By Associated Press - Thursday, July 30, 2015

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.

“It’s amazing to learn,” said 13-year-old neighborhood resident Julie Cox, who attended the Wednesday event. “Boise’s famous.”

Some neighbors were concerned about increased traffic to the area. City planners say visitors will be encouraged to park in nearby Castle Hills Park. Officials are accepting comments on the restoration plan through Aug. 12.


Information from: Idaho Statesman,

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