If you’re an astute music fan, you’ve likely noticed Boise State illustration student Julia Green’s artwork stapled to telephone poles and Scotch taped inside venue windows around town. Green’s folksy cartoonish designs have graced dozens of concert posters for local bands like Hillfolk Noir, Le Fleur and The Very Most as well as national acts like Kimya Dawson, Fleet Foxes and The Watson Twins. Though Green has shown her work at numerous venues over the past few years—including in Flying M’s "Valentines For Aids" and two group shows at Tender Loving Empire in Portland, Ore.—Thursday, Jan. 7, marked the debut of her first solo show, “Wild Wilderness.”
Clustered like a leaf pile on the mostly-empty wall of the Flying M Coffeehouse, Green’s work is much smaller than one might expect. The exhibit begins with Crying Caxton, a small weeping acorn, which is juxtaposed with Elmer, a frolicking acorn with legs. These cutesy anthropomorphized acorns—which look like vintage children’s book illustrations—are sprinkled throughout the show along with ample austere owls and a few nervous pine trees.
While pieces like The Pair show the struggle between man and nature—a barrel-chested, plaid-clad logger brandishes an ax next to a sad-faced tree with x-eyed apples dying on the lawn—the majority of the series examines nature’s struggle with itself. In the gasping faces of wind-blown pine trees in The Scare, one glimpses a lack of acceptance for pending winter, even a fear of aging. Alternately, the jubilant acorns convey the blissful naivety of youth. Most of the characters in Green’s pieces seem to lament the seasons’ natural progression and fear the unknown. One figure that appears to accept its fate is a Split, a pinecone split in two with serenely closed eyes, sprouts jutting out from its middle. Gracefully, it exists in the present.
Green has picked up a number of new fans with “Wild Wilderness,” which has been up less than a week and already sold 11 out of 21 total pieces. With most prices hovering around $40, now is a good time to snag a piece while you still can.
Through Jan. 31, FREE, Flying M Coffeehouse, 500 W. Idaho St., 208-345-4320, flyingmcoffee.com.