Winners of this year's Boise Weekly Fiction 101 contest gathered at Rediscovered Bookshop First Thursday, Jan. 3, to read their tiny tales aloud and take questions from the packed crowd.
According to BW's Josh Gross, one popular question was why Fiction 101 winner Dusty Aunan wrote a story about being pen pals with Genghis Khan.
"I liked the idea of reframing him as this naive and playful character, instead of as a conquering tyrant," Aunan said.
You can listen to a full podcast of the readings and Q&A at boiseweekly.com.
Over at Bricolage Jan. 3, BW's Andrew Crisp scoped out Chicago transplant Abby Christensen's new exhibition, Failure, which investigates loss and losing.
"A sculpture made of found trophies painted bright pink and two numbered lists of words related to failure and success," Crisp observed.
Crisp also stopped by Flying M, where Ryan Johnson transformed the coffeeshop into Animal House, a series of paintings in ink, watercolor and acrylic.
"Notable pieces included a wolf wearing a jetpack, a foppish gentleman named Sir Reginald Dabinforthe IV, and a woman with dripping red chops in 'Strawberry Plaid,'" Crisp wrote.
Down the street at the Linen Building Gallery, the new 19-person group show, Unfinished, debuted to a sizable crowd Jan. 3 despite the frigid temps. Observers perused unfinished pieces by well-known locals like Kirsten Furlong, Kelly Packer, Charles Gill and Bill Lewis, who painted at a table in the corner. For more on Unfinished, see Arts, Page 23.
To cap off January's First Thursday, BW's Harrison Berry swung by Art Source Gallery's second annual Tin-Stillation.
"From clay cretins creeping out from Altoid tin luggage to painted Altoid tin interiors, Art Source's Tin-stillation exhibition explored the interior spaces and exterior landscapes of the iconic metal containers," Berry wrote.
For a slideshow of all the First Thursday action, click here.
On Jan. 5, Black Hunger Gallery hosted the live debut of Boise improvisational electronic sound art act Memory Smoker, comprised of Alex Sprague, Benjamin Mulkey and Luke Hayhurst.
"The set consisted of long rolling hums and low-end scronks backed by sparse drum sounds mutilated with echo effects," Gross noted. "Entirely improvised, band members played off one another with long slow builds to produce an overall sound somewhere between an X-Files score and the death rattle of an extra in Tron."
Gross explained that part of what made the set interesting was how much of the band's equipment was made by Mulkey.
"His instrument of choice was a colossal patchbay analog synth he had made from an old organ. It was controlled by knobs and a joystick and topped with a bear's head with extra cables clutched in its teeth," Gross wrote.