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The Artistry of Being an Artist

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My late mother was a consummate artist—if not a bit of a stereotype. As a painter, she filled large canvases with thick layers of earth-tone colored oils and acrylics, creating backdrops for somewhat whimsical, sometimes melancholy figures always accompanied by birds, fish or other fauna. She dedicated herself to her art and although there are people all over the world who have a Molly Hill in their art collection, she mainly subsisted off the irregular income her paintings brought in. Being a "starving artist" was an integral part of her self-identity and a metaphorical badge she wore with pride (even if "starving" was a little too close to a literal description at times). "You can't call yourself an artist if you don't make art," she would often say. She definitely had opinions about what she considered good art and what she thought was bad, but there was no gray area when it came to being an artist: You are or you aren't.

This week's edition of Boise Weekly is filled with art and artists. Beginning on Page 8, we have the winning images of our 15th Annual Black-and-White Photo Contest. The submissions this year were incredible (and legion, with almost 300 entries) and there was more than one frame-worthy photo. Congratulations to the winners. We'll be in touch.

On Page 26, BW News Editor George Prentice has a sit-down with not one but two people playing the lead role in the 2017 Idaho Shakespeare Festival production of Hamlet. It takes an artist of the highest caliber to not only embody the role played by some of the greatest actors of all time, but to share it.

Then, on Page 21, intrepid BW freelancer Chris Parker shares an engaging and enlightening conversation with Alynda Segarra, the creative force behind American band Hurray for the Riff Raff, about her quest—both internal and external—for self.

As my mother would say, if you want to be something, you have to do something. So, let's go do.

—Amy Atkins

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