“We recently installed our 44th quarterly exhibit. I love what we get to do! This gallery is so much more than hanging art on the walls. It’s about the hearts of the artists and what they experience in life as they create their art for the shows. It’s about the viewer as they come through the gallery and have that ah-ha moment in connection with the art on a personal level. It’s about the relationship possibilities with the Creator as everyone from the artist to the art leader to the art viewer allows for Divine inspiration to pour forth in and through each other all because we share a common creativity and interest in art.”
The VineArts Gallery is located inside Vineyard Boise Church. We installed our gallery in a long, wide hallway that runs along the outside wall of our sanctuary, so our shows get a lot of traffic.
We launched our gallery in 2005. We display the artwork of church members and non-members side by side, artists and non-artists, kids and adults. There is no entry fee. Works are not for sale during exhibits, but many sales are privately arranged between artist and buyer and carried out after exhibits are taken down. We don’t charge a commission on sales.
Our shows are quarterly themed exhibits, juried for content (theological and thematic). We don’t jury for artistic excellence, only giving advice for presentation improvements when asked. Yet we’ve seen the level of excellence and professionalism skyrocket over the years. From the beginning, each art show has featured approximately 30 artists with up to 70 pieces of art displayed, conveying a unified theme for a deeply moving and cohesive experience.
Here’s our method for quarterly exhibits. Periodically our entire team of VineArts leaders gathers to pray about upcoming exhibits six months to a year down the road. We simply ask God what themes he wants our church to explore together, then we wait quietly before the Lord, praying and writing down our impressions. Afterward we compare notes and plan the upcoming show titles.
We then make fliers announcing the upcoming themes, and we create entry packets in which individual themes are explained in detail. Then we sit back and pray for the artists as they create. We never know in advance who or how many will drop off their work for each show. We don’t allow late entries (entries are due on a Wednesday night at church). Canceling exhibits is not an option, so there’s no need to worry; if we have a small show, then it’s a small show.
On Thursday the church staff and pastors jury for content, while a couple of us artists print everyone’s titles and statements onto cardstock. We inform the artists they’ve been accepted, or if not, we call and explain why. On Saturday our gallery installation team installs the show. Also on Saturday, our culinary arts team prepares the reception goodies.
Our opening receptions are always right after church lets out, with music performances and refreshments, so lots of people attend. The show is displayed for about 2 or 3 months, and we don’t let people take down their art early.
The primary purpose of the gallery is worship and contemplation, with a secondary purpose of education. It’s amazing how many times our pastors have led our congregation to a new topic or spiritual season of growth coinciding with an art exhibit that we planned 6 months ago! We artists had no idea. But the Holy Spirit certainly did.
Or the quick version is, pick up an entry packet from Vineyard Boise Church before each show, or download a PDF by clicking here.
Well, part of it is, we are intrigued to know what inspired your artwork. But there is something else. We understand that many viewers of our congregation have not been trained to appreciate or understand visual art.
That’s why we think it’s essential to continue educating our congregation in the language of art by giving them the opportunity to read your artist statement. Some viewers may choose to ignore the statement card so they can interact with your artwork directly, and that’s wonderful too; whether to read it or not is up to each viewer, but we make the opportunity available for each piece of art.
VineArts displays artwork from people around the world. Remember, there is no entry fee.
If you’d like to mail us an art entry, send your package (containing your artwork, your signed release form, entry card, and printed artist statement) to:
4950 N. Bradley
Boise ID 83714
If you don’t want your artwork returned to you,we’ll gladly keep your artwork in our studio after the exhibit, and it will become the property of VineArts. Or if you’ll be visiting Boise in the near future (within a couple of months after the exhibit is over), let us know, and you can pick up your artwork whenever you’re here.
However, if you do want your artwork returned (mailed) to you after the exhibit is over, here’s what to do:
1. When you mail us your package with your art, enclose a note saying you want us to mail it back after the exhibit. We’ll keep your cardboard packaging after opening it, and we’ll re-package it the same way you sent it. When mailing your package to Boise, take note of the postage it costs you to send it.
2. Sometime during the exhibit, mail us a check separately for the exact amount that it cost you to send your original package. Make the check out to Vineyard Boise, memo: VineArts. Mail the check to the same address above. After we receive your check, we’ll be able to pay for your return shipping when the exhibit is over. That’s it!