000 to attend an advanced education opportunity of their choice. Wine Auction gifts also allow for the growth of after-school, teen, and Spanish offerings in response to community need. 

Dk 210721 7478

“After a year where we all felt acutely the loss of those filling-of-the-soul-moments that occur when we share the experience of live music together, or watch theatre, or wander a museum with friends, it is nothing short of joyous to know that we will be able to deliver arts programs to this community again,” continued Poole. “We are so excited to see students again and have an outstanding line up of exhibitions and music residencies, films and classes planned for all ages. We are very grateful that this generous community has chosen to dig deep to enable this work. “ 

Categories: Events