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The Foundation was created in honor of

longtime Boise, Idaho resident, teacher, and artist Alexa Rose Howell (1947-2013). Alexa strove to enrich Boise with poetic joie de vivre. In the Boise art world, said the Idaho Statesman, she was a “striking figure” and a “quiet force.” In the memory of so many in the City she inspired with whimsy,

she lives with us still. 

Artwork by Alexa Rose

     'The discovery here is that art can be put to use for good in so many ways and I want to be a part of that and will continue to give to my community in this way. 

     This grant has enabled me to see the value of the generosity others in our community give to the people of our community. I want to be one of those givers and will do what I can to carry on this kind of tradition!'

2021 Grant Recipient


The Foundation’s primary goal is to support the work of individual artists in the community. Unlike many traditional grant programs, Alexa Rose awards grants to individuals, not organizations. 


With a focus on creative potential, growth, and personal development, The Foundation seeks to support artists “on the verge” of their next step of creative development. Artists of all mediums, experience levels and ages have been funded, with grantees aged 16-76 across the Treasure Valley.


The Alexa Rose Foundation cares about enrichment of the artist and the community. We believe that art has inherent benefit to the community, and that artists must be treated as working professionals with valuable skill sets. By allowing artists to simply be themselves and create, we strive to make the Boise Valley a more inclusive, creative destination for all. 

Learn more about our Grant Cycle here. 



The Alexa Rose Fellow is a merit-based award of $25,000 that provides resources for accelerated development of an artist’s creative practice. 

We seek highly creative individual(s) working in any artistic discipline who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication to their creative practice, a marked capacity for self-direction, and a track record of mentorship and giving back. Up to five of those nominated will be selected for a personal interview. Nominations open in the Fall with selections made before the holidays.

Learn more about the Fellowship here. 


“I've been creating art my entire life,” wrote Alexa in her artist’s statement. “As a little girl, I sewed stuffed animals from scraps of fabric. I was fascinated with pattern, texture and color. As an adult, I combined my passion for theater and visual art into work as a puppeteer. I taught art for more than two decades. And then I began to paint, first in watercolor, then in acrylic, chalk and colored pencil. For me, art is everywhere.” 


A native of New York City, Alexa Howell graduated cum laude with a major in French at UCLA. Graduate work included a master’s in art from Boise State University and an arts diploma from the Swiss University of Lausanne. In a chance encounter in Manhattan, she met Ken Howell in 1971, and soon the couple was married. They lived a comfortable life in Athens during their first year of marriage while Ken worked a corporate job with Pfizer. Soon, Ken’s interest in cattle ranching and disinterest in corporate life led them to a family friend’s ranch in Nampa, Idaho. Ken worked as the “hired” man, and Alexa made a home for them in the ranch’s 10’X60’ trailer. After a short stint at ranching, Alexa moved with Ken to the City of Trees. He assured her that he would find something to do. 


While Ken worked real estate, Alexa free-lanced in Boise and wrote a column for the Idaho Statesman. She started a puppet theatre, ran offices, managed the Boise Philharmonic, raised three children, taught art, exhibited in galleries, opened her own, and inspired the next generation of artists, devoutly their mentor and friend. In 1979, at Boise State, she was awarded the prestigious Whittenberger Fellowship. Honored by the Idaho Commission on the Arts in 1990, she was designated one of the state’s top “living artists.” 

Alexa at Fifty-photos_edited_edited_edit

'Embrace beauty in imperfection.
Style is inescapable and yet mostly irrelevant.
Find joy in doing the work, because it shows in the work.'

2021 Grant Recipient

'Alexa Rose was my first validation that I might be on to something in the art world. I had only been painting for about 4 months when I applied.'

2021 Grant Recipient

'Being a grantee during a pandemic was an absolute bright spot in a very dark time.'

2020 Grant Recipient

'I thought I could put my creativity on the shelf while my children were young and simply pick it up again later. Over time this lead to a dulling of my creative spirit. The process of writing the Grant application refocused my priorities and my life purpose. Receiving the Grant placed new value on who I am as an artist. I have begun to reconcile my role as an artist and a mother. Reserving some of my energy is not selfish, but rather the opposite, as I am a better & more inspired mother when I nurture my artist self as well.'

2019 Grant Recipient

'Why not make a leap? There is growth regardless. You cannot make it anywhere close to the moon if you aren’t willing to propel yourself into unfamiliar, perhaps uncomfortable, yet exhilarating territory.'

2019 Grant Recipient

Reflections from Grant Recipients
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