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  • Writer's pictureJenna King


Boise is a thriving city that has so much to offer to residents and visitors alike—and that includes art. You can view art that was created as far away as Asia and as close as Front Street. I’ve compiled a few spots around downtown Boise where you can not only appreciate art, but also purchase and even try your hand at creating your own.

Boise Art Museum

Located right along the Boise River, in Julia Davis Park is the Boise Art Museum (BAM). The museum’s mission is to “engage people and inspire learning” through exhibits, collections, and events. BAM’s collection is largely focused on American art from the 18th century to the present, along with Asian art, European art, and Ethnographic collections. Take in examples of American realism, Native American weaving, Asian ceramics and more while wandering around the museum. You do not want to miss BAM’s collection of artwork by James Castle, Idaho’s own self-taught artist.

Ward Hooper Gallery

Another Idaho artist who you’ll want to get to know is Ward Hooper. Hooper’s downtown gallery is unique in that you’ll find more than paintings lined up on a white wall. This eclectic location features everything from vintage pieces to original artwork by the artist. You will probably even see the man himself sitting behind the counter. Idaho is often the subject of Hooper’s artwork inspired by the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s. Hooper aims to make his art affordable so that you can take an original piece home with you.

Boise Creative Center

If you’re hoping to rub shoulders with an artist, then Boise Creative Center is the place to be. This downtown spot is unique in that it is both a studio and gallery space. Alex Vega is the founder and director of the Boise Creative Center. He is a multi-talented artist who wears the many hats of muralist, illustrator, designer, sign-maker, and even painting instructor. That’s right! You can use your own artistic skills at Boise Creative Center’s Friday night paint parties.

Boise Art Glass

With more than 25 years of experience, Philip Vogelpoh’s glass creations at Boise Art Glass are a must-see when in Boise. From delicate jellyfish sculptures to practical soap dispensers, you can view and purchase a Vogelpoh creation for your own home. Or, better yet, you can create your own. Join a class during downtown Boise’s First Thursday festivities, or choose a time and focus from one of the many classes offered.

Freak Alley

For an unusual art experience, head to Freak Alley in downtown Boise. As the largest open-air gallery in the northwest, Freak Alley features murals by a variety of artists. The Boise institution began in 2002 when Colby Akers left his artistic mark on the back door of Moon’s Cafe. Since then, artists have gathered in the alley every summer to add their own creations, resulting in an ever-changing gallery.

You can find even more art galleries to visit in downtown Boise here.

Don’t forget—if you ever have any questions about the ever-changing marketplace or know someone looking to buy or sell, please do not hesitate to reach out!

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