Boise restoring home of outsider artist James Castle

James Castle, double-sided drawing of Farm House with Connected Barn, soot drawing on found cardboard. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com archive and Slotin Folk Art.

James Castle, double-sided drawing of Farm House with Connected Barn, soot drawing on found cardboard. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com archive and Slotin Folk Art.

BOISE, Idaho (AP) – Plans for a Boise home where artist James Castle lived include restoring an old bunkhouse where he worked and creating an artist-in-residence program at the site, officials said.

Staffers with the Boise City Department of Arts and History told residents during a meeting Wednesday that the former home will also include space for permanent and temporary exhibitions, the Idaho Statesman reported.

The expected opening and arrival of the first artist-in-residence is 2017. Plans call for the house to be open to the public two days a week.

Castle was born in 1899 and died in 1977. He was deaf and never learned to read, write or use sign language, but expressed himself through art made mostly of found objects. Many of his works contain images produced with a mix of soot and saliva. His work has been displayed in some of the world’s top art museums.

Officials said restoration work will proceed with caution in case Castle left some of his art hidden in the buildings.

“We want to be even a little too cautious,” said Byron Folwell, an architect and public artist who is working on the restoration.

The city bought the house and grounds on the west side of Boise earlier this year.

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Information from: Idaho Statesman, http://www.idahostatesman.com

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