Surel's Place provides live-work haven for artists in Garden City

GARDEN CITY, ID - Inside the Surel Mitchell Live-Work-Create District in Garden City, stands a hidden gem in the area's growing art scene: Surel's Place. 

A pop-up shop displays painting, greeting cards and glass pieces for sale from Garden City artists living in the neighborhood. 

After Mitchell's death in 2011, the former home of the artist was turned into a non-profit studio and gallery with a living space.

"So it would always be a place where artists could come and have time and space and quiet to do the work that they needed to do," Surel's Place Executive Director Katy Dang said. 

Each month, a different artist lives and creates at Surel's Place. The artists, who hail from around the country and globe, host a public workshop and performance or reading during their stay. The live-in residence program is one-of-a-kind in Idaho.  

"By interacting with the community... the community actually becomes part of the process," Dang said.

K. Tempest Bradford is this month's artist-in-residence. She's using her stay at Surel's Place to work on a book, a steam punk novel set in Ancient Egypt. 

"Every place that I go, I find some sort of inspiration, some sort of experience... that allows me to work that into my work," Bradford said. "So even if it doesn't necessarily make it into Ancient Egypt, Boise will end up somewhere in my work."

Dang joked if Boise is like New York City, Garden City would be Brooklyn, a place for fostering art and culture with more room and freedom to create.

"Artist are always sort of attracted to the industrial areas, the rent's a little cheaper, you can be a little louder," Dang said. "It's a grass-roots feeling, and that's sort of what this area has become,"

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