Idaho is favored with a remarkable number of fine artists, particularly if a person’s definition of art is expansive enough to include objects of enduring beauty, handmade and unique. Such art encompasses, for example, things as disparate as signs and books, saddles and belt buckles.
“Idaho Artists: A Contemporary Selection,” by Cort Conley, is the first book of its kind in more than 20 years. It profiles 36 men and women from 22 towns with 17 art forms whose lifeway compels them to “make art.” It examines the wellsprings of their creativity, their traditions and training, how they go about their work, and their own aspirations and assimilated inspirations.
Four of the artists — Jim Budde, Francis Fox, Troy Passey and Brady Udall — currently are professors at Boise State
University; two others — Tarmo Watia and Anthony Doerr — have been in the past; and five more are Boise State graduates: poet Jim Irons, ceramist Kerry Moosman, graphite artist Renda Palmer, and painters Molly Hill and Surel Mitchell.
“Idaho Artists” is the last title in the Hemingway Western Studies Series prepared under the guidance of late English professor Tom Trusky, founding editor of the series, who passed away early in the book’s composition.
The publication includes 120 color photographs and the text conveys the remarkable range of Gem State artistry.
The book is available from the Hemingway Western Studies Center at Boise State (perfect bound, 168 pages, $29.95 plus $7 for tax, shipping and handling).