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‘Sustenance’ Exhibition Offers Idaho Artists’ Take on Food Issues

By: Sherry Squires   Published 9:42 am / April 20, 2012

The Boise State Visual Arts Center has partnered with the Treasure Valley Food Coalition to present “Sustenance,” an exhibition about food by Idaho artists, May 11-23 in Visual Arts Center Gallery Two. The gallery is located inside the Hemingway Western Studies Center on the Boise State campus.

Two events are planned in conjunction with the exhibit. A farm-to-table dinner with the artists will celebrate local food, wine and art at 6:30 p.m. May 10. Tickets are $60 and seating is limited. Contact Susan Medlin at An opening reception will be held from 6-8 p.m.  May 11. It is free and open to the public with free parking in the Liberal Arts parking lot. Gallery hours throughout the remainder of the exhibit are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Friday.

In 2011, the Visual Arts Center and the Treasure Valley Food Coalition invited Idaho artists who have an interest in food issues and a desire to reflect that interest in their work to apply for inclusion in “Sustenance.” Curator Kirsten Furlong has selected 18 artworks by 13 artists or artist groups for the exhibition. The artworks are about ideas related to obesity, food preservation, contemporary farming practices, and links between agriculture and architecture and include stop-motion video, sculpture, printmaking, painting and photography.

Proceeds from the sale of exhibited work will be divided equally between the artist and the Treasure Valley Food Coalition, which will use the funds to undertake stage two of a local food assessment involving primary research on local food resources.

Idaho artists included in the exhibition are: Jan Boles and Rahul Sharma, Caldwell; David Bazdar, Ben Bibikov, Steve Miler and Randy Warren, Boise/Meridian; Stephanie Bacon, Maria Chavez, Cami Ruh Clemo, Eli Craven, Eric Obendorf and Jany Rae Seda, all of Boise; Mrs. Mizuta’s second grade class at Washington Elementary, Boise; Scott Evans, Pocatello; John and Miranda Anderson, Viola; and Wingtip Press artists Mare Blocker of McCall, Matt Bodett, Katazyna Cepek, Terra Feast, Lisa Cheney Jorgensen, Tara Kennedy, Amy Nack and Josh Olson, all of Boise.

In addition to Boise State’s Visual Arts Center and the Treasure Valley Food Coalition, support for the exhibit comes from the Arts and Humanities Institute at Boise State, the Boise State Department of Art, Tri-City Meats, Idaho’s Bounty, Jill Simplot and Pam Lemley, Dave Krick and Jami Adams, Driek and Michael Zirinsky, Anita Kay Hardy, Tzo-nah, Gary and Cathy Lyons, Susan and John Medlin, and Skip and Esther Oppenheimer.

About the Treasure Valley Food Coalition:

The Treasure Valley Food Coalition is a nonprofit organization that supports and promotes a vibrant local food economy in the Treasure Valley food shed of Southwestern Idaho and Eastern Oregon. TVFC is unique in its focus on the food system, connecting what we eat to myriad issues including energy, transportation, health, nutrition, agriculture, education, culture and jobs. For more information about the coalition, contact Susan Medlin at or visit

About the Visual Arts Center:

The Visual Arts Center (VAC) is the gallery of the Art Department at Boise State University. The VAC organizes and presents a variety of regional, national and international contemporary visual art exhibitions in two campus galleries located in the Liberal Arts Building and the Hemingway Western Studies Center. The Visual Arts Center also organizes a variety of lectures and special events open to university and community audiences. For more information about the Visual Arts Center and the Sustenance exhibition, contact Gallery Director Kirsten Furlong at or (208) 426-3994, or visit or