Boise Blue Going Out of Business, City of Boise Public Art Proposals 

After more than 70 years of service to the Boise arts community, Boise Blue Art Supply is going out of business.

Sisters and co-owners Janet Hackett and Terrie Robinson tried to keep the business afloat, but the bad economy has been too much to overcome.

"We just can't seem to struggle through. We've tried everything we can. The only thing it's proving to us is that we've thrown every damn dime we have into it--and it still isn't working," Hackett said, in good humor.

While they aren't exactly sure when they'll close the doors for good, she expects it will be somewhere between the next 30 to 60 days.

"Probably by the end of March for sure," she said, adding that the landlord has already shown the building to a prospective new tenant.

Hackett isn't positive what they'll do with any remaining inventory but said she does know they won't go through a liquidator.

"We just want our products to go to the people who want them," she said.

Boise Blue Art Supply, 820 W. Jefferson St., 208-343-2564,

While you may have to look elsewhere for your art supplies, you can look to the Boise City Department of Arts and History for new ways to express your artistic abilities. During the next five months, the department will offer paid opportunities for local artists, including public art on a fence in the Linen District, a functional alternative energy artwork on the Grove, framed pieces at City Hall and the Boise Airport, artwork along the tour path of the Boise Wastewater Treatment Plant and more. The budgets for these projects, which are mainly for individual artists or small groups of individual artists, range from about $9,950 to $40,000, depending on the scope of what is expected. It would behoove any interested artists to attend the upcoming informational meetings presented by the Department of Arts and History: On Wednesday, Feb. 17, they'll hold a meeting at City Hall to discuss all of the upcoming opportunities. Thursday, March 18, the Boise Watercooler will host a lecture titled "Eco Art." Friday, March 26, and Saturday, March 27, a workshop on preparing art proposals will be held at City Hall.

Pre-registration is required for the workshops. Call Karen Bubb, at 208-433-5677 or e-mail here at

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