Boise's contemporary artists are familiar with closed doors. With the frustration in finding venues willing to exhibit their works, rebuffed by local galleries and unable to afford permanent show space, the starving artist cliche acquires a down-home meaning.
It seems that Boise might be due for something new. No. 2 Productions, by bringing together both local and regional up and coming artists, performers and musicians, are offering A Contemporary Art Exhibit as a showcase for experiencing the most contemporaneous of the contemporaries.
As a company, No. 2 Productions doesn't, at first, seem to fit the bill. Its founders include Cody Brown and Carrie Quinney. No. 2 Productions is first and foremost a production company-one that happens to have been created by artists who began producing what seemed most familiar to them: art shows. As artists, the duo agrees that Boise has little to offer them. In their grant proposal to the city, they claim that they "seek to provide an alternative experience from what one would expect to find in the local galleries, namely on First Thursday." They assert that "by producing these exhibitions we are providing the means for many artists who would otherwise go unrecognized to show work to the public, and for the public to experience something new each time."
Quinney and Brown hosted an exhibit in early July. "We found that it was this gathering together of all of these people in Boise, who go out on First Thursday, looking for art, but are really being forced to settle for a lot of work which is not very exciting, or borders more on the 'crafty side,'" says Brown. "I don't want to give the impression that this is 'sub-par' or that there is anything elitist about us, but we really feel like Boise is lacking in something which a lot of people are really craving," Quinney adds. "We're dedicated to doing this, it's a lot of work, but a lot of fun, and there is definitely a need in the community." She says, "We don't want Boiseans to get bored with art!"
Though Brown and Quinney are both graduates of Boise State, their respective art shares little similarities. Quinney's experimental photography strives "to tell a story." She says, "When I see things, they make a little film in my head so I try to convey that with my photos." Her use of alternative cameras and lenses gives her images an edgy quality. On the other hand, Brown's current focus is on "found art," or as one may jest, "dumpster diving." Brown says, "For this next show, I am working on illustrative pieces which examines relationships, and the different ways that we are connected together." He ponders and says, "Basically, I've been thinking a lot about how our experiences are similar to one another's."
The show includes several artists with varying styles. Artist Sam Luque, whose artistic origins go as far back as second grade drawings of He-Man, says, "Boise has a vibrant art scene that needs an organized creative outlet like the one being offered by No. 2 Productions." Luque says his experiences with Boise's alternative art scene have been refreshing and, of his work in the show, he wants to demonstrate that, "art can transcend verbal communication, and it can unite."
Rick Walter, another of the show's exhibitors, insists that Boise needs to get away from insincere, shallow art and gravitate more toward events that aren't consumed by prestige or price tag. Walter (who claims everything he learned about art he learned from criminals) says, "I paint what I like, whether it's about the color, the shape, skill, feeling ... it depends on my mood." Walter's most recent avian paintings are both captivating and eerily startling. In these works particularly, Walter seems to focus his mood on skill, and each work is meticulously detailed.
Surrealist painter Karelia Dubkowski says, "My art is threaded with vibrant color and I embrace the chance to exploit the brilliance of it in my paintings." Dubkowski contends that "the more contemporary artists are overlooked because for the most part this is not the type of art that sells in the Boise market." But she also says, "this will be a good opportunity to bring something different to First Thursday."
In addition to unique art, the event will also host to a number of Boise's premiere musical and spoken-word performances. On First Thursday, enjoy the spoken word of Jeanne Huff and nationally recognized slam poet Cheryl Maddalena. The First Thursday event also features the performance art of Tim Andreae and ends with a set from local band Pussygutt.
A Contemporary Art Exhibit opens Wednesday, August 31 and runs through Saturday, September 3rd from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. On First Thursday, September 1, the show is open until 11 p.m. It is located at 855 W. Broad St. (below Ha' Penny Irish Pub and Grill) and will also feature the art of Bob Neal, Grant Olsen, Colleen Debolin, Jessica Luque, Ted Walker and more.
For information on upcoming No. 2 Productions events, e-mail Quinney or Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.