Boise & Garden City

Boise’s cultural ambassador links the city to people globally. Here’s the newest one

Van Dyck champions local artists, adds a new fine art gallery to Downtown Boise

Randy Van Dyck introduces his new fine art gallery to a visitor at Capitol Contemporary Gallery in Downtown Boise in January featuring local artists.
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Randy Van Dyck introduces his new fine art gallery to a visitor at Capitol Contemporary Gallery in Downtown Boise in January featuring local artists.

Boise-based Ming Studios supports artists from around the globe, host exhibits and encourages artists to speak to the community about their work. Come fiscal year 2020, the studio will have another role: cultural ambassador for the city of Boise.

Mayor David Bieter announced Tuesday that Ming would serve as Boise’s cultural ambassador starting Oct. 1. The role is designed to create a connection with cities across the globe.

“Ming Studios embodies the concept of ‘ambassador’ and will be a stellar representative and supporter of our city’s unique culture everywhere they go,” Bieter said in a news release. “We are fortunate to have Ming Studios in our city and applaud them for their ambitious work.”

Ambassadors share Boise’s “cultural and creative community with other cities,” according to the release. Ming Studios brings in artists from across the U.S. and across the world. Past cultural ambassadors include Treefort Music Festival, the Idaho Shakespeare Festival and the Velma V. Morrison Center for the Performing Arts.

Bieter also named the 2019 recipients of the Mayor’s Awards for Excellence in Arts & History:

The recipient of the Arts award is Randy Van Dyck, known for his acrylic work as well as for Van Dyck Frame Design and Capitol Contemporary Gallery in Downtown Boise.

The history award went to the Idaho Black History Museum, which aims to “build bridges between cultures to explore issues that affect Americans of all cultures and ethnicity,” according to its website.

The lifetime achievement award was given to Tom Tompkins, once the principal violist for the Boise Philharmonic. Tompkins, who grew up in Boise and attended Borah High School, plays several other instruments. He has played with a variety of artists, including Moody Blues and several traveling shows that needed an orchestra.

“Their earnest and tenacious efforts strengthen our community, and by extension, our connection to one another,” Bieter said in a release.

The recipients will be honored at a free public ceremony at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 5, at City Hall Plaza.

Since the award’s inception in 1986, more than 100 people and organizations have been recognized. Recipients “must have demonstrated distinguished service, creative accomplishment, or other work to benefit the artistic, historic, and broader cultural life of Boise,” according to the release.

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Hayley covers local government for the Idaho Statesman with a primary focus on Boise. Previously, she worked for the Salisbury Daily Times, the Hartford Courant, the Denver Post and McClatchy’s D.C. bureau. Hayley graduated from Ohio University with degrees in journalism and political science.If you like seeing stories like this, please consider supporting our work with a digital subscription to the Idaho Statesman.
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