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Surel's Place

212 E. 33rd St., Garden City, ID


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Upcoming Events

"Will I live here when I grow up"

Signing/Readings, Poetry Reading/Spoken Word

Artist-in-Resident Clare Johnson has been developing this writing over the course of a decade. "Will I live here when I grow up" is composed of many small, interwoven pieces of prose and poetry, mixing current life with themes of historical westward migration and family histories—the stories and experiences but also their gaps and collisions, what goes unsaid, with different times and generations overlapping or collapsing. Ms. Johnson's grandparents who lived in Idaho, now passed on, inspired many parts of the work. Johnson is fascinated by family histories and finds the gaps between what is recorded and what is never explained to be particularly interesting. She has a personal interest in these gaps. As an LGBTQ artist, she longs for history that includes identities like her own. Her writing has often been a way for her to try to unearth traces of her homosexuality from a past where no one spoke of that. "Stories told in my family never include gay people, even where there’s no record of any marriage or children," says Johnson. "Histories from similar pioneer eras sometimes suggest queerness to me, but in a time when it was rare to even have a name for it, individuals’ private feelings are lost." Johnson's writing also struggles against being—and in many cases refuses to be—only one person, in only one place and time at once. She often includes multiple voices within one verbal narrative, at times suggesting a dialogue, while constructing something more fragile and complex at others, more reminiscent of memory or internal lines of thought. Throughout, the work explores the overlaps and disconnects between where we’ve been, where we are and where we’d like to be. Ms. Johnson is also a visual artist and will have paintings on exhibit in the gallery and available for purchase.


• Wed 8/28/19 at 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM