Every three years the Boise Art Museum gives Idaho art and artists a focused contemporary exhibit. Like those shows before it, the 2017 Idaho Triennial gives an impression of what artists in the Gem State are inspired by, working on and moving toward.
This snapshot of Idaho art is filtered through the eyes of an independent, out-of-state juror, so each triennial exposes a different perspective on what’s happening.
This time around the juror is John D. Spiak, director and chief curator of the Grand Central Art Center at California State University, Fullerton, in Santa Ana, Calif. His interest in how art and community intersect offers an interesting slice of Idaho art featured this year.
Spiak selected 41 pieces by 24 of the 180 artists who entered. He will be in Boise for the Feb. 18 opening to decide the cash awards.
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This Triennial shines a light on the growth and development of the Boise State University art department. Eighteen of the 24 Triennial artists earned degrees from Boise State or serve on its faculty.
Jill AnnieMargaret, Caroline Earley, John Francis and Lily Martina Lee are professors; Brooke Burton and John McMahon are adjunct instructors; Jessie Proska and Troy Passey are former adjuncts; and Pete Kutchins works as BSU’s sign shop supervisor. Eight more are BSU alumni, and one — Inna Raw — is a student.
“It’s really exciting to see,” says Kathleen Keys, who heads the BSU art department. “It’s great to see our artists having an influence.”
Boise State added a master’s in fine arts program in 1993. “Since then we’ve been growing and expanding by adding teachers and mediums to keep up with changing technology,” Keys said.
The effort is also reflected in the number of BSU artists who are working in contemporary facets of art, such as digital mediums.
Another insight the show offers is how Idaho artists are keeping pace with their peers in the region and the nation. This collection says something about art in Idaho and the Northwest, but it also speaks to what’s happening around the world, Spiak says.
“Art will be influenced by where you live, but that doesn’t mean artists in Idaho don’t make work that’s within the global dialogue. They do,” he says. “I looked for work that progresses the field forward. I was looking for things I haven’t seen before, ideas that are challenging the concepts and realities of the current art world.”
For the 2017 Triennial, the museum created an Artist Lab program within the show.
Triennial artists will be given a space to explore new ideas and interact with visitors. You can watch the artists work and even participate in the creative process.
It’s organized into three thematic sessions:
▪ “Time”: Saturday, Feb. 18, to Sunday, March 26, with Goran Fazil from 3 to 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays; and Bryan Anthony Moore from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.
▪ “Still Life”: Saturday, April 1, to Sunday, May 21, with Burton from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Fridays; and Geoffrey Krueger from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursdays.
▪ “Fiber” will go from Saturday, May 27, to Sunday, July 16, featuring Kutchins from noon to 4 p.m. Saturdays; and Lee from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays.
2017 Idaho Triennial
Saturday, Feb. 18, through Sunday, July 16, 670 S. Julia Davis Drive. Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays, noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. $6 general, $4 seniors, $3 grades 1-12 and full-time college. Free for 5 and younger and members. Admission by donation on First Thursday. 345-8330, BoiseArtMuseum.org.
Opening reception: 5:30 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18. $10 general, free for members.
2017 Triennial artists
Ceramics: Caroline Earley.
Mixed media: Thomas Finnegan, Pete Kutchins, Rachel Lambert, Lily Martina Lee, Troy Passey, Milica Popović, Jessie Proksa, Reba Robinson, and Lianne Wappett.
New media: J. Casey Doyle, Goran Fazil, Chad Seelig and John McMahon.
Painting: Ashley Carlson, Geoffrey Krueger, Bryan Anthony Moore and Rena Vandewater.
Photography: Brooke Burton, John Francis, Lawrence Manning and Inna Raw.
Works on paper: Braxton Duncan and Jill AnnieMargaret.