Boise Open Studios Collective Organization (BOSCO), a group of local artists who join together to provide a professional network to one another, helps to bridge the gap between artists and the general public. One of the biggest, and best, ways BOSCO goes about this is with their open studios weekends, one of which was this past Saturday and Sunday.
Jerry Hendershot’s spacious pottery studio is in the back of his home. When we walked in, Jerry was throwing a vase-like vessel on his wheel to give a visual representation of questions he was answering about building pots from a local high school art teacher. Various pieces of Hendershot’s earthy works were displayed and for sale for quite reasonable prices — large glossy bowls were around $30 and hefty coffee mugs that hug the hand for $15. Hendershot teaches classes and workshops around town and out of his studio. He showed my young daughters how to cut a hunk of clay and gave them each a piece to squish around and mold in their tiny hands. “Bring the girls by some afternoon and I’ll get them on the wheel,” Hendershot offered as we left. I might just take him up on it.
Located on the Bench behind her 1940s clinker-brick cottage, Lisa Cheney-Jorgensen's studio is a tiny room chock full of inspirational tchotkes and surrounded by lush gardens bursting with their fall harvest. A brightly-colored vintage metal patio set welcomed us with cookies and cider, and Cheney-Jorgensen made us feel right at home, inviting the girls to pick all the raspberries they could eat from her bulging bushes. A graphic designer by trade, Cheney-Jorgensen is also a printmaker, painter, and illustrator. She’s become recently enamored with creating ‘visual journals,’ which are basically painstakingly hand-crafted books filled with drawings, collages, paintings, and written words about simple events in your daily life, like deciding on a Halloween costume. Her visual journals are so masterful, lovely, intricate that they’ve been recently included in a book on the subject and she’s preparing to teach two upcoming workshops in Seattle on creating these books.
Painter Judy Deam's home and studio on Rose Hill was marked by a yellow vintage car with giant window painted lettering signaling the way. We side-stepped rain puddles as we made way down her picturesque drive, stopping to peer at a watercolor painting of a queer-looking clown propped up on an easel. A wrought-iron gate opened into a wonderland of a backyard, complete with whimsical accessories, like a giant fish weathervane made from recycled metal to a miniature wooden replica of a retro Airstream travel trailer hanging in a tree. A rainbow of Fiestaware mugs were positioned neatly on a table with hot coffee waiting alongside ginormous chocolately treats, which, of course, after meeting the artist was our next stop. A tent was set up in the yard, a la Saturday Market-style, to display some of Deam’s past work — bright watercolor paintings of dogs and cats, some interesting clay panels, and works on canvas. It was her recent series of still-life paintings of her quirky collection of old toys that was the most captivating, however. Her studio building was quaint and well-organized, displaying a wall of paints that we were all mesmerized by and windows perfectly positioned to capture the idyllic natural views of her property. Her lovely landscaping also included an arbor complete with ripe grapes, which we were happy to sample. Judy’s husband Dick Deam, also a painter, took us inside the house to show us some of his work, meet their puppies, and even let me ogle their 1930s kitchen restoration, complete with a red formica dinette and glass knobs on the cabinets.
We made our way out through the front yard this time, filled up on the sweetness of BOSCO’s tour — both in our bellies and our art-loving souls. If the inspirational eye candy that is an artist’s studio isn’t enough of a draw to you to BOSCO's open studios weekend, their hospitality, talent, and snacks surely will.