Group Show: Yes, Maybe, No, featuring the work of four Boise State art students, will have its official opening from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Thursday, May 20, at The Gallery at the Linen Building, 1402 W. Grove St. in Downtown Boise’s Linen District. Admission is free. All ages, full bar (I.D. required).
An artist dialogue will be held at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, June 10. Group Show runs through June 21.
The work of graduating students Ben Browne, Benjamin Love and Veiko Valencia, along with graduate student Matt Bodett, debuted in the second-floor, loft-style Gallery during Modern Art May 6.
BEN BROWNE: Most of Ben Browne’s early growth and development came about in Twin Falls, where he graduated from high school and attended the College of Southern Idaho. It was here that Browne came to the astonishing realization of what it meant to be an artist. With this in mind, he spent the next two years developing an extra-curricular studio practice and fledgling understanding of art’s potential. Upon returning from a summer residency at Chautauqua Institution in upstate New York, Browne decided to continue his education at Boise State University in Idaho, where he currently lives, works and studies.
For Browne, art began as an activity falling somewhere between visual exploration and obsessive pastime. While his processes and perception may have changed considerably, these definitions are still both integral and informative to Browne’s studio practice. With special attention paid to the minutiae of life in a world inundated with fast images, weird objects and ambiguous spaces, Browne’s work is driven by a curiosity about the multiple ways that humans reconcile relationships between themselves and their surroundings, and the inquisitive power of art to complicate this task.
BENJAMIN LOVE: Benjamin Love was born and grew up in Idaho. His work has been shown in solo and group exhibitions in such institutions as the Ludwigsburg University of Education in Stuttgart, Germany, The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Ox-Bow School of Art in Saugatuck, Mich., Washington State University Museum of Art in Pullman, Wash., and Nagoya Zokei University in Japan. He has work in private and public collections nationally and internationally in such institutions as The Boise Art Museum, The Princeton University Graphic Arts Collection, and the Green Door Printmaking Studio Archive in Derby, England.
Love has been awarded residencies with The Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Ox-Bow Summer School, The Idaho Commission on the Arts, and Boise’s 8th Street Marketplace Artist in Residence Program. Love’s current projects include a commissioned public artwork with the City of Boise and the South East Neighborhood Association, The Sam Cooke Karaoke Project and a series of prints based on neoclassical bronze sculptures in Berlin.
VEIKO VALENCIA: Veiko Valencia lives and works in Boise, where he has studied at Boise State University since 2007. Originally from Arequipa City, Peru, Valencia studied at a very traditional art school called Art Superior School Carlos Baca Flor. His current work reflects a mixture of schools: his traditional education in Peru and contemporary education in Boise. Valencia has shown work locally and nationally, and will be participating in both the 8th Street Marketplace Artist in Residence Program and Modern Art at the Modern Hotel over the summer.
Valencia’s work is about hybridization and the construction of a new global identity. He uses humor in his work to make controversial ideas less-abrasive while entertaining the viewer’s eye with detailed drawings, ironic compositions and absurd visual vocabulary. Valencia’s goal with current projects is to come to his own conclusions according to viewers’ reactions to questions posed in his work. Although no materials are off limits, Valencia’s favorite is cardboard, of which he has commented, “This material helps me represent my idea of Latino-America; I find it unusual, unexpected and flexible. It has connotations of poverty and cheapness, but at the same time has extraordinary beauty hidden in its surface.”
MATT BODETT: Matt Bodett was born in Eastern Idaho in 1981 and spent most of his elementary years in the Seattle area. Having an interest in art since a young boy, Bodett began taking art in middle school and continued through high school. In 1999, he won the two-dimensional artist of the year award. He started college at Ricks College in Rexburg, leaving briefly to serve as a missionary in Honolulu. Upon his return, he resumed his studies.
Diagnosed with Schizo-Affective Disorder, Bodett briefly left college before enrolling at Boise State. Much of the artwork completed during his schooling explores the many changes and problems he has faced. Acting now as an advocate for persons with mental health issues, Bodett hopes to create artwork that will open the dialogue for serious consideration of the treatment of mentally ill patients. In the fall of 2009, Bodett began the Masters of Fine Arts program at Boise State and plans on graduating with his MFA in the spring of 2011.
The Gallery at the Linen Building is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays and by appointment. For interviews, images or more information, contact Gallery owner David Hale at 208.385.0111 or
firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit thelinenbuilding.com and interact with the Linen Building on Twitter, Facebook and MySpace.