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Alterstil Art Retreat

Find your Unique Art Energy in Sun Valley

By Lynn Canning

Photos by Kimberlee Miller

Alterstil,  Definition:  A Dutch term that describes an artist who does not conform to a current style or prevailing norm.  Considered a visionary in the art world.

Maggie Dykzeul thought the word perfectly captured the vision for her new business.  Boise-based Alterstil was founded to create a new way to bring together a diverse group of incredibly talented artists to share their talents and inspire others to connect with their creative sensibilities.

“Art is refreshing to the soul.  It allows us to feel and communicate without words and reach different layers within ourselves,” explains Maggie as she discusses her passion for sharing art.  Maggie herself is a talented and accomplished artisan and teacher with expertise in jewelry design, metalworking and knitting. She has founded two jewelry companies:  Figgy15 is her boutique ready line, and Magpie Foundry is her artisan metalwork company. 

The core venture of the company is to create immersive art-centered retreats where novice to expert artisans alike can come together for professional instruction while enjoying a sense of community, all within an inspirational and luxurious setting.  The first Art Retreat will take place at the incomparable Sun Valley Resort, in May 2020.  Maggie adds, “I want people to have such a good time and feel special and well cared for, and to really delight in taking the time for themselves in having this special experience.”

Sessions will be led by accomplished artist/instructors and guests will choose from a diverse offering of mixed-media projects that range from painting, metalsmithing, jewelry design, etching, bookmaking, textiles, dollmaking, and more.  The classes will run for 6 hours a day, and attendees can elect to focus on a variety of these mediums or stick with the same one throughout.  The format allows exposure to a wide range of experiences and gives the students the freedom to explore and follow their passions.

Maggie’s goal is to bring art into more lives and help individuals find their own unique art energy.  Maggie: “Guests will not only be creating a tangible artifact of this experience, but hopefully an intangible feeling of joy and personal accomplishment that they will be able to bring home with them.”

In addition to the art retreats, Maggie is enthusiastic about ways Alterstil can offer more opportunities to grow the local community’s connection to art.  She plans to offer additional mixed-media classes locally and is committed to creating more opportunities for local artists to share their art by creating artisan markets and vending.  She’s also interested in exploring ways to spark passion for art among our kids and has ideas for innovative ways to bring art education into schools and youth programs.

For now, Maggie’s focus is putting the finishing touches on the 2020 inaugural Alterstil Art Retreat in Sun Valley.  Check out their website, Alterstil.com, to see the retreat’s schedule, bios of the participating artists and other details.  Follow their social media to interact and keep up-to-date on new announcements:  #alterstilretreat and @alterstil.retreat