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Week in Review: Paper Hearts and Prison Letters

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A balmy February First Thursday jump-started an art-fueled weekend with an array of engaging and political fare. BW staffer Stephen Foster hit up the 19th annual Valentine for AIDS silent auction at Flying M Coffeehouse, pausing to appreciate the "impressive and eye-popping" love-themed art. The silent auction will close on Sunday, Feb. 12, at 4 p.m.

Foster also swung by the Add the Words art show at Bittercreek Ale House. Though the LGBT-rights campaign's wall of mixed-media art featured some impressive pieces, Foster said they were awkwardly hung behind a table full of diners.

Next up was Bricolage for Elijah Jensen's Dying Letter Office, Part One opening. Jensen's chaotic but meticulously hung show included a variety of delicate mixed-media items that he mailed out to DLO project participants. Midway through the event, Jensen staged a PowerPoint presentation, which was faux-interrupted by cursing, banana-throwing, fake-blood spewing actors from Collapse Theater.

Jensen continued the paper party on Saturday evening with the opening of DLO Part Two at Black Hunger Gallery in the North End. The exhibit took a more linear approach, with each of Jensen's letters and artifacts strung up in chronological order. A couple of installation pieces--including a bizarre arm-pendulum--anchored the far side of the room. After another strange Powerpoint presentation, Jensen proudly pointed out a couple of encouraging letters he received that morning from prison inmates in response to BW's First Thursday article.

Speaking of paper parties, Boise State's Visual Arts Center debuted Cutting Edge: Contemporary Paper on Friday, Feb. 3. Curated by Kirsten Furlong and Janice Neri, the show proffered a wide spectrum of cut-paper work--including Francesca Lohmann's intricately layered, cellular "Bisection 1" and Beatrice Coron's humorous papel picado pieces featuring captions like "cheap bastard" and "I faked it." Art Department chair Richard Young hushed the mingling crowd to congratulate Furlong on a fantastic show, and murmurs abounded that it was one of the most well-conceived exhibits to hit Boise in a long time.

Also on Friday night, BW staffer Andrew Crisp trekked out to Garden City for an artsy double-header. At Enso Artspace, Pamela Swenson debuted a new series of oil-on-canvas landscapes. According to Crisp, "the space was bursting at the rafters as patrons jockeyed to drink in all the work showcased in the small gallery." Swenson's work will be on display until Thursday, March 8, and you can view a slideshow of the opening at boiseweekly.com.

Down the road at Visual Arts Collective, last week's BW cover artist Travis Campion unveiled a series of new tattoo-influenced illustrations, which ranged from Chewbacca to flapper girls with rouge-colored cheeks. Campion told Crisp that he gets his signature sepia-toned antique effect by using freshly brewed coffee. You can view a slideshow of Campion's opening at boiseweekly.com.

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