About the Space

Designed by Surel and built in 1998, the house is a one-level modern live-work space, filled with art and light. Virtually all visitors to this space say they feel immediately welcome and at ease; it is a peaceful, quiet, warm space for living and making art. The home is ADA compliant and, with the friendly neighbors nearby, living at Surel’s Place is worry free for residents.

At the front of the house, is a large studio with 15-foot ceilings, a large painting wall, and lots of indirect natural light. The studio also has a large easel and two work tables, one of which spans eight feet, plus ample storage for materials and work.

The remainder of the house is comfortable living space, with all of the amenities of a fully functional home, including living area, dining area, fully appointed kitchen, half bath (also known as The Red Powder Room), and a laundry room. The bedroom suite is tucked in behind antique French doors and includes a cozy, peaceful bedroom, bathroom with walk-in shower, and walk-in dressing room/closet.

The home is filled with the art, books, and antiques that Surel collected during her life time. Many of the paintings are her father’s, also an accomplished painter. There are also many fine examples of work by other Boise artists. In addition, there is a large library of art books that artists may use for reference and inspiration.

Outside, there are two patios, one in front for neighborly encounters, and one in the back for more quiet outdoor time. The professionally-tended gardens surrounding the house are filled with flowering bushes and trees, including huge hydrangeas and a privacy wall of rose of Sharon.

People fill the grounds at Surel's Place to see a presentation by a visiting artist.
The outdoor space at Surel’s Place is as usable and lovely as the indoor space.

Despite the relative privacy of the property, neighbors are relatively close, and there is an established sense of community in the neighborhood. People are friendly and some nearby residents, whether they rent or own, have been here for many, many years. Despite it’s rough and tumble appearance, the neighborhood is a peaceful, welcoming place to live.

The Boise River and its greenbelt are less than 50 feet away, offering paved and unpaved walking trails and a quick route to downtown via foot or bicycle. And, Surel’s Place has two bicycles for resident use, which make a trip to downtown a matter of minutes.

The home and grounds are 100% non-smoking.  Surel quit smoking 20 years before her diagnosis of terminal metastatic lung cancer, and because we now know how toxic smoking is, it is not permitted in or around Surel’s home–not inside the house, not on the patios, not on the driveway, not in the garage, not in the gardens. This non-negotiable expectation extends to residents and guests alike.

The Experience

Our mission is two-fold: to offer artists the kind of professional support you deserve and to provide the public with interesting, accessible, inclusive, and professional art experiences, including performances, readings, exhibits, and workshops.


Surel’s Place believes that artists should be supported at a level commensurate to the value you add to our individual and collective lives.  We aim to give you the time, shelter, and professional support your work deserves.  In exchange, we ask you to offer art experiences to our community.  Boise values artists and their work, and as a resident, you will be valued and appreciated for the energy, ideas, and dedication that you bring to our city.


The program is open to professional visual, literary, and performance artists:  painters, writers, musicians, architects, filmmakers, and choreographers… any artist who needs a place to focus.  However, because of the property’s limitations and proximity to neighbors, this is not a place that can accommodate loud or terribly messy processes, such as welding or blacksmithing.

We favor artists whose work is technically advanced, unique, attractive (need not be pretty!), and conceptually valuable.  Work that is predominantly conceptual, that must be explained in order to attract a viewer, may not be met with as much enthusiasm by our jurists.  In addition, because we ask our residents to interact with the public through one workshop and one final event, we welcome artists who desire to connect with an audience in these ways.

Additionally, each cycle, one of our five residencies includes outreach to local schools through our PARTNER Schools Program — another way we do our part to serve our community.