Capitol Contemporary Gallery Helps Spearhead Boise Gallery Guide 

Randy Van Dyck never intended to open a gallery: At heart, he's a frame shop man. But when he moved Boise's Van Dyck Frame Design to Capitol Boulevard in late 2018, buying the vacant storefront next door just made sense. The two spaces seemed incapable of functioning alone—they only have a single back door and bathroom between them.

Capitol Contemporary Gallery, which opened in January, showcases original work exclusively from Idaho artists, who pay an annual membership fee to claim a chunk of wall or floor space.

"We can comfortably fit 24 artists in here, so 18 of those artists display on the wall, [and of] the other six, there are two that use display cases and four sculptors that use the floor space," said Van Dyck. Memberships are in hot demand, with an estimated 15 names on the waiting list in March. That success has allowed Van Dyck to turn some of his attention elsewhere, and it landed on something he feels is sorely needed in Boise: an official, city-wide gallery guide.

"Sun Valley has them, Seattle, Portland, all of the bigger art communities have a gallery guide so that visitors from out of town or people who actually live here can pick up a little brochure or whatever it is and know where to go and what to see," he said. "...But for some reason, Boise has never really put a cohesive one together."

Along with Jake and Moriah Soper of Evermore Prints, Van Dyck is taking steps to change that. The trio has established an association and brought other local galleries, including Boise Art Museum, on board. There have been some participation hang-ups over sharing costs, but Van Dyck said he's pushing through them to get the finished product into customers' hands as soon as possible.

"We missed the first quarter already so we're going to try to hit the second quarter, which would put it out by April," he said. An exact release date is still pending.

If the guide pans out, Van Dyck teased the next item on his list: approaching the City of Boise with BAM to revive the trolly that once shuttled people from gallery to gallery on First Thursday.

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