Idaho Statesman: Boise State’s Center for Fine Arts Will Change Cityscape


Minneapolis architect Steven Dwyer sat in a hotel room a few years ago, preparing to present his design for Boise State’s Center for Fine Arts. He had the television on in the background, tuned to a local morning news broadcast.

The backdrop behind the anchors was of the view from The Boise Depot to the Statehouse.

“At that point, I realized how prominent this building will be. It will rise above the Micron building, and push out toward Capitol Boulevard,” Dwyer said. “It will change that iconic view and make an important statement.”

That architectural statement is only part of the equation. The stakes are high.

This newest building in BSU’s landscape is intended to be a “gateway to the campus;” a significant addition to Boise’s visual landscape; a bridge from the university to the larger arts world; and the magnum opus of the impressive 15-year tenure of retiring BSU President Bob Kustra.

“This building will be the crowning achievement of my time here,” he told Treasure Magazine in 2017. “Having that building represents not just the art department, but all that the arts and humanities have to offer the people of Idaho.”

Ambitious Project

The building broke ground in May 2017. Within it, Boise State’s fine arts departments will unite in one state-of-the-art, world-class building. Those departments—art history, printmaking, metal arts, painting, ceramics, sculpture and others—now are scattered across campus in antiquated buildings filled with outdated equipment and utility systems.

Perched on the west side of campus, along Capitol Boulevard between the Morrison Center for the Performing Arts and the Micron Business and Economics Building, the new CFA is poised to become a showpiece in the city’s skyline by the time it opens in fall 2019.

The goal is to create a building of artist studios, classrooms and gallery spaces that will elevate the art being created here and Boise State’s profile regionally and nationally. It was a expectation set by Kustra, Dwyer said. “It was an incredibly bold expectation that we tried to match.”

Read the complete news article in Idaho Statesman.