Blake Sherlock to Debut 'Mosaic Light Paintings' at Boise Pop-up Show 

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Courtesy Blake Sherlock

Blake Sherlock is what you might call a part-time Idaho artist. For most of the year, he lives in Guatemala, where he draws inspiration for his mosaics and participates in a kind of cultural exchange by working with locals on community art projects. But when the weather turns, he can sometimes be found in McCall, where his family keeps a summer home. This year, his time on Payette Lake has inspired a new series of what Sherlock calls "mosaic light paintings," and on Sunday, Aug. 19, he'll drive them down to Boise's Surprise Valley Farmhouse for a pop-up show and sale.

  • Courtesy Blake Sherlock
"It definitely is something that's very different from the rest of the work that I've done, and I think it does go beyond mosaic. And it's beyond painting. It's really its own art," Sherlock said.

The pieces are hybrids, planes of glass that can be flipped to show acrylic paintings on one side, or mosaic works made from glass and stone pieces on the other. While the two sides are created separately, they blend and interplay in the finished product, particularly when light shines through them, reflecting off of the metallic paint. Subjects inspired by McCall's natural landscape, like butterflies and flowers, are almost brought to life in the right light, changing character as the sun moves throughout the day.

Blake said the double-sided works are partly the result of experimentation, and partly thanks to requests from clients. 

  • Courtesy Blake Sherlock
"I've always created kind of these vessels, candle holders or flower vessels," he said. "A client commissioned me to make three of these, and they liked that I had painted the inside of [them] and really wanted me to explore that painting part as much as the mosaic part."

That was years ago, but it wasn't until after the 2016 presidential election that Sherlock sat down to try the new method, wanting to do something fresh and daring in response to what he felt was a national crisis.

"It was almost like, 'This is the end of the world. And if this is the end of the world, what have you not done? Well, I haven't done these paintings, so I'd better do that,'" he said. "I think as artists, a lot of times we go to the studio and it's a refuge. We can turn off our brains when we're painting and making mosaic."

For his Aug. 19 exhibition, which will run from 1-7 p.m., Sherlock plans to shuttle roughly 50 pieces down from McCall in a single car trip. Nearly all of the works will be for sale, and any art enthusiasts who miss the show can check out the remaining pieces in McCall at a Ruby's Kitchen pop-up Saturday, Aug. 25, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 
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