Fresh AIR 

Last December, a new crop of artists hauled their sharp metal sculptures, table saws and speakers into the Mercantile Building in BODO. Now in its fourth cycle, the 8th Street Marketplace's Artist-in-Residence program invited mixed-media artist Jess Sanden, large-scale painter Kate Masterson and sound installation artist Ted Apel to occupy rooms in the building for three months. We gave these artists 30 days to burn the midnight oil in their new downtown workspaces before checking in on their progress.

Recent University of Idaho BFA grad Jess Sanden makes large cut-out-steel sculptures of the human form. Viewed from the side, the pieces protrude from the wall in an accordion-like mess of unrecognizable sharp edges and painted steel. But standing directly in front of the sculptures reveals the curvy flesh of naked human bodies. Sanden also creates da Vinci-esque acrylic and charcoal paintings of male musculature, as well as new wooden sculptures, which he's been working on over the last month.

Painter Kate Masterson, a Humboldt State University grad, creates colorful large-scale oil paintings, most of which are candid, sweeping-brush-stroke portraits. Masterson spent the last month constructing and stretching large canvases before getting started on a couple of new acrylic and oil pieces. Sun-glinted photos of friends taken in the Foothills provide inspiration for her new work. (Full disclosure, I'm one of her subjects.)

Sound sculpture artist and Boise State adjunct professor Ted Apel crafts pieces that "focus on the audio transducing element as the source of visual and sonic material." His current installation features square panels of natural materials--like steel, cedar and aluminum--which are affixed to the floor and emanate sounds that blend together as you walk throughout the room.

The new project Apel has been working on in his space is similar in concept to his current installation, but will focus more on how sound changes depending on physical location.

"You think of music as developing in time and changing in time, so this is taking sound and having it change over space instead," explained Apel.

If you missed checking out these new AIR artists last month, or you just want to gauge how productive they've been, be sure to poke your head into their studios this First Thursday, Jan. 7, from 5 to 9 p.m. Also be sure to stop by the studios of AIR annex artists Lisa Bufano and Sue Latta in the Alaska Building at 1020 Main Street and Erik Sande and Kristy Albrecht in the Renewal Basement at 517 S. Eighth Street.

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