One way to get some insight into art is to study its studies. As people learn how to work with images and take advantage of a new medium, they inevitably uncover a lot of what constitutes art. You get to see what works and what doesn't. In the less finished work of students more of the actual work that goes into art and more of the difficult decisions that have to add up during its creation are closer to the surface. Sometimes I like to take a stroll through the halls of Boise State's Liberal Arts building and take a look at what the students there are creating.
Of course there are always degrees of finish in the work, and usually there are a few technically gifted students who are able to make good work without stretching their abilities too far. But the work I'm there to see is the work in which the students are treading beyond their comfort zones. Usually, this work goes too far and tries too hard. It's crowded and busy and has a hard time cooperating with itself. It's also great, because it reveals the unsatisfied energy that will, if developed, generate the kind of art that doesn't just please, but amazes and delights.
In a stroke of convenience, the Flying M coffeehouse in downtown Boise is presenting the work of printmaking students from Boise State through December. No need to try and find a parking spot at the school. While you're out Christmas shopping take a minute to get a latte and study some printmaking studies. The pieces are from Kimiko Miyoshi's classroom and from a statement about the show we are told the work exemplifies the interdisciplinary nature of contemporary printmaking practices. What this means exactly, I'm not sure, but it may be something like--you can do whatever the hell you want to do in contemporary printmaking. In any case, these studies are full of experimental energy.
Contributors include: Ashley Arumbruster, whose "Lick A Fish" has the viscous qualities of a fish; Tara Williams' "Murder I -- IV" incorporates elements of Edward Gorey with scrapbooking practices; O.C. Goleman takes advantage of the boldness available to prints with strong images and lush color, as does May Aboutaam's, "Who Am I." Angela Katana's "Daughter and, Mother" pieces are spooky with feeling, and Lisa Fogerson contributes a nice example of intaglio. Megan Jensen seems to be the standout in technique. Her pieces are controlled and finished, and her images are good examples of graphic art.
The readers of this paper recently voted the Flying M coffeehouse Boise's best art gallery. Good news no doubt for these students. I will add to the recognition of the shop by saying that of all the art galleries in Boise they make the best eggnog lattes and their orange juice is by far the freshest. If you're caffeinating anytime soon take a minute to check out the art. The show is titled, Under Pressure, and it's worth a look.