The Art Museum of Eastern Idaho opened its doors in 2002. Since then, it has been operated as a nonprofit museum and education center. The institution was largely funded through various corporations and foundation and is now run by a board of directors. One of the stated goals of the Art Museum of Eastern Idaho is to promote artistic creativity in the area’s youngest residents. To this end, the museum offers art classes aimed at children ages 5 to 13. Special summer programming is another way that the museum engages the youth of the area.
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In their Art Trek summer camps, children have the opportunity to work with wood, clay, paint, and found materials. In addition, guided tours provide students with instruction around how to read exhibit labels and how to go about interpreting art works.
The museum also offers a variety of workshops and classes geared for adults. Figure drawing, sculpture, and still life drawing are all offered to those looking to explore their creative side.
The Cowboy: Through Lens and Leather
The museum’s current exhibition titled The Cowboy: Through Lens and Leather features photography by renowned artist Adam Jahiel. This prolific artist is best known for his work with the Titanic, the National Geographic Society, and HBO. Captivated by the rugged landscape of the western United States, Jahiel had been photographing cowboys for years. The photographs exhibited at the museum speak to his reverence for this uniquely American subculture. Showcasing the skill and grit of the cowboys, Jahiel’s work is an attempt to preserve the heritage of this rapidly disappearing vocation. Through his photographs, the eternal struggle of man against nature and man against himself is made tangible, allowing museumgoers to appreciate cowboys and ranch culture on a whole new level.
This exhibition also features artists such as Chase Carter, Jeff Minor, and Nancy Martini, to name a few. Visitors will be able to see the crafts of saddle making, raw hide braiding, and spur making, which support cowboys in their work.
Adding to the conversation about the changing American cultural landscape, the museum is currently exhibiting Lily Martina Lee and the Snake River Plein Air Painters. Lee, a mixed media sculptor, is known for re-contextualizing unconventional materials to introduce a contemporary portrait of the Northwest. Her vision of the region is one that in many ways contradicts Jahiel’s nostalgia of cowboy culture. The two exhibits are bound to provoke strong reactions from guests and offer new perspectives that challenge visitors to think critically.
The Art of Shushana Rucker
In addition to Complementing the Cowboy: Through Lens and Leather exhibition, the museum showcased two other exhibits. Visitors saw the art of Shushana Rucker, an artist known for paintings depicting stylized images of declining suburban American cities. Focusing on the convergence between the common and uncanny, the haunting images on display provided the perfect counterpoint to the lively heroism of the cowboy exhibit.
Other Attraction Nearby
Museums of Idaho
Visitors wishing to get a more comprehensive look at the history of Idaho and the Intermountain region will likely enjoy an afternoon at the Museum of Idaho. Conveniently located in downtown Idaho Falls, this cultural attraction welcomes 100,000 local and international visitors annually. Its world-class travelling exhibits are sure to educate and delight visitors of all ages.
Historic Colonial Theatre
Originally built in 1919, the Colonial Theatre is a great example of the cultural heritage at the heart of Idaho Falls. The Colonial Theatre has 988 seats as well as galleries, classrooms, artists’ studios, and meeting spaces. Visitors will be surprised to learn that the theatre they see today is actually a renovated version of the original structure. The project was spearheaded by a generous anonymous donor whose contributions matched those made by the public.
While Idaho Falls has much to offer in the way of premium meats and seafood options, vegetarian-friendly restaurants can also be found. D’railed Gastropub is sure to make an impression with their gourmet lineup of seafood, including king crab, North Atlantic lobster tail, and halibut. Equally impressive are their steaks, which include filet mignon, bacon-wrapped pork medallions, and 14 oz. rib eye. To get a taste of locally sourced ingredients, visitors should consider the Arugula Deli. Providing plenty of options for vegetarians, vegans, and meat eaters, this local joint is a crowd pleaser.
300 S. Capital Ave., Idaho Falls, ID 83402, Phone: 208-524-7777