Creators, Makers, and Doers: Errol Jones


Errol Jones gravitated towards history early on and his innate interest developed into a passion and his life’s work.  After narrowly dodging the draft for the Vietnam War, Errol worked many odd jobs before earning his master’s degree. He ended up teaching during tense times in Mexico, when the entire faculty went on strike and was then forced out by the military. After that harrowing experience, Errol returned to the states and earned a doctorate and a fellowship from Tufts University. He next landed in Brazil where he developed a graduate curriculum – and taught in the company of spies working for the then ruling military regime. He ultimately returned home to Utah, founded Utah’s History Day, and then came to Boise where he taught history at Boise State University starting in 1982.

Errol will be receiving the Mayor’s Award for Individual Excellence in the Field of History for his dedication to research and building awareness about the historical and contemporary significance of Mexicans and Latinos in Idaho.

What do you do here in the community?

My name is Errol Jones and I am a professor emeritus of history at Boise State University. My major field of interest has been Latin America. I came here in 1982 and I’ve taught Latin American History ever since. However, in 1998 a young man who was the executive director of the Idaho Commission on Hispanic Affairs came to me and was concerned about the fact that there was very little history done about Latinos in the State of Idaho. He thought it was really lacking. I surmised that there were certain periods of time that he was interested in having historians cover that he had questions about. One of those was the period of the 1960’s and 1970’s when the Idaho migrant council was formed back in 1971. He wanted to know if I would do that, but at the time I was really focused on Latin America dealing with Latinos before they ever come to the United States.

From that point on, I placed less interest on my Latin American interest and more emphasis on what happens to Latinos when they come to the U.S. and to Idaho. I went on to offer a seminar in that topic and had students write papers about questions regarding the topic. They had to do research which involved going through the newspapers, interviewing people that were involved, find any relating government documents in order to build a complete picture of the folks here in Idaho. We opened up a lot of interesting stuff which led me to join forces with another person in the State Archive, a woman by the name of Kathy Hodges, who was also interested in the topic and who had worked in the very beginning of her residency in Idaho, with the Idaho Migrant Council. She knew some of the people there and was able to talk to them, and together we did a number of things. The first thing that we did was in the seminar, we gathered all of the really good papers and we put them into a small book called, “Hispanics in Idaho.” From there we continued to do other kinds of things. That is how I got into this kind of historical research when I put aside the research I had been doing on Mexico and instead focused more on what happened to Mexicans once they arrived in Idaho.


Why did you choose to go into History?

Well, that happened pretty early. I have wondered if I were to do it all over it again, if I would be a historian or would I have gone into another field. I have become interested in a lot of other things since then and it might very well have, had I been aware, gone into those fields, but you get people that nudge you. I had a high school teacher who taught world history. She had a way of teaching and she also taught Latin. I just kind of got bit by that bug, I just wanted to know more and I wanted to study the past.

I went to the University of Utah and I just gravitated to History. It was easy to me because I loved to read and I got really high marks in my history courses, whereas in my other general education courses, I struggled with some of them. I never failed or got a D in anything, but I felt like my performance was unacceptable in the other areas. So, because of the good grades and the interest I had, I stayed with history. I graduated and then I ran into the quandary, like everyone in the social sciences and humanities, of “What am I supposed to do with my degree?”

 Throughout your career were you more passionate for teaching or for your personal research?

I think research and teaching goes hand in glove in the fact that if you are not doing research then you are not keeping your enthusiasm for your field up. I was always eager to find something different and new that I wanted to explain to the students and try to get them as involved and interested as I was. At a time, I was passionate about teaching. I taught at a lot of universities. When you are teaching you really get to know the students, where they come from, what makes them tick, but all along you are trying to get your point across and trying to get the things that you study and excite you communicated to the students. I guess I am motivated primarily by the research that I have done. That is what I wanted to carry over to my students and have them be interested in as well. I miss that because I don’t do it anymore.

Today, I am still in a situation where I do research and I want other people to benefit from my research. That is one of the things that I found most enriching in my later career is that I became the chair of the History Department and then I became the internship coordinator. As the internship coordinator, that put me in touch with the community. I had to go out and foster relationships with government agencies, with NGO’s, with corporations that could use our students and I realized right away that just like me when I got out of college with a degree in History, I had to figure out where I was going to work. What I was doing as an internship coordinator, was trying to sell to these companies and organizations, a historian, because a historian knows how to research, think analytically, and ask good questions. They can make a good employee. As a result of that, I placed a lot of interns in places that were not traditional. I didn’t stick them in a museum or the historical society because you have to prepare people to get jobs and there were no jobs in those fields here in Idaho.


What do you consider your greatest success in your career?

There is not any one thing that really stands out. In terms of publications, I am not an individual who made a name publishing works. I do think that more than anything is the fact that I taught at several universities and here at BSU for the longest period of time, and I think I reached some people and helped them grow and mature intellectually. I am pretty proud of that. I think that moving in a direction, after 1998, towards teaching and researching about the Mexican people in our population, I was able to open up a window and make considerable progress on the topic. That is the most enduring achievement that I have had and I am still not through with that work. In fact, I am still working on a book on that topic right now.

Can you elaborate more on your research of the Mexicans’ involvement in Idaho?

If you go to the state historical society, the history museum, or the archive you will find that there are not any Mexicans there. It hasn’t been until just recently that they are present because there are a number of people who have badgered the state historical society and the archive to start accepting stuff from the Mexican community and putting the Mexicans’ story together. In order to do that, first you have to find out how many Mexicans were here. I found that out by going back to the first census for Idaho, in 1870. In fact, there were a lot of Mexicans here.

So, Kathy Hodges and I teamed up. She was working in the oral history program at the state historical society. We put together a presentation and took it all over the state to encourage anyone who was of Mexican or Latin American descent to make sure that they got their stuff in the archives. If you go to the archive now, you will find a whole bunch of stuff from old dead white men and women, but very few things from the Mexicans. That is a problem because as long as the researchers are going in there to research things and they are not finding anything on Mexicans, then they will never be able to tell that story. I am just one person and there aren’t very many of us who are doing that, but we have been able to do two things. We got the city to put together a committee that put together a commemoration of Jesus Urquides and Spanish Village. We did that a few years ago and put up a monument so that if anyone ever stops they will see that the area was at one point Spanish Village. Also, the state history museum is doing a renovation right now and they have asked members of the Mexican community to come forth with some oral interviews and to help them design an exhibition of the Mexican culture here. That is now in process and it was never there before.

Carver_Jesus Uriquides

Why is it important to educate others in History?

There is a very trite and off the top of my head response to that. History is the prelude to the future and helps you understand the present. History is useful to understand what is happening in society and think about how that may impact what the future may look like. It may not be entirely accurate, but it gives us some ideas and patterns. I think it is essential.

One of the big problems that I always find is that we elect officials, appoint government folk, and go through our lives without having any understanding of what went before and where we fit in the larger picture. I think that is important. Whether or not you get a job in the field or not, everybody ought to take some history to give them an understanding of how we got to be where we are. If you don’t have those kinds of tools, then I think that half of your live is in the dark. We don’t expect everybody to know everything, but everybody should have the tools to realize that with a little bit of effort they can find out.

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Creators, Makers, and Doers: Marguerite Lawrence

IMG_9463A passion for music led to a 32-year career educating local youth. Marguerite Lawrence dedicated herself to teaching elementary school students about music and the importance of “keeping their ears open.” She credits her success to community support and finding opportunities for her students to sing in unlikely places. Marguerite’s skill at writing children’s songs that integrated curriculum helped create relevant and unique educational opportunities for her students. She will be honored for Excellence in Arts Education at the biennial Mayor’s Award for Excellence in Arts on September 10.

What is your role in the community?

I was a music teacher in all but two years in my 32-year career in Idaho. For most of it, 26 years, I have been in Boise. I went to the College of Idaho and I went and taught in Canyon School District, the Caldwell School District, Blaine County School District. My entire career has been in elementary schools as a general music teacher or as a general music teacher and orchestra teacher. My last three years was just as a 5th and 6th grade orchestra teacher.

My love of teaching also goes right alongside my love for writing. When I first started teaching, there were no children’s musicals out there that I felt were something that could teach the kids something other than rather inane things. So, I started writing when I was living in Ketchum, which is a real arts community. I started writing children’s musicals and having my students perform them. I really found my niche, my love of being able to create. I was able to create and put it in front of the students and I could tell if they didn’t like it, then I would shelf it or go back to the drawing board. I did that and then realized that I could write and contribute to the curriculum by writing about history, science, ecology, animals. I really focused on that when I was in Boise. I wrote an endangered species musical and that was so much fun because I could look into the curriculums of all of the grades and find what countries they were studying and find an animal that was an endangered animal in that country. It fed into the curriculum where a classroom teacher would never have the time to include the material. So that is what I did for most of my career.

Can you articulate what the importance of music in schools is?

I don’t think it necessarily has to be performance based, but I think that music for all of us is about listening to something, and finding something that you like. I also believe that it is so much part of the world that it is important for children to never close their ears, or at least start young and not close their ears to any of it. I think that if you keep your ears open to music, art and reading, then you keep your ears open to varying opinions and you keep your ears open to the world. I really feel that.


How long did you teach for?

Thirty-two years. I often say that I was blessed. I never thought that I was going to be a music teacher. When I went to college I was a violinist. Even then, I knew I wasn’t going to be good enough to make a living that way. I did think that maybe I would be a conductor.

I went to the College of Idaho and I had the most amazing music faculty there… anybody did who was there between the 1960s through the late 1980s. The faculty was unbelievable; they did not belong in Caldwell, Idaho. How the college got them is a miracle. We had Julliard graduates, Oberlin graduates, my violin teacher, Walter Servainy, was this absolute amazing man. He had to move to the West from the East for his health at a young age. He and his wife were both music faculty at the college and he was the most amazing violin teacher. He would say “Marguerite, you have to sing while you play.”

All of my teachers gave me everything I know about teaching. They were all just fountains of knowledge. So, somehow they tricked me, without me knowing, and they put me into the education track. I never thought that I would be a teacher; I never gave it a thought. I didn’t know I was nurturing and I didn’t know that’s what I wanted to do ever, until I started doing it and I got it. It was great. It was fun. I have to thank my teachers. My parents always encouraged me musically, but never as a teacher. They never thought that would happen for me either. Things happen sometimes.


Even though you are retired, you are still staying busy?

Oh yeah. People say they are so worried of being bored when they retire and I have never had a bored day in my life. I have never been bored. I just can’t imagine how sad that must be. I think that having my days now frees me up to do more creative stuff and have the energy to do it. By the time I chose to retire, it was just time for me. There was a switch that clicked and said move on, and go somewhere else. There are things in education that are very challenging for all of us teachers and administrators. When Common Core came in and I was in the position to retire, I figured I would just leave it to the younger crowd so I could do what I love.


What are you working on right now?

I have kind of changed my road. I am not writing children’s music right now, but I am writing fiction. I have kind of gone into the adult world. I have always loved to write, but I have never had time. It was such a natural fit to write music for children while I was teaching. They were my writing group, my critics. So a few years ago, The Cabin offered a summer adult camp. I decided to see what it was about and I loved it. I had so much fun for that week going in every morning and just getting prompts and writing. Christian Winn who is a local author and professor, an amazing writer, was the boss of me that week. Eventually, that fall, I joined his writing group, it’s called Writers Write, and we meet every Tuesday evening. So, I am writing fiction, short stories. I had my first story published in the Boise Weekly’s 101 Short Story Competition. I am now getting published for the second time by The Cabin, a short story called “Jersey.” That comes out in the anthology in September. It is so exciting. I don’t really care about the publishing, I only published one musical while I wrote, but that end of it doesn’t interest me so much as just knowing that I am getting better at it. There is a definite learning curve when writing fiction. I am getting better. After two years I feel like I can better recognize where I need to improve. The writing group has been really helpful and it is a blast. I love it.

How would you explain to your students, the importance of music?

The importance is that music is everywhere in our lives and the more you open your ears to it the less afraid you are of it and the less turned off you are by it. Keep your ears open.


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Creators, Makers, and Doers: Elizabeth Tullis

The Modern Hotel is easily recognized by its swanky bar, high-end handcrafted cocktails, locally sourced Northwest cuisine, and of course, Modern Art. But behind it all is a rich history based upon owner  Elizabeth Tullis’s admiration for the local community.

Elizabeth Tullis  will accept the Mayor’s Award for Excellence in Arts & History on September 10 in the Business Support of Culture category for the Modern Hotel & Bar. With events ranging from Modern Art to Campfire Stories, the plan for the Modern integrated collaborations with the artistic community from the start by providing an alternate venue to inspire conversations between the community and the artists that live and work here.


Can you speak about the inspiration for the Modern?

My grandparents owned a boarding house called the Modern Hotel in Nampa. My mother and her two sisters grew up there. There are pictures of them in the lobby. The Modern has been in our family for generations, one way or another. When I decided to build the Modern, I had been working at the Redfish Lodge for many years. I was part of the family that owned the Redfish Lodge. When we sold that, I decided I wanted to have a property down here. I started looking around and it took me a long time to find one. I found this mid-century modern place and called it the Modern Hotel after my grandparent’s boarding house. That was the inspiration.

Can you elaborate on the boarding house?

It was the first iteration of the Modern. My grandparents both came over from the Basque country in Spain and they ran sheep for many years before they bought the boarding house in Nampa. The sheep herders would come and stay for the winter and then go out and run the sheep all summer long. There were people back and forth all of the time. My grandmother did all of the cooking and my mother and her sisters did all of the cleaning. They grew up there and then went to Nampa High School. That is where my dad met my mother, at Nampa High. They got married and had seven children. Everyone has different occupations, but there are two of us that own the Modern, with the grandchildren, my brother and I. It is kind of a family run business.


What do you see as the Modern’s role in the arts community here?

We really wanted to build a place where artists had a different venue. There are a lot of really good artists and a lot of diverse artists working in different areas from painting to acting to filmmaking all over Boise. I have known a lot of them for years and years and we just thought it would be fun to create a different kind of place where they could show their art, no matter what it was, from performance art to film or painting, or music. I think the Modern is a good structure to do that. That is why we started Modern Art. People could take a hotel room and make it into anything that they wanted and open it up to the public so the public can experience their work. That collaboration between the public and the artists really works well, as you know if you have been to Modern Art. It is very crowded and people love to do it. It is a wonderful way to open up the hotel to give the artists a new venue to show their work, but also for the community. The community has a different way to engage with the artists and their work. The artists have always—no matter who they are—have always supported the Modern. They are here constantly. They bring their people here. It has just been a wonderful partnership ever since the beginning.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHow did Modern Art get started?

The first year it was very organic. Of course, we didn’t have very high vacancy rates, so we had a lot of rooms that no one was in. One of the great ways to get the community in to see that we were open and what we had to offer was to put the artists in the rooms and have an art crawl. We started with word of mouth to artists that we knew and gauged interest in the project. The first year there was just a small handful of artists, maybe one wing of the hotel, who came in and did the first Modern Art. That first one was packed. So we then decided that the next year we definitely needed better planning and crowd control. We were very surprised by the turnout. We just did our eighth Modern Art. For years, many of the artists came back. It is certainly a lot of work for the artists because they come at three, they have to be set up and open by five, and then they have to be out the following day by noon because the rooms are rented the next day. It is a very tight turnaround and a lot of work for the artists. I am very grateful that the artists have put in the time and energy to do it every year with us. It has been a wonderful thing.


Also, things like Modern Art have spurred other projects here like 39 Rooms, an in room film festival. We take short films from all over the world, jury them, and then put them on channel thirty nine on a loop and switch them out every year. We are in the process of switching them out now to put in Basque films for Jaialdi. They will all be done by Basque filmmakers. 39 Rooms is really a great thing. Our guests love it. When they check in we tell them about it and they can actually vote on which one they like best. We then give that information back to the filmmakers. It gives the filmmakers a really different venue to show their work in. Showing short films is really very difficult. There are not that many venues to do that, except for some short film festivals or as part of a larger film festival. I realized that we have so many television screens with nothing good on them, so we decided to do something else with them, use them in different way. We are always trying to figure out what we can do differently with the resources we have. How can we use the rooms differently? How can we make a broader experience for both our guests and for the arts community?


Can you elaborate on your thoughts of how the Modern has impacted the community?

I think it has opened up a larger conversation between the community and the artists within the community. I think it gave them a place to meet and gather and have that conversation. Before, it was either at a gallery or different places, but this is kind of a broader place, and more public place where people can come together and discuss those things and see those things, and view them differently. So I think that we have given that to the community as well as the artists, and the community has certainly given back saying “thank you.” They support it, they show up. It is our way of giving back to the community that has given so much to us. The artists are right in the middle of it, they are the ones that made it happen. They are the link.


What are your opinions of the art community in general?

Well I think Boise has a wonderful art community and always has. I was raised here so I have a lot of friends that are artists that do a lot of really great and diverse things. I hope that things like Modern Art and Treefort and big events like that can evolve and keep evolving here becoming bigger and bigger and more sustainable and keep bringing more people in to create a larger conversation and provide a way for everyone to be involved. I think Boise is on the brink of doing that, but I think it has to be organically done to work.

Big performances are good to have and bring in, but they are really only accessible to certain people. We need things that are organic and on the street and in the public that are open to everyone and every age. That is what we need, that participation across all generations. Regardless of what it is that brings people together, it is important for any community.

Any new things planned for the future?

I would like to do another project here, but it is just finding the different space for it. We love the Modern, but we have kind of grown out of it a little. We only have thirty nine rooms. I would like to do something through art and keep art incorporated with whatever we do.

I would really like to do some projects with theater. Boise Contemporary Theater did a wonderful project S5 this spring and they just used the neighborhood and different places to create the performance. They went out and in a very artful way they used the community and the neighborhood. I would like to things like that with theater, if I can. Like, maybe some dinner theater at some point. I would love to do that.


Do you have any advice for other people who want to do what you do?

Here is a story as an example. I remember when Lori Shandro came and told me her idea about having a music festival right after SXSW all over town in different venues and hundreds of bands, similar to SXSW and have it in March. She asked if I would support something like that and I told her that I would absolutely support in whatever way I can, but I think you are crazy to do it. I wasn’t telling her not to do it, but it is a huge project and I will do whatever I can because I think it is great. But, just to do Modern Art alone takes a staff of fifty and months to do and you want to do a five day music festival? I was very impressed and of course she did it. Each year it has grown little by little, but how she did it was to go out into the community and ask for help. She went out and talked to everyone about it. She asked about ideas and participation and sponsorship. She went out and asked the right questions from the right people and she got the support of the artists, the business owners, and she was able to do it. That is the way that you do it. You have to go out into your community and talk to people about your idea. Find out what is right or wrong and find sponsors and grow from there. You have to slowly build a team of like-minded people on a project that is your dream, but you have to make it everyone’s. You have to make it a community effort and this community will do it. It’s like the old adage, “If you build it they will come.” They will help you build it too. It is a great community to start anything like that in. You just have to do it bird by bird, but they will do it and we are lucky that way.

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Creators, Makers & Doers: Driek & Michael Zirinsky


Driek and Michael Zirinsky’s tireless support and advocacy for the arts and humanities in Boise reflects their lifelong work and passions. Their vast collection of art speaks to their collective and individual interests and professions. Driek and Michael both taught as professors at Boise State University, Driek in English Education and Michael in the history of Islam and the Middle East, with a focus on Iran.

In the community, their presence is no less notable. Driek founded the Whittenberger Writing Project, helped create the Idaho Theater for Youth, and served as the president of BAM’s Board of Trustees. Michael generously lent his knowledge to communities all across Idaho through discussions related to his topics of interest in history. Together the Zirinskys support a network of local and regional artists through building relationships with them and collecting their works.

It is at this point in their lives as collectors that they are starting to find new homes for their renowned collection. The works of local and regional artists are being donated and will now be housed and displayed in some of the most premier galleries in the country.

For these reasons, they will be recognized at the Mayor’s Awards for Excellence in Arts & History for Support of the Arts.


What role have the two of you played in the community here?

Driek: I have collected a lot of art, over a thousand works, many of them from Idaho and Boise artists, but also beyond Idaho in the Northwest and across the US and in Europe. I know a lot of the artists because I go to their studios and I go to their openings. I try to buy work from them. I have made it a practice to buy something out of each of the Idaho Triennials, the faculty art show at BSU, occasionally from students at BSU. It is wonderful now to be in the stage of giving away because I am able to place artists from Boise in international collections. Those works are shown side by side with artists that are internationally famous. I love doing that. For a lot of the art institutions that are more New York centric, it is a revelation to see the work because curators come here and are blown away by these artists that they have never heard of. They are very thrilled to have the work in their collections. That is my current mission. Find good homes for everything.


How did you get started collecting?

Driek: People ask me that a lot and I think it is a combination of things. Both of my grandfathers were collectors. My father was a collector of everything but art. He collected stamps and license plates and match book covers, menus, and ash trays from famous hotels and on and on. When we cleaned out his study, I inventoried the collections I found and there were like nineteen or twenty different collections. My father was paid in Dutch currency at the end of World War II, which was pretty worthless anywhere-, you couldn’t convert it to another currency. The rest of his family was living in the U.S. at that point, so he spent the Dutch currency by buying a portfolio of watercolor paintings by a Dutch artist and a few other things. I had one of those watercolors in my bedroom when I was growing up. When I went to college, I took it off the wall and took it down to where my father was loading the car and he looked at me and asked if I was taking the piece. He shrugged and said I guess it is yours now. It is interesting to me looking back on it, now that I know a lot more about eighteen-year-olds, I think that is an unusual thing for an eighteen year old to do. To take something hanging on the wall and being so attached to it that you want to take it to college with you.

When we were graduate students we were living in Paris and Michael had a research grant and I bought an etching that cost a whole month’s rent. It cost one hundred dollars. I guess collecting has always been of interest to me. The first time I made a little extra money here in Boise I went and bought a painting.

The first spring that I worked for the Idaho Department of Education, I had a little side consulting job and that is when I bought my first Idaho painting here in Boise. The collecting was always going on while everything else was happening.

At a certain point when we were starting to accumulate quite a bit of artwork, I thought well what am I doing? What is this about? At that point, I decided this is what I wanted to do and just threw myself into it. Then I started being more focused and deliberate about it and I started following the artists that I was interested in and started going regularly to Portland and Seattle to see new shows. I was going over in the morning and coming back at night, just for the day to see work. With the artists that I was really interested in, I would visit them when they were installing the shows, so I could have the first pick. A lot of the works I have were bought that way.


What do you look for in artwork that you want to collect?

Driek: The selection of a work is a heart-first, head-second process for me. When I do see a work, I know almost immediately that I want to collect it. I might go through some other considerations, but it is often very immediate. A lot of other collectors are much more deliberate about things, but I am not. I am an impulsive person. I know right away. When I am looking at a work and thinking about acquiring it, one of the things I think about is how it will relate to things that are already in the collection. It is kind of a curatorial process, when I am buying new work. I am pretty open to things that I have never seen before. In fact, I think that is what draws me to things. Things that are exceptional because it is a young artist doing something that I have not seen before that is fresh and innovative. I think a lot of the things that I have collected are extremely well made. That is a characteristic that I look for in whatever medium or material and something that is extremely well done. I like things that have a strong narrative in them. I also believe that collecting is autobiographical. The works feed off things that I am interested in and things that Michael is interested in.

Michael: I think there is something about the work speaking to your heart. I don’t know how you quantify that or put it into words, but the work has a life of its own, not everything that is created by an artist does, and that life talks.


Can you elaborate upon what you think about the arts community now?

Driek: I think I am amazed at what kind of art community has evolved here. Boise seems to not be a town that will support commercial galleries very well, but artists are taking things into their own hands and finding ways to show work and to have studio space and collaborate. I feel a real vibrancy in the arts community here in Boise. Not just in the visual arts, but in all of the arts. It is a wonderful thing to see. I think Boise could be a place where artists could come to live and work because the cost of living here is reasonable. Maybe Boise will become one of those places where artists gravitate to as a place to work.

Michael: I think there has been a big change in the art department at the university too. It has always been a large department because there was a great interest in doing art among potential students. I think the quality of faculty as art makers has changed for the better by many times in the past forty years. I compare the work that is being done by the current faculty with the past work and it is like night and day.

Driek: The art department is a really big department. The department really is as big as most of the other colleges at the university. There are lots and lots of students and now they have an MFA program. Maybe a lot of the energy that is coming out in this community comes because of the big program and there are so many students studying. That may be the case.

Michael: I think it is a synergy. The demand was always there. When we came it was a large department with lots of interested students.

Driek: When I look at things that have evolved like dance, all of the different dance companies that are here, the theatres, the opera and the Philharmonic. Those two were here when we came.  All of these things have really just flourished. I think there is really great community support for the performing arts.

Michael: I think it reflects the increased population size and what has cause the population to grow has been the university, but also organizations like HP and Micron who are bringing people in from all over the world and who have experiences and interests that weren’t present in the early seventies.

Driek: I think this is a vibrant artistic community.


Are there any resources that are lacking here to support what you do and for artists?

Driek:From a practical standpoint, it is very hard to be a collector here at our scale because it is hard to find people who can install work in your home or build crates for shipping or pack things properly. All of the support that collectors need is severely lacking here. There was not an art appraiser available. Jane Brumfield took the course in Chicago to become a certified appraiser for the IRS. The rules about tax deductions from artwork are very strict and demanding, so she took the course so she could do some appraisals for tax purposes. Now she is taking a job in Oregon. She is keeping one foot here in Boise, but I will be her only client. That is something that is really missing. All of the things that support collectors. When our exhibit was up at Boise State we met with a number of classes there and one of the students asked me how to have a career in art and also stay in Boise. There are so many opportunities here and you may have to volunteer for a while but you just have to get your foot in the door. There are so many things going on in Boise where you can get a job in an arts related field, but there is also an entrepreneurial opportunity to open a business that does crating, framing, and other services for collectors would really be a valuable addition to the scene here. That is the practical side.

I think also, for artists, that Boise lacks a vibrant contemporary art exhibition space. Someplace where big installation can be shown, or where artists can come in and create big works. I would love to see a contemporary art space get developed here. That is definitely lacking. I have collected a good bit of video, but I have collected it elsewhere, because it is very rare to see video work around here. I would like to see an emphasis on new media. It would be a fantastic addition to Boise, whether that is a university program or some kind of collaboration with an existing program for learning about it. It could also be an exhibition space that provides the opportunity to show that kind of work.


Do you have any advice for someone who is interested in collecting?

Driek:First of all, for collectors, I don’t know why people are so reluctant to buy an artwork. It is the craziest thing to me. You can buy a gorgeous original work of art done by an artist who lives here, for less than you might spend for a new pair of shoes or dress. It is such a pleasure to live with an artwork where you can look at it every day and appreciate it every day. You can know the artist and follow their career. It is such a boost for artists if someone just buys their work. It is so affirming.


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Creators, Makers & Doers: Carl Rowe


Although you may know Carl Rowe for his vibrantly colored and sensuous scenes of the foothills, his interests and career span multiple disciplines. At a young age he was deeply involved in music, but his first watershed creative calling happened at age 27 when he “stumbled ” into dancing. He ended up on stage while at the first dance performance he ever attended. The experience ignited a passion that led to 39 years of professional dancing, directing, and choreographing throughout the West.

It was here in the West, inspired by the vast landscapes, where Carl felt compelled to capture the beauty and theater of Idaho’s environment. What started as a novice fascination, evolved into a professional painting practice that celebrates our relationship with our surroundings.

It is no surprise that Carl will be honored for Individual Excellence in Arts at this year’s Mayor’s Awards; he served as artistic director for two dance companies, choreographed over 100 dances, and is now represented by fine art galleries in Idaho, Oregon, and Wyoming.


Are you a full time artist?

Yeah, I guess I would say that. For the last year I’ve just been painting. I left the dance company I was with for twenty-five years, last spring. For most of the time, I was full time, but I do each career by sort of juggling them. I wasn’t a full-time painter or a full-time choreographer. I was the executive director and the artistic director of the dance company so that took an almost full-time commitment, but the art part is only a part of that, unfortunately, which is one of the reasons I had to leave.


How much time on average do you spend in your studio?

Well there’s no average really. I’m lucky; I don’t have to be in here all the time. I don’t like to paint under pressure, that’s why I don’t go out and try to get ten galleries like some people do. I couldn’t supply them. I like to reduce stress. I’ve had a lot of stress and I just want things to be manageable.

I also can’t spend all my time in here because it’s very solitary and I enjoy that up to a point and then I need people. So, there was a nice balance with dance, but I couldn’t have just painting. Now even without dance I just can’t do it all the time. I’m not that solitary so I need breaks from it. I just try to find the right balance for myself of being in here and sometimes I get into a groove and I’m off and excited and doing stuff and I lose track of time. That’s the way I like to paint, I don’t want to feel like I’ve got to get ten paintings out here.


Can you talk about your painting process?

There are basically two things that interest me in painting. One is shapes and volumes. Shapes are a big part of most of these paintings and it’s why the foothills are an endless source of subject because they’re just an enormous conglomeration of shapes. I love shapes, I love volume, and I like mass and the human body. I’ve been involved with the human body for over forty years in dance. It’s also an endless source of something to work with, not so much statically, for me, it’s in motion, and it’s moving, bodies in motion. My suspicion is that so many of us relate to our surroundings and these hills in particular, more so than peaky mountains, they remind us of us. Now these paintings could be muscle, sinew, bones I mean maybe it’s anthropocentric but I think that’s how we relate to anything. I’m speaking for myself but I think there are other people that feel the same way and it’s why we respond so much to it because we’re very self-centered.

The second is light and this comes from theater, from being in dance. I don’t know if you’ve ever been to a dance concert, we use really strong lights. There are always colored lights, so you’re never looking at white light. You’re always looking at colored light. It comes from the sides so it’s very sculptural, it shows off the contours of the body, so as you watch those bodies in motion, set against a really high contrast background, those figures just pop out. We make you stare at that body as intently as you can stare at something. It’s the whole way it’s setup, we basically hypnotize you. I’d like my paintings to hypnotize people. I’m going after the same sort of feeling. Once in a while I get into a sort of landscape focus thing and I never feel quite as satisfied about it. Depending on how much you pull in or pull out from the shapes, everything changes. They become more abstract when you pull in and they become more landscape when you pull out, but they’re still the same subject matter.

To me I want something that’s got some emotion to it, some drama, and some sense of theater.


Do you only paint landscapes?

Oh, I paint other things it’s just that people only buy landscapes. It’s what I’m known for around here. Landscape is what made me start painting in the first place. I love mountains, good peaky mountains, but it’s the foothills that are so sensuous and so beautiful and so evocative to me that I just wanted to interact with them. I was very lucky in the sense that I picked the right subject matter at the right time because nobody was painting the foothills—nobody. I found out that there are other people who love the foothills as much as I do and they responded. It’s the back drop of the city and is the thing that distinguishes Boise from Topeka or anywhere else in the country.

One of the factors of being a professional artist is that you have to have a reputation for something. It’s why most artists don’t make a professional career because they want to be free to do anything. There’s nothing wrong with that but it’s a hard way to have a career. People tell me all the time, they drive up in the foothills and say, “There’s a Carl Rowe painting.” I think it’s great, it’s the best marketing I could have.


Do you have any tips or inspiring words for artists?

I used to talk to high school students about being a professional artist and this is what I would tell them. Enjoy painting or whatever you’re doing, drawing is fine, but don’t be a professional artist, it’s a terrible life. You’re not going to make any money and you’re going to be constantly waiting tables. If you really want to make a living in art then open a gallery or be an art critic or write about art, do anything about art except make it. You’ll do much better if you don’t do it. Also, if you want to be an artist, in order to be a good artist you have to be an interesting person. So you need to spend half of your time trying to learn how to be an interesting person because you’re not very interesting right now. You’ve got to get interested in a lot of other things besides art because just being interested in art is not going to make you very interesting and your art will show it. I went on and on like this and they were getting a little depressed and one kid said “You know you’re not really selling this very well.” I said, “Of course not because if you’re going to be an artist, nothing I say will prevent you from being one. You’re the only kind of person then that will have a chance because your parents or anyone with any good advice would say don’t do it. It’s not the field to go into in this culture but people who are going to do it will do it regardless of what anybody says. I’m doing you a favor. If I can talk you out of it in thirty minutes here then I’ve done you a huge favor.”


Creators, Makers, & Doers highlights the lives and work of Boise artists and creative individuals. Selected profiles focus on individuals whose work has been supported by the Boise City Dept. of Arts & History.

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Creators, Makers & Doers: Helena Kruczynska, Tarmo Waita, Erin Cunningham

What started as a graffiti and illegal poster abatement program has grown into the most visible outdoor gallery in Idaho. The creative diversity of Idaho artists’ work is showcased with art wraps on traffic and electric control boxes throughout Boise.

Creators, Makers, & Doers highlights the lives and work of Boise artists and creative individuals. Selected profiles focus on individuals whose work has been supported by the Boise City Dept. of Arts & History.

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Creators, Makers & Doers: Jason Morales


Jason Morales opened MING Studios in 2014 with the goal of bringing international art to Boise and including the local scene into a larger framework of discussion. Nestled between an artist compound consisting of Bricolage, Classic Design Studios and Rocket Neon, MING is part of an entrepreneurial downtown creative community.

This mixed-use space with an artist-in-residence program, community-centric programing and support for local artists, musicians and dancers is a work in progress. In its second year, MING Studios is being recognized as an emerging organization by Boise’s Mayor David Bieter. MING will receive a Mayor’s Awards for Excellence in Arts & History in September of this year.

When did you decide to open an art center in Boise and what brought you to that decision?

Some initial inspiration for this project was derived from a trip to Berlin where I was essentially exposed to an artist residency. Through the Boise State University Executive MBA program, one of the projects that we did was a community oriented panel where we had to pitch to the City some sort of value added project. An artist residency for international artists was unique. It’s worked out it’s been a nice opportunity and I think it would be impossible to have achieved without the collaboration with the entire compound of businesses, artists, and makers.


Do you have another job?

I do, I also work for Microsoft as a Solution Specialist. Sometimes our titles don’t exactly convey what we do, per se. The industry it is somewhat apropos, I essentially represent data-based solutions and Microsoft data platform solutions.

What types of resources do you need to further your success here?

We are trying out a portable air conditioner right now… Central air and heat would be really quite impactful to everyone who works and visits the space, especially at this time of year when it starts to get rather brutally hot. This is a major improvement we plan to make. There are other kinds of infrastructure type projects, but also we are trying to offer more programing to a broader audience. We don’t want to limit ourselves to audiences who visit the physical space. Other ways we can achieve and expand the exposure globally, is through stronger media efforts and more programs that reach that broader audience. So then that turns MING into something much more capable of inspiring people to visit Idaho, to understand what we’re doing here, to follow our track.


What is your process for choosing artists or exhibitions?

We ask artists to submit proposals that convey a concept. Then, we look at how they are going to use the space. We ask the artist to consider how the space is used to deliver and demonstrate that concept. We also like to focus on the reach. We ask “who is the audience and how is this particular exhibition going to reach the community?” and “who is the community, is the community local, is it regional, a virtual community?” — things of this nature. The last question is the execution plan, our artists need to have plan to get the work done. Each artist that we bring in for exhibition will have provided some proposal that addresses these four areas: concept, space, reach and execution plan. Then we have a review board.

Right now we’re not really receiving a lot of unsolicited proposals quite yet for our primary international artist residence, but we are receiving a lot of proposals for local artist exhibitions. We have not yet turned the corner where we do a call through an arts residency publication. It’s really exciting receiving the proposals because there’s not an application per se. It’s really a wide open expression of themselves.


So what keeps you in Boise? Why was it so important to do this here and not somewhere else?

I have a 14 year old son. I moved here in 2001 and I joke that I’m grandfathered in because I’m raising a native who’s now a teenager.

The other side of it, there’s a real need for this. I don’t know if this is really aggressive to say, but I’m competing against places like Red Robin and staying at home. I’m competing against using time and money for a very typical experience that’s not enriched with culture and character and heritage. So that’s really where my competition exists, not in other arts institutions that all will thrive from a growing community.

What is the benefit to becoming a member of MING?

Membership provides is the benefit of knowing that you’re supporting an institution that’s working hard on behalf of artists and on behalf of the community. You also get discounted tickets if not free access for certain programs. So for instance we will have music programs, we will have film programs where members don’t pay a door fee but otherwise there’s a door charge. There are other resources that we’d like to bring to members where they can learn of exposure and access to the artists. The membership is actually something we really need to ramp up in this next year. As we turn the corner in providing content– digital content and archives– we can offer a subscription level membership. Our MING members, our patron members, our artist members that are here will have first access to actually be in this space, or to see those recordings, or to experience those types of things. I think those are maybe a high level run down, the most obvious one being discounts.


Do you think that Boise’s art community is thriving?

I don’t think that it’s thriving, I think that it is loaded with potential, but I don’t think that it’s currently thriving. I believe that many people in Boise feel that art is altruistic or extracurricular and a “nice” to have not a “need” to have. I think as a friend of mine pointed out we would be hard pressed to find anything in the world that wasn’t first art. Art is essential to our economy as far as I’m concerned. I don’t think we’ve turned that corner yet where we’ve really taken advantage of this opportunity. This is the perfect city to become a creative arts hub.


Creators, Makers, & Doers highlights the lives and work of Boise artists and creative individuals. Selected profiles focus on individuals whose work has been supported by the Boise City Dept. of Arts & History.



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Creators, Makers & Doers: Earle Swope


What do you get when cross a firefighter with an artist or a novelist with a graduate student? Earle Swope, Firefighter, Artist, Novelist, Graduate Student is not bound by time, place or classification. A conceptual thread can be found running through his life, work and studies with the dominating themes of social good and creative engagement.

What are you working on right now?

The current project I am working on is more or less a social practice intro for me, with the Farmer’s Market, Parks & Rec, and I have solicited the help of several of my undergrad artists. We are working on this project called the Mobile Market. We are putting the Farmer’s Market into a trailer form to take to lower income neighborhoods. The BSU students and I have been working on decorating the trailer, it didn’t look good. We are really looking at giving it a face. Once it starts going out into the neighborhoods, we will be making removable components that the kids in each neighborhood can decorate and embellish. When it returns to each neighborhood, the panels can be specifically put on for each neighborhood. It will really identify with each neighborhood. They will be able to make it their own. That’s my fledgling foray into social practice right now.


What is your preferred medium?

Book arts have always been my preferred medium. That has been for multiple reasons. One, it’s not your stereotypical art medium. I like it because it’s different. I have been a bibliophile my whole life. Then you can also combine and re-combine and synthesize all of the traditional mediums within book arts. I like the freedom. I like the potential to democratize art. You can make multiples and it doesn’t necessarily subvert, but it’s a different viewer and art object relationship. You can handle the art and the viewer has to manipulate the art.

In grad school, although I’ve played around with all sorts of other things, right now I am moving into focusing on social practice. It is really interesting to me. It is about democratization. It is moving more towards art as a verb. It’s fascinating.

You focus on a lot of stuff in the community; do you have any personal projects?

It’s kind of a weird thing, but I am writing a novel. I started it in undergrad art school. There are times that I think it is insane that I am getting a master’s degree in art, focusing on social practice, and writing a novel. I am hoping to wrap that up by this December. I am way too busy.


What does your art making schedule look like?

I have described it before that I go on art binges. With a family, work, and studies, I don’t have a lot of time to have a regularly carved out schedule. Either when I have a deadline or when I get really motivated and engaged in a particular project, I will dive into it whole heartedly. When that happens, I forsake other things for short periods. I have to concentrate on the work. It does seem that I am always dabbling, but as far as seriously working, it is more of a binge cycle than anything.

What keeps you making art with everything else going on in your life?

It is something that I am compelled to do. I am at the point where I can’t not do it. My head fills with ideas just from observing life and the world around me. I have notebooks filled with ideas. I have to go beyond just putting it in the notebook; I have to fulfill the vision that is in my head. It’s more of a personal endeavor than anything else.


Where do you find inspiration for these ideas?  Where does inspiration come from?

A lot of my stuff ends up being social critique. It is born out of frustration with the world around us, which is a definite motivator. I feel as though someone just needs to scream sometimes. It seems like no one is paying attention. The flip side is, almost the complete opposite, this belief or observation of the beauty that exists between social and human connections. It’s a complete dichotomy between the madness that occurs in the world and the beauty and harmony that exists at times. I guess I end up with a balance in-between.

What are your opinions of the art scene/community in Boise?

The art scene here seems to be pretty solid. It is segmented. For a lack of a better word, there exist art cliques. Not to use that in any type of hierarchical sense, but as a synonym for segment. There are people trying to make the community broader and more cohesive. I would love to see that occur. I might do some work towards broadening the community.


Do you think there are any resources that are lacking for artists here?

Absolutely, there are contemporary galleries and spaces missing to show work. I have created several performance pieces and finding a site that isn’t monetarily driven is difficult. The closest that we had for a while was the large room upstairs at the Historical Museum. Even then, due to content, it was a limited space. If it was a little too far out there then the museum couldn’t exhibit the work.

What would you need to really thrive as an artist?

Space seems to be the first thing I think of. I would love there to be a large space, not just for myself, but for multiple artists to use and show in. If it was a perfect scenario, it would be a large warehouse type space that would be part gallery and part collaborative center where the artists are working and engaging and working across disciplines. Also, of course, some sort of funding source that would allow myself and other artists to completely delve into whatever they are working on.


Can you talk about making a living as an artist?

I am so far from making a living as an artist. The nice thing is that I work for the city as a fire fighter and it affords me a lot of time outside of work that I can engage with art. I am also about six years out from retirement. I am looking at that situation where I won’t be making a living at art, but I will have a source of income that will support my focus on art. Also, I am working on this novel, so my hope is that I can publish and sell it to support my life as an artist.

Do you have any advice or inspiration for other artists?

I came to art a little later in life. I would say just engage with your work. Outside of my family there is nothing as fulfilling in my life. I refer to art and writing synonymously, it’s about the creative process. Once you engage with it, it becomes a perpetual mutating process. The more I do it, the more I want to do it and the more ideas I have. It’s just thrilling to get out there and do it.

Creators, Makers, & Doers highlights the lives and work of Boise artists and creative individuals. Selected profiles focus on individuals whose work has been supported by the Boise City Dept. of Arts & History.

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Creators, Makers & Doers: James Talbot

We often fail to see genius in what makes us uncomfortable. The lives that bring flavor and uniqueness to the world are the very things that set us apart. James Talbot has dedicated almost half his life to relentlessly documenting those who surprisingly go unnoticed. Brightly colored interiors, lined with obsession, become extensions of his subject’s identity. Much like the people he photographs, James Talbot has followed his passion, always remaining true to himself.


What is your preferred medium?

The only medium I have ever worked in is photography. The reason I like photography is that my talent in painting or drawing is very questionable. The thing I like about photography is that it draws and colors the image for me. All I have to do is frame it. I have always just been fascinated since I was a little kid with photography and movies.

How long have you been pursuing photography?

Probably, 30-35 years. I started in 1982. I was serious in 1982, but the seriousness has grown since then. The seriousness has grown, but I was as serious as I could have been when I started.


Why photography?

The other mediums just don’t interest me. I think my talent would be minimal in them. I have tried drawing and it was very hard for me. I just don’t have any desire to do anything else. I have always been drawn, psychologically, to photography so I thought I’d give it a try seriously in 1982.

Where do you find inspiration?

I am fascinated with the working class people. I am fascinated with the older lifestyles. I am fascinated with a more rural lifestyle because I was brought up in that environment. I am fascinated with Americana of yesteryear, so to speak. I am fascinated with the human condition. I draw a lot of energy from these areas, but I also draw a lot of energy from the dark side of the human condition. My photographs, as I look at them, have a lot of these elements in them. My real passion is ignited in these areas. I don’t do pretty landscapes. I don’t do a lot of social stuff or environmental stuff. That stuff doesn’t interest me.

Is there any specific inspiration for exploring these areas?

I have had to explore my own dark side and while I was doing that, I became very fascinated with it. I get very passionate when I explore these areas in my subjects. If you look at my photographs, there is a dark side to them. The people that they relate to see it. It’s marinated in that.


What are you working on now?

Anything I want to.

Can you speak about your working process?

I just finished a piece called “Jesus Christ meets Ruby Beaudreau.” So in this image, there is a house and a yard. Some of the subjects you see here in the image were not in the original picture. It was just a basic front yard. I drove by it one day and I knew I could create something around it. It just jumped out at me. I like to do a lot of compositing now. Take an image and put things into it, to create a story. I went back to the house at night to take the picture and I used high dynamic range. I took 5 exposures one at normal, two above, and two below. So that gives me 5 exposures. I then put it in the processor. It takes the best part from each image and combines them into one. It gives the image more latitude for me to work with. I then get an idea. I think about it. Then I think about it more. I can do things here and there and work towards the original scenario I had in my head. I have a pretty good idea of what I want to do when I start, but a lot of times when creating art, ideas are wishful thinking. When you try to make them reality, they don’t work. I start on a basic thin fabric of an idea and then I keep working and working and working.

How do you know when a piece is finished?

I know. Sometimes I miscalculate and I will go back and change it even after I have shown it to people. There are no rules here. I know when they are done. I am usually so sick of working on them that I am totally nauseated by looking at them. When I start getting to that point, I know it’s done. That’s sort of a signal that it’s getting to the end. I just know.


Can you talk about the transition to digital from film?

I put up a big fight against working with digital. I am not the best guy technically, to learn technical things. I can do the creative process, but the technical stuff is really hard for me to learn. I knew I had to learn. It was like being in a foreign country. I had to learn a whole new language. I really resisted it, but then I knew. There came a time when I had to learn it. I had to learn Photoshop. It was very difficult for me to learn it. It was something that I would not want to go through again.

It would take something horrific to make me go back to conventional photography. Having said that, I have nothing against conventional photography. I love to look at it. I did it for many years. I have no animus and no prejudice against people who want to do it. I just love digital. I can do so much more with it. I can do it sitting in front of a 27 inch screen with surround sound system. I can sit in this therapeutic chair and I can just float out into space while I do it.

What does your work schedule look like?

I do what I want to do. I’m retired. I do what I want to do. I work mostly in the afternoon or at night. I can only take about 4 hours a day. I try to work every day, but I might take a couple of days off. I love it. It’s like getting drunk. It’s like getting rummy. I love to do this. I absolutely love it. I would not trade my life for anything else in the world. I’ve done some things in life that I have been very passionate about, but this is the most passionate I’ve been. I have learned this late in life, unfortunately, but it is what it is.


How would you describe your work?

When you are doing art you can only bring your life experience to it. That’s all you can bring. I can’t bring yours. When I photograph I don’t follow trends. There is nothing wrong with following trends, if that’s what you like. I just do what feels right when I sit down in this room to get rummy. That’s what I do. I don’t care what other people are doing. In fact, a lot of it bores me. But that’s just me.

I have a distinctive style, but there are a lot of other people with their own distinctive styles. My imagery is not for the normal person. People that like my photographs are a minority. They are not people who want something over their couch. It’s what feels right to me. Sometimes I think to myself, why don’t do what everyone else is doing, but then it would feel like I was working for someone else. I don’t want to do that. To me it’s like going out and putting a new roof on my house on a beautiful July afternoon in a hundred degree temperature. Why would I want to do it when I don’t have to do it?

I wish everybody had something like this. It doesn’t have to be photography or the arts, but just something that they are passionate about. It’s important that they do it out of that passion. Not for any other psychological reasons, but just purely out of the passion to do it. I just find that there are so many people in life that just do what they do to get by. I was one of them in my early years in life. I had 3 good jobs that I got on my own. I enjoyed every one of them, but when I was around 40 years old I started thinking. When I was 43 or 44 I was a salesman. I was traveling the highways before the cell phones and computers and all that. I had a lot of time to think. I used to think to myself, at best, maybe I’ll live to be 85. I’ve got a good job, making good money, or decent, I’ll have a nice retirement program. Do I want to do this for another 20 years? I was thinking this when I was first getting interested in photography. The answer to this question kept coming up, no. I though on this, it didn’t happen in an afternoon. I thought on it and made a plan. It was a big step for me. It was a humongous step. It was like jumping off the Empire State Building and hoping to be alive when I hit the ground.

I was a salesman and I would go around to the other guys in what they called the bull pens, where you go in and wait to meet with the buyer to present your products. I would talk to these other guys and tell them my dreams. You would get to know guys out on the road. They would always say, “whoa what a dream.” Cause I kept thinking and dreaming of being a photographer and being an artist. They would say, “God, what a dream.” They all hated their jobs. I was actually at the point where I enjoyed my job, but I wanted to move on. I kept thinking about photography. The other guys always came up with excuses for why they didn’t move on. I did too. I’m too old, I’m too this, and etc. Eventually I wanted to do it bad enough and I was pushed towards it. Not by anyone, it was like a force. I could not, not do it. It was one of the most horrifically frightening things I have ever done in my life. Everything has worked out wonderfully. There have been pitfalls here and there. I had to trust it, because I was pushed towards it. I just had to jump off the Empire State Building without a parachute. My life has been wonderful.

Have you been able to make a living as a photographer?

No. I have never been able to make a living at it. My pictures are a very hard sell. I am trying to get in galleries now. I have never gone the conventional route. I have never done a lot of shows. I have done some stuff around here, though. I started to do them and I got bored doing them. I was in my fifties at the time and I said the hell with it. I don’t regret doing it. My pictures are an extremely hard sell. I’m trying to send them to galleries now to see if I can get in. I don’t know whether I will or not.


I thought about how I want to die. I have more years behind me than in front of me. So, sometimes I think about death. To me, the ultimate way to go is to obviously have my health, but to have you come over to do an interview and my wife opens the door and I’m dead with my forehead on the desk. Dead doing my passion.

Creators, Makers, & Doers highlights the lives and work of Boise artists and creative individuals. Selected profiles focus on individuals whose work has been supported by the Boise City Dept. of Arts & History.

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Creators, Makers & Doers: Mark Baltes

At the base of a vast and well-loved trail system, the Jim Hall Foothills Learning Center on N. 8th St. in Boise, ID hosts a striking 15 ft. tall weather vane, in the form of a native dandelion. Meet the artist, Mark Baltes, who created Aero Agoseries.


Creators, Makers, & Doers highlights the lives and work of Boise artists and creative individuals. Selected profiles focus on individuals whose work has been supported by the Boise City Dept. of Arts & History.

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