New Art Museum exhibit celebrates Idaho artistsPublished at | Updated at
IDAHO FALLS — A new exhibit at The Art Museum of Eastern Idaho puts a spotlight on the work of Idaho artists.
The museum is currently hosting the 2022 “Art Idaho” exhibition. The artworks featured in the exhibit are all entries into the museum’s biennial juried competition. Art Idaho is open to any artist currently living in the state of Idaho.
“(‘Art Idaho’) started in 2003, a year after The Art Museum opened, so it’s been going on for a long time,” TAM Executive Director Miyai Abe Griggs told EastIdahoNews.com. “It was originally known as ‘Idaho Paints Idaho’ and at the time, they partnered with the state park, so it was primarily a landscape exhibit. Over the years, it has evolved.”
The 2022 exhibition includes nearly four dozen pieces spanning a number of mediums. The pieces were judged by Michael Faison, the executive director of the Idaho Commission on the Arts.
“(Michael) has been an art administrator for years but his background is in studio art,” Griggs said. “What I try to do when selecting a juror is find someone who has a broad background, who has an appreciation for lots of different kinds of styles and mediums and things like that. With Michael, I knew he has a pretty broad background and understanding of the visual arts.”
Faison received digital images of each submission, which he used to select the included pieces. Faison then came out to The Art Museum to judge the pieces and select the winners.
The winners of this year’s “Art Idaho” contest were Delphine Keim and Sally Graves Machlis for their mixed-media piece “Sisters in Migration: India.”
Griggs said that while “Art Idaho” is a competition, its main purpose is to highlight the work of artists who call Idaho home and to give them a venue to display their work.
“(‘Art Idaho’) is a celebration of Idaho artists and whatever happens to be moving them at the time,” she said. “Part of your progression as an artist is that at some point, you either exhibit or screen your work for people. I think that is difficult. Putting your art out into the world for other people to see is not an easy thing for most artists. So these opportunities to exhibit your work are important. One of our missions at The Art Museum is to give Idaho artists a place to exhibit their work to the public.”
“Art Idaho” also gives the state’s would-be artists an opportunity to see that art isn’t something that only happens in New York or California. There is plenty of creative work happening in the Gem State.
“Sometimes it seems that we don’t appreciate things that are happening in our own back yard,” Griggs said. “But there are some really exceptional artists here in our state and (Art Idaho) is our opportunity to shine a light on them.”
“One of the things we heard about our last exhibit with Gloria Miller Allen and Sherian Miller Lewis is that some of the kids who came and toured that exhibit were most impressed that (the artists) were from Idaho Falls,” she added. “The makes artists more real instead of something you see in a museum or a book. I think that’s inspiring the next generation, whether they become artists or whatever they become, to reach for their goals.”
You can visit The Art Museum of Eastern Idaho’s “Art Idaho 2022” exhibit now through Oct. 29. Visit the museum’s website or follow TAM on Facebook or Instagram for more information.