Spotlight on Josh Olson - Coordinator for the City of Boise, ID
In 2008 the Department of Arts and History was established by the City of Boise to enhance the Boise community by providing leadership, advocacy, education, services and support for arts and history. One year later this newly created department agreed to incorporate the National Arts Program Exhibit into their schedule of events.
Immediately, Josh Olson, Public Art Specialist- Conservation and Education, stepped in as Coordinator of this inclusive art exhibit. Approaching the opening of his third annual showing, it is already apparent that he was the right man for the job. Participation this year has increased tremendously and we are looking forward to a phenomenal show of the “people’s” art.
When a talented artist like Josh, who has a true commitment to the community and his fellow employees, is leading the way, the NAP is sure its sponsorship dollars are going to be well spent. We thank him and his co-workers for their time and energy in helping to bring forth the visual art talents of those in their community.
The NAP recommends that you visit www.josholsonart.com to see the artwork of the talented Mr. Olson.
A. We primarily work to provide Boise's infrastructure with large scale public art pieces. That involves everything from artist's concepts and fabrication to installation and preservation. Our city owns a framed collection, but we rarely, if ever, exhibit and celebrate it like the NAP show. We don't offer commissions or awards to employees or their families because there would be a legal conflict of interest to specify our own funds for something like this. So it is truly a unique opportunity.
A. First of all, it is a great way to interact with colleagues and their families. Now that we are on our third year with NAP it has become very important to me that they get a chance to display it. Displaying the work is the difference between a participant simply being artistic and being and artist involved in the arts. I also think that a creative employee is an important thing to foster for any employer. You need energy and innovation to effectively solve new problems and I think art helps people achieve this.
A. I am a printmaker and painter (www.josholsonart.com -shameless plug) and I have found art has helped me my entire life. It calms and balances me. It provides me with moments of introspection and purposeful awareness of my surroundings. Thru art I remain open minded and that keeps me younger. Being an artist helps me be a better role model for my children too. That may seem like a stretch, but they have a desire to be creative all the time and I want those qualities to stay with them. If I don't encourage them by example, then they might not find value in it. I want them to dream and to find confidence in their ideas and I think art is a great way to do that.