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Take a Stroll Through Boise's Art in the Park

Colorful Julia Davis ParkBoise Art in the Park - The Present
Celebrating its 57th year, Boise Art Museum's Art in the Park, takes place in 2011 at Julia Davis Park, from September 9-11.  The three day outdoor event has become a showcase for the city of Boise, a veritable city picnic, and a nationally-recognized art festival. Renowned travel guides such as Frommer's have pointed out the festival, singling it out for special attention.  This year's Art in the Park will have in excess of 250 Idaho artists and exhibitors, ranging from gourd artists, to painters, photographers to jewelry designers, metalworkers, sculptors, fashion designers - indeed, anyone with a creative flair - not to mention musicians and entertainers, and food vendors of every sort.

Boise Art in the Park - The Past
Boise Art in the Park was established in 1954 by a coalition of local artists in need of a venue for their artwork. The Boise Art Museum (founded only in 1931), requiring more funding- came together with the Boise Parks and Recreation Department, who happened to have available parkland in need of events.  A confluence of differing needs, but one that, by dint of teamwork and cooperation, ultimately coalesced into a "perfect storm" of synchronicity, the first Boise Art in the Park was organized and held at Julia Davis Park.

Julia Davis Park
An early resident of the area, Julia Davis (nee McCrumb) was married to Thomas Davis, an orphan from Cincinnati, who along with his brother, Frank, migrated to the area in hopes of joining the Gold Rush.  What the brothers actually accomplished, however, was the founding of the city of Boise in 1864, not far from what was previously known as Fort Boise.  Upon the passing of his wife in 1907 (from typhoid), Thomas bequeathed a forty-nine acre plot of land to the city, stipulated that the name of the park was forever to be Julia Davis Park, and that it was only for public use.

Local Downtown ArtThe park today numbers almost ninety acres, is recognized as the first of Boise's "String of Pearls," a name designated for the array of parks running through the heart of some neighborhoods and along side many Boise homes.

Boise Art in the Park - The Future
In spite of a reeling national economy, the future of Boise Art in the Park appears secure.  Far from being a drain upon consumers, the festival has taken a life unto itself, become a touchstone event, not just for Boise, but for the entire state of Idaho as well as many other surrounding states. While not solely the result of Boise Art in the Park, Boise Art Museum has grown during its sponsorship from 3,000 square feet to its present 34,800 square feet.  Meanwhile, Julia Davis Park is scheduled for expansion and improvements thanks to Second Century, a coalition led by a Davis heir.


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