Sea of Hills

Sea of Hills by Carl Rowe
Carl Rowe
City Hall
Geographical Area:
Boise Visual Chronicle

Sea of Hills is a 32" x 48" alkyd on canvas painting depicting an area of the foothills north of Boise up Bogus Basin Road. It was created by artist and choreographer Carl Rowe in 1995. Of the painting's subject Rowe says, "Idaho's foothills have been my primary aesthetic focus since I am most drawn to organic and sensuous forms [...] I feel some urgency to paint these areas before they are forever ruined by development. They are already perfect as they are."

Artist Statement: At the turn of the century the single overwhelming issue for Boise and its surroundings is growth. Several decades from now the final twenty years of the 20th century will be seen as the beginning of an explosion of development and growth in southern Idaho that will determine everything that happens to this area. No person nor any aspect of life in the Treasure Valley will escape its ramifications. A hundred years from now people will have very definite judgments about what we are doing to this unique and beautiful area and to the quality of life here. No doubt they will be either basking in our vision or trying desperately to undo our folly.

For me, as a landscape painter and a conservative in all things of the natural world, I bemoan the loss of our foothills. Besides their unparalleled beauty, they offer respite from the increasingly intense nature of urban sprawl and activity. However, there is one element within our borders that offers close at hand some reminders of what recedes from the city: the Boise River. This lovely river meanders through our midst like a vein to the heart, carrying life. Along its length one can find solace and wonder and quiet. And thanks to real vision by past Boiseans, we have a pathway along its banks to allow us to preamble or jog or bicycle or lazy or explore. This river and its Greenbelt are what make Boise livable. Without them, we are just another western town hell-bent on tearing up the land and searching for gold.

The Boise Visual Chronicle (BVC) is a city-owned collection of paintings, drawings, prints, photographs and other works depicting life in Boise. The collection provides a rich visual document of Boise’s changing landscape, people and perspectives. The BVC also forms a unique portrait of the artistic vitality and evolving perceptions of artists in the region. With original funding from the Greater Boise Auditorium District, additional works are acquired or commissioned and funded by Boise City and Capital City Development Corporation (CCDC). Works from the collection are exhibited at the Boise Centre on the Grove, Boise City Hall, CCDC’s offices and the Boise Airport.