Visiting Artist Series Setting Art Students Up for Success

Published: March 29, 2023

College of Western Idaho's (CWI) Studio Art students are getting real-world insight into what life may be like as a professional artist and the steps to get there! CWI's Studio Art Capstone (ARTS 290) course met with local artist, Kristen Furlong, as part of the College's Visiting Artist Series Wednesday, March 15.

Furlong was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and currently lives and works in Boise, Idaho. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree in Studio Art from the University of Nebraska Omaha and a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Visual Arts from Boise State University. Her work has been shown nationally and internationally in solo and group exhibitions. Furlong examines the ecological and poetic bonds we have with animals, plants, and insects on lands that we collectively inhabit, through multimedia projects created from the viewpoint of a mixed-race (black/white) woman in the American West.

Recent projects consider nuclear waste in the high desert of Idaho, declining habitat in the grasslands of the Great Plains, and the effects of climate change on species everywhere. In her work, animals and plants serve as both emblems of nature and as metaphors for human desires. Furlong uses detail, repetition, and patterns inspired by the natural world as a representational tool in drawings and installation works, while also using mark-making to express empathy, loss, and longing. Furlong is the director of the Blue Galleries and a lecturer in the Department of Art, Design, and Visual Studies at Boise State University.

Furlong’s lecture discussed her art practice and as well her work as a gallery curator at Boise State University. She provided students with amazing advice with tangible and practical ways to take their next steps as artists and art professionals.

CWI’s Visiting Artist Series is made possible through a grant from the Idaho Commission on the Arts, which is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.

For those with questions or in need of more information, please contact Brenda Fisher at

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