We are a small town with big city amenities, a sense of community, and easy access to the outdoors. Boise is Idaho’s Capitol and has over 200,00 residents; the surrounding valley adds 400,000 to the population. In recent years Boise has become increasingly diverse, and it is a refugee center for people from all over the world, which means we have everything from Halal groceries to Jewish Deli Days, from Vietnamese Phó to Lebanese restaurants.
Small neighborhoods are nestled around Boise, including a vibrant downtown filled with independent restaurants, bars, boutiques, and a Saturday farmer’s market that fills the streets with everything from flowers to artisan foods, farm-fresh produce to fine crafts. There are First Thursday gallery strolls and venues for large and small live performances including plays,operas, dance, concerts, readings, and lectures. Downtown is also home to the Boise Art Museum, Boise Contemporary Theater, The Log Cabin Literary Center, Balance Dance Company, and The Trey McIntire Project, a nationally renowned dance company. The Idaho Shakespeare Festival is nearby as well.
The Boise River offers birding, fishing, swimming, and rafting, as it winds itself through downtown, along with it’s peaceful paved and unpaved greenbelt path with a view of the trail-filled foothills nearby. During the summer, the river cools off rafters and tubers, and fishing is a year-round activity. Bogus Basin, Boise’s ski resort, just a 30 minute drive away, offers downhill and Nordic skiing, including many lit trails for nighttime skiers. There is always something going on or a place to explore, and you needn’t be rich to take advantage of Boise’s offerings.
Garden City, where Surel’s Place is located, is a small city that retains its own municipal government, despite the fact that it is surrounded by Boise. In recent years, in part because of Surel’s efforts, Garden City has attracted artists for its proximity to downtown Boise and nature. Within walking distance from Surel’s Place, you’ll find Enso, a professional artist cooperative gallery, the Visual Arts Collective, the Woman of Steel gallery, many independent artist studios, Garden CIty’s own Payette Brewing company, and a rock-climbing gym just two blocks away. Though Garden City is slightly more rough and tumble than Boise proper, it is a peaceful and vibrant community in its own right.
Clearly, we could go on and on and on, but we think it’s better to let Boise and its people speak for themselves. Below are useful links to help you familiarize yourself with Boise and Garden City as you consider becoming a Surel’s Place artist-in-residence.
For information about the arts culture here, visit the Boise Department of Arts and History:
An easy to navigate site that has information about Boise’s public arts program, cultural programs and history. Here you’ll find links to sites for all of Boise’s art museums, venues, and organizations. The resource guide (second link, below), lists each of the organizations individually, by category.