The Boise City archives are keeping the art collected preserved for future generations.

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Last year, Treefort Music Fest and the Velma V. Morrison Center for the Performing Arts partnered with The Boise City Department of Arts & History to create the COVID Cultural Commissioning Fund.

The goal was to provide local artists with grants to make art during the pandemic. The department decided last summer to preserve some of the work in the city’s archive, and the “City of Boise’s COVID Community Collection” was born.

“The benefits of this collection are multiple,” said Catina Crum, public arts assistant for the Boise City Department of Arts & History. “The arts industry is struggling and this helps artists share their work and the collection also is a beautiful way to tell the story of how the pandemic affected the arts community in Boise.”

The collection consists of 27 works from 25 different artists across a wide array of mediums; the collection includes pottery, textiles, poems and screenplays. People can view the collection digitally on the department’s website.

City archivist Alan Butcher said the collection is especially wonderful because when people research the influenza pandemic of 1919, there’s little to no information about art made during that time.

“It’s a really unique way of presenting the information to people,” said Butcher. “I was brought in to review submissions and it was really cool to see how excited the artists were, their art will be preserved for future generations.”

The artists and works selected for the collection are:

  • • Helene Peterson & Amy Granger, Collaborative Quilt #2, textile
  • • Hannah Rodabaugh, “COVID-19 | The Past Speaks to The Future,” poem
  • • Ellen Wilson, Perspective in Shopping, painting
  • • Katie Fuller, “Preppers” & “How to Mourn a Holiday in New Pandemia,” poems
  • • Brooke Rowen, Teenage Apocalypse, digital print
  • • Emily Pittinos, A Careful Distance, short play
  • • Gracieux Baraka, Caravaggio (2), photograph
  • • Bob Bushnell, “Yesterday,” poem
  • • Lorelle Rau & Hannah Riley, The World Held Me Underwater, and I Grew Gills II, collage
  • • Veiko Valencia Pacheco, See what this is…, drawing
  • • Wendy Blickenstaff Hunkered Down, print
  • • Margaret Koger, “Scenes from the Pandemic,” poem
  • • Bruce Maurey , Oxygen, painting
  • • Eric Mullis & Kelly Cox, Disruption, sculpture
  • • Katarzyna Cepek, Change Starts with Us & Apathy/Empathy, photographs
  • • Catherine Kyle, “Elysium,” poem
  • • Hallie Maxwell, 46 Cranes for Justice and Health, sculpture
  • • Laura Mei Roghaar, HAP, book art
  • • Chad Shohet, dance macabre 2020, print
  • • Bob Bushnell, “Pandemic,” poem
  • • Rachel Emenaker, Rebuild, painting
  • • Heidi Kraay, Unwind: Hindsight is 2020, full-length play
  • • Rachel Emenaker, After the Storm, painting
  • • Elisabeth Sharp McKetta, ARK, novel
  • • Helene Peterson & Amy Granger, Collaborative Quilt #1, textile

The city archives will re-open to the public for in-person viewing when COVID restrictions are lifted.

“This collection is so powerful,” said Crum, “and it was cathartic for everyone who worked on it, the stories that came through were so moving. A natural thread was found through the artwork of difficulty and resilience, it was so clear and impactful, and I hope it has that effect on people that view it now and in the future.”

Correction: An earlier version of this article identified Catina Crum as Catina Crumb.

The city of Boise’s COVID Community Collection is complete

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