Emerging artists from Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming were invited to submit artwork for consideration, and 36 artworks by 27 artists were selected from nearly 300 entries. The exhibition opens today and runs through Monday, Feb. 25, at the Visual Arts Center in Gallery 2 in the Hemingway Western Studies Center at Boise State.
The opening reception is Friday, Jan. 28, from 6-8 p.m.; awards will be announced at 7 p.m.
Spurred by the need to creatively fund the exhibition program, as well as a desire to do something different, "Fresh Air" is the first of its kind at Boise State's Visual Arts Center, according to Gallery Director Kirsten Furlong.
“In many ways we are so geographically isolated here in the West that it’s hard to connect with visual artists in other areas. We don’t often get the chance to share work or ideas or have conversations about our art,” said Furlong, explaining her notion behind creating "Fresh Air."
She required all of the work to have been created in the past two years and decided that the definition of an emerging artist is someone who began actively practicing as an artist within the past 10 years.
Furlong enlisted Sun Valley curator Courtney Gilbert to act as guest juror. Gilbert spent hours studying the digital images for all 300 entries, ultimately narrowing it down to the 36 pieces that would create a cohesive exhibition and fit in the gallery space provided. From large-scale sculpture to paintings to textiles to photography, the exhibition is a glimpse into some of the most compelling contemporary artwork being created by newcomers in the Western art region today.
The Visual Arts Center—Gallery 2, Hemingway Western Studies Center is at Boise State, 1819 University Drive. Gallery hours are Mon.-Thu. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Fri. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Admission is FREE.