Since the tragedy of Sept. 11, the United States has been in the middle of war for the last 12 years. People have sought refuge from the emotions of war in many different ways. One of those ways is art, and with realist artist Bill Blahd, his work has been has been his solace.
Blahd is a locally based artist who has been selected not once, but twice by the Student Union Arts Advisory Board (SUAAB) to exhibit his art here at Boise State.
Blahd has more than 30 years experience as an emergency room doctor, for the Veterans Administration Hospital Emergency Room here in Boise. It has been his experience here that has greatly influenced his art.
While exploring the concepts of nihilism, self-annihilation, and the terror of combat, Blahd has reinvented his work to accommodate the
emotional reality of a country at war, both on the field of combat and off.
On the first floor of the Student Union Building (SUB) outside the Special Events Center (SPEC) Blahd currently has his works on exhibition. From powerful images of war and dehumanization, to persecution and fear, students have the opportunity to experience Blahd’s pieces in raw entirety.
“ I am a bit picky when it comes to art, but I really like what is exhibited by the SPEC,” Eric Leavitt, junior communication major, said, “Its both relevant and personable to any individual who takes the chance to take a look. It means something
different to whoever looks at it, that’s why its brilliant.”
Some students here on campus have family members who have been or are currently involved with the conflict in the Middle East, while some do not. Whoever they are, both have a connection to the emotions portrayed by Blahd in his works.
“I have known of people who went to Iraq and Afghanistan, none in my family though. Although I was deeply affected by what I was seeing in the art. Its simple, but extremely powerful. I can’t help but think of the hardship they all went through,” Leavitt said.
The Student Union Fine Arts Department will be consistently holding exhibits and receptions of a variety of artists throughout the academic year.
The “In Our Name” exhibit will be available for students to view until January 13, 2014. This Friday, Sept. 6, the Fine Arts Department will be holding a reception in the SPEClobby for patrons who are interested in learning more about Blahd as well as meeting the man himself.