Annual Manual 2018: Will Crawl for Art 

These nine Boise galleries are worth the trek

Freak Alley.

Freak Alley.

click to enlarge - ArtSource Gallery. -  - LEX NELSON
  • Lex Nelson
  • ArtSource Gallery.

Art Source Gallery

One of Boise's primary bastions of high-quality, original artwork, Art Source Gallery features work from 35-40 artists and offers a variety of media, including photography, paintings, jewelry, sculptures, ceramics and glassworks. Its artwork can also be found at the Boise Airport in Concourse B. Art Source puts the "fine" in "fine art"—in the classiest sense of the word.

1015 W. Main St., artsourcegallery.com.

Boise Art Museum

The Boise Art Museum began its journey on Dec. 3, 1932, at the Carnegie Public Library. More than 80 years later, BAM continues to be an educational and charitable organization, creating visual art experiences aimed to engage the community. In addition to its year-round indoor space, BAM also hosts Art in the Park, an annual festival in Julia Davis Park that features over 200 artists. Plus, on First Thursdays, guests can gain admission to the museum by donation.

670 Julia Davis Drive, boiseartmuseum.org.

click to enlarge JASON JACOBSEN
  • Jason Jacobsen

Freak Alley Gallery

Located between Eighth and Ninth streets, and Bannock and Idaho streets in downtown Boise, Freak Alley was established in 2002 when founder and director Colby Akers drew on the back alley doorway of what was then Moon's Kitchen Cafe. Since then, it has become the Northwest's largest outdoor, multi-artist mural gallery and features a constantly-changing array of street art by hundreds of locals. Stop by to snap some Instagram-worthy photos.

210 N. Ninth St., freakalleygallery.org.

Gallery 601

Although no longer located at its namesake 601 Main Street address, Gallery 601 still brings customers art that fits its high standards. The gallery features original artwork and jewelry, as well as books, figurines, ornaments, pillowcases and t-shirts. In addition, any weekday from 5-6 p.m., Gallery 601 offers a service that pairs customers with their own shopping guides, an idea "designed for that one-on-one personal shopping experience."

211 N. 10th St., gallery601.com.

click to enlarge - Ming Studios. -  - LEX NELSON
  • Lex Nelson
  • Ming Studios.

Ming Studios

Ming Studios punches well above its weight class by bringing contemporary art to Boise that might otherwise be inaccessible to Idahoans, often by offering artist accommodations through its residency program. The program invites artists to Boise for working residencies lasting anywhere from two weeks to three months. The artists provide talks, solo exhibitions, workshops and open studios to the public during their stays. Ming also hosts readings, screenings and other cultural activities.

420 S. Sixth St., mingstudios.org.

R. Grey Gallery

For the "wow" factor when it comes to gorgeous jewelry, check out R. Grey Gallery. The gallery opened 28 years ago to showcase pieces by Robert Grey Kaylor, but it now hosts the work of over 100 artists. Customers can browse a wide range of furniture pieces, hand-blown glass art, jewelry and more, or order unique jewelry pieces designed and created in-store.

415 S. Eighth St., rgreygallery.com.

Stewart Gallery

Though Stewart Gallery's website is minimalist, its mission certainly isn't. Representing a small group of artists, Stewart Gallery is dedicated to building their careers through acquisitions, exhibitions, projects and publications. The gallery features paintings, drawings, sculptures, installations and limited-edition prints ranging from non-objective to contemporary realism. Plus, it's celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2018.

2230 W. Main St., stewartgallery.com.

click to enlarge - SWELL Artist Collective. -  - HARRISON BERRY
  • Harrison Berry
  • SWELL Artist Collective.

Swell Artist Collective

Yes, Swell Artist Collective won best local artist in this year's Best of Boise. No, we are not done talking about how great it is. Featuring 70 local artists (including past BOB winners), Swell's mission is to create a vibrant studio and gallery environment, and help grow Boise's burgeoning arts community. Swell is also known for events like the annual Boise Art Crawl, which encourages people to explore the downtown scene.

404 S. Eighth St., swellboise.com.

Ward Hooper's Vintage PIX

Take all the elements of life in Idaho, turn them into a vintage cartoon and you have Ward Hooper's art style. The old-timey look of Hooper's pieces reflects Idaho's historical significance, while his subject matter is modern (take the "boy-c not boy-z" argument, for one), and the resulting pieces can be screened onto anything from mugs and t-shirts to iPhone cases.

745 W. Idaho St., wardhooper.com.

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