Blue Star Museums Blog (Archive)

Five Questions with the Art Museum of Eastern Idaho

Idaho Falls, Idaho

The Art Museum of Eastern Idaho is located at 300 South Capital Avenue in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Photo by Ron Paarman

Open since 2002, the Art Museum of Eastern Idaho is one of only two visual arts museums in the state. With a special focus on the work of Idaho and western artists, the museum also offers a full calendar of events for children and adults, including gallery walks, guest lectures, and hands-on art workshops. We spoke with Assistant Director Miyai Abe Griggs about this Idaho must-see.

NEA: Please tell us about the Art Museum of Eastern Idaho and what makes it unique.

MIYAI ABE GRIGGS: The Art Museum of Eastern Idaho (TAM) is the only art museum in eastern Idaho and only the second in the entire state. Located on the greenbelt walkway overlooking the Snake River, the museum is home to five galleries, a children’s interactive art learning area, an art classroom/workshop area, and an eclectic gift shop. TAM’s mission is to enhance the region’s visual arts experience by exhibiting permanent and rotating art exhibits, encouraging exhibitions of Idaho artists, establishing a permanent collection of contemporary art, and providing art educational opportunities for people of all ages and abilities.

NEA: What’s your favorite part of the museum and why?

GRIGGS: I love seeing children get excited about art, whether it be during art camp, after school classes, or during a school tour. My favorite thing is to see a child who participated in one of our outreach classroom visits bring their family back to the museum on their free family pass and guide their parents and siblings through the exhibit. (TAM instructors visit area public classrooms free of charge to teach hands-on, exhibit-related art lessons.)

Annie Sky is one of the works from Bill Schenck: The Serigraphs on view at TAM from July 8-October 30, 2010. © Bill Schenck

NEA: What’s on view now?

GRIGGS: On Thursday, we're opening our newest exhibit, Bill Schenck: The Serigraphs. Schenck, a successful Southwest artist and self-confessed cowboy is one of the originators of the contemporary "Pop" western movement. His latest work both exalts and pokes fun at images of the West. His work will be on display at TAM through October 30th. In our Corridor and Studio Galleries, TAM will be featuring the textile art of local artist Dottie Sharp and The Artist as Subject: Reluctant Self-Portraits by the Museum Artists through August 28th. The work of local artists Ruth Nordstrom and the Gallery 12 group will be featured August 31 – October 30.

NEA: What do you hope visitors to the Art Museum of Eastern Idaho will take away from the experience?

GRIGGS: The desire to return to TAM often!

NEA: Aside from the Art Museum of Eastern Idaho, what’s your own favorite museum to visit and why?

GRIGGS: Not sure I can pick a favorite---put me in any art museum and I’m happy!  I did get a chance to visit Chicago’s Art Institute for the first time last month.  It was amazing!  I just wish my schedule would have allowed me to have spent more time there.

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