Fifteen years ago, Boise Weekly made a decision that has set it apart from most—if not all—alternative weekly newspapers in the country. Rather than devote the front cover to some splashy image illustrating the top story of the week, BW decided to use that space to highlight work by local artists.
It was, and remains, a bold move. Over the years, our colleagues in the alt weekly world have frequently remarked on the policy, wondering how we can attract readers to our print edition without giving them an eye-catching idea of what's inside. To that, we respond, the art itself is eye-catching and adds yet another element of content to the paper.
What's more, the cover art concept serves a community function. Not only do local artists get exposure for their work week after week, but they go home with a portion of proceeds from the sale of their original pieces at our annual Cover Art Auction, which—in case you haven't been paying attention for the past few weeks—is going down Wednesday, Oct. 19 at Jack's Urban Meeting Place (see Picks, Page 7).
Doors open at 5 p.m. and the auction gets under way at 6 p.m. with hand-picked original works by some of the finest artists in our fair city (for a full catalog of works on the block, see Page 13). For $20, attendees will enjoy appetizers and drinks, plus the opportunity to own some of the art that has graced our front page over the past 12 months.
Just to prove how much we truly do value our artistic community, in addition to funneling a chunk of sales revenue directly to the individual creators, we also set aside some of the auction cash for our Boise Weekly Cover Art Auction Grant program, which funds arts projects vetted by a panel of local creative luminaries. We take home a piece of the earnings to support our journalistic mission but, ultimately, the Cover Art Auction—like our weekly art covers—are all about celebrating the phenomenal talent that lives and works in the City of Trees.
We invite you to join us at this annual event to bid, eat, drink, mingle and be merry with some of the people we think make Boise the artsy haven it is.