Last call for Boise’s Modern Art exhibition

More than 60 artists took over The Modern Hotel and Bar for Modern Art on Thursday, May 2, 2013.
More than 60 artists took over The Modern Hotel and Bar for Modern Art on Thursday, May 2, 2013. Idaho Statesman file

After nine years, The Modern Hotel and Bar put out its final call to artists for its annual Modern Art event. Deadline is March 7.

The Modern, known for its popular bar and restaurant, gives over 34 of its rooms, plus alcoves, balconies, patio and parking lot space to artists — both visual and performing — to create intriguing installations and performances on the First Thursday in May. (This year’s will be on Thursday, May 5.)

It’s a hugely popular community happening, with between about 1,000 and more than 3,000 people showing up each year, rain or shine.

The immediate reason for the move is that curator Kerry Tullis — who has been involved every year — is moving with her family just outside of New York City.

Her husband Rich, Modern owner Elizabeth Tullis’ brother, recently took a new position at Hachette Book Group, where he has worked for years from Boise. His new position requires relocation.

It comes at the right time, Kerry Tullis says.

“There’s always a serious conversation after each year about whether or not to do it again,” she says.

Each year it gets harder to justify the hours of preparation and recovery, and closing hotel rooms for the night. And with the addition of event such as Treefort Music Fest, which happens Wednesday, March 23 trough Sunday, March 27, the need of space for creative expression isn’t as crucial.

“We’ll be trying serve the community in a different way, now,” says Tullis, who plans to stay connected to the hotel and to Boise. “We’ll always get involved in the arts and in the community and we’re looking forward to what else we can do to support it.”

This year, Kerry and Elizabeth are hoping that some of the artists who made the event special, and who have backed away in recent years, will return and bring back the original spirit, Kerry Tullis says.

It’s too early in the process to tell, “but there will be some good surprises,” Tullis promises.

Download a submission form at You must mail or deliver the application to the front desk, 1314 W. Grove St., Boise, by 5 p.m. Monday, March 7.

Artist pay between $90 to $125 for their rooms.

Watch a video from 2014:

Modern Art: 5-10 p.m. Thursday, May 5, The Modern Hotel and Bar, 1314 W. Grove St., Boise. Free.