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Ray King's Glass, Bill Carman's Glasses

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Real estate developers don't often invest the time and money it takes to commission public art for their buildings. But Rafanelli and Nahas--from the Boise Plaza (formerly the Boise Cascade building)--did, and then took it to a whole new level. They hired an art consultant out of San Francisco to come up with a list of seven well-known public artists, and then flew all of them to Boise and paid them to develop site-specific installation proposals. Out of the seven, Rafanelli and Nahas ultimately selected renowned Philadelphia-based sculptor Ray King.

King's work utilizes glass and light to create hanging, wall-mounted and free-standing geometric sculptural pieces that refract into various colorful patterns depending on the viewer's position.

King has spent more than 20 years in the public art world, showing work internationally in England, Japan, France, Spain and Italy, and has pieces hanging in the Museum of Contemporary Crafts in New York City and the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.

On Thursday, Sept. 16, King will give an artist's talk co-sponsored by the City of Boise Department of Arts and History, and Rafanelli and Nahas, at the Boise Plaza on 1111 W. Jefferson St. King will speak on his new project Aqua--his first in Idaho--which will involve 106 stainless steel cables and 2,144 two-inch, dichroic glass squares running from floor to atrium in the Boise Plaza.

King will speak from 5:30-7 p.m. and refreshments will be provided. For more info on King, visit rayking.nu. For further questions about the talk, call Karen Bubb at 208-433-5677 or email kbubb@cityofboise.org.

Speaking of colorful glass, a number of illustrator Bill Carman's new pieces at Basement Gallery include swirly art nouveau-ish eyewear. Works like Elegant Eyeware Specialist, which depicts a wispy, white-haired tea drinker in a suit and tie peering through multi-lensed spectacles, and Granny Devil, a horned creature with purple lips and a shiny, purple monocle, demonstrate a steam-punkish aesthetic. Other themes Carman plays with in his new show include tall top hats and walking trees. Carman's new exhibit is on display at Basement Gallery through Saturday, Oct. 16.

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