The James Castle House in Boise, Idaho will open in October of 2017, forty years after James Castle’s death. Offering diverse educational opportunities, exhibition space, and residency programs, the James Castle House will preserve the home of self-taught artist James Castle while supporting emerging artists with an authentic context for better understanding the interplay between environment and creative process. Join Rachel Reichert, manager, and Byron W. Folwell, architect and design consultant, as they discuss the City of Boise’s massive restoration project to preserve internationally celebrated artist James Castle’s home, workspaces, and physical legacy.
James Castle (1899-1977) was a self-taught artist, born deaf in the tranquil settlement of Garden Valley, Idaho nearly 120 years ago. Presumed to have very little language, Castle communicated primarily through his production of images drawn on found materials, such as discarded mail and food containers, with an improvised ink of his own saliva tempered by soot from the wood burning stoves of the various residences that quartered him throughout his life. His distinct drawings, assemblages, and books explored the interiors of buildings, the external landscapes, and the animals and people that filled his environment, and yet Castle’s work equally explored his own interior, the housing of a soundless landscape which he appeared to roam by touch, such was the tactile and immediate, yet practical nature of his artistic impulse.
James Castle at desk in cottage
© 2015 James Castle Collection and Archive L.P. All rights reserved.