If you somehow missed the barrage of memos, articles and events revolving around Boise-based outsider artist James Castle during the month of April, this update is for you: The James Castle House in the Collister Neighborhood, once home to the artist and now boasting a museum of his work, gift shop, artist in residence program and potential arts event venue, is open and taking visitors. We were lucky enough to get a sneak peak at the house and neighboring shed, Castle's second home that continues to pose preservation challenges, before the ribbon cutting ceremony April 28. We were intrigued by what we found.
According to Rachel Reichert, Cultural Sites Manager for Boise City Department of Arts and History, the renovation of the home became something akin to an archaeological dig through Castle's history, and resulted in a beautiful, spare space full of Castle's spit-and-charcoal drawings and nods to the house's construction.
"It's an amazing, deep dive into early architecture," Reichert said.
Regardless of how you feel about Castle as an artist (his work is something of an acquired taste), a trip to his home and a glimpse into his way of life is worth the stop.