Arts » Culture

Wrapped Up With a Bow

Boise's visual and performing arts organizations tell it like it is

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In the vein of year-end wrap ups, we asked the movers and shakers of Boise's performing and visual arts communities to tell us their favorite arts experiences of 2008. What we got was a sometimes comically brief, sometimes earnestly verbose, range of musings and perspectives. Listed below is an abbreviated version of what they had to say. So, thanks everyone, and we look forward to 2009.

What was your favorite performance or exhibition of 2008?

"I loved the exhibition 'Measure of Man' ... featuring the work of Andrea Merrell at the Boise Art Museum. Although we represent Andrea's work, I say this with as much objectivity as I can that I continue to stand in awe of her creative depth, persistence and tenacity."

—Jacqueline Crist, J Crist Gallery

"Trey McIntyre Project at Morrison Center because of the high level of artistic quality ... the whole evening had the air of a real happening about it."

—Mark Junkert, Opera Idaho

"'Under the Grid' at J Crist gallery because the majority of the artists selected for that show are the artists I represent in my own gallery, and they are some of my personal favorite artists."

—Perry Allen, Basement Gallery

"Balance [Dance Company] always impresses and moves me, and this year they outdid themselves with a knockout piece by NYC choreographer Laura Peterson whose choreography employed super-long, spaghetti-like strands of building material."

—Mark Hofflund, Idaho Shakespeare Festival

"Sue Latta at the Visual Arts Collective was hard-earned and effectively done. VAC took a major risk to change venues. Their space is beautiful and well planned. I applaud them."

—Zella Bardsley, Art Source Gallery

Which arts organization made the biggest improvements?

"Ballet Idaho embarked on a huge project this year, creating their own company after the departure from the Eugene Ballet. They have undertaken a new artistic director and executive director. The Nutcracker ... performance was fantastic."

—Tina Kierce, Boise Philharmonic

"VAC."

—Perry Allen, Basement Gallery

"I am thrilled to see Alley Repertory Theater add to the professional breadth of theater in Boise."

—Matthew Cameron Clark, Boise Contemporary Theater

What was your organization's most successful performance or exhibit this year?

"One of the best-received shows was when we sold the works from a private collector. It was a privilege to offer works by some of the greatest artists of all time to Boise collectors and art enthusiasts. Pieces by Rembrandt, Miro, Calder and many more were a thrill to have in our gallery."

—Randall Brown, Brown's Gallery

"Every exhibition at BAM has been successful because it has prompted a viewer to ask a question about the artwork, understand something better about herself/himself, experience an emotion such as surprise, disgust, empathy or joy, or connect on a deeper level with human issues and concerns."

—Melanie Fales, Boise Art Museum

"September's opening night with Rachel Barton Pine and maestro Robert Franz's debut as the music director for the Boise Philharmonic was awesome. Also, October's all-Beethoven concert with Alpin Hong. The audience went crazy."

—Tina Kierce, Boise Philharmonic

"Having suffered the first loss among the artists who were founding company members of ISF in 1977 with the sudden death of Dan Peterson on the morning of July 22, the festival's greatest performance this year was easily the one that followed that very same night ... The company quietly filled the stage that evening to honor Danny and let the audience know that it would try to deliver a performance to honor the decades-long relationship we all had with this company member who inspired generations of Idahoans."

—Mark Hofflund, ISF

"The Nutcracker. That was only our second production as a new company and it was to mostly sold out audiences ... We contracted out some new sets, new costumes, everything. Production wise, pulling this together was this side of a miracle. And to have it be as spectacular as it actually was, is even that much more phenomenal."

—Julie Numbers Smith, Ballet Idaho

"Well, we've only had one performance in Boise this year and that was our inaugural performance at the Morrison Center. We couldn't have been more thrilled with the ecstatically warm response from this city ... It gave us such confidence to go out on tour into the world, telling audiences from New Orleans to The Dominican Republic about our home and why we're proud of it."

—Trey McIntyre, Trey McIntyre Project

Where are you headed in 2009? What are some exciting things on the horizon?

"In March, we hope to open the doors to the recording studio, which will bring recording options, including live recording, the likes of which have never been available in the Treasure Valley and are few and far between across the country."

—Anneliessa Balk Stimpert, VAC

"In January, we are hosting a curated glass show with local talent Zion Warne, Lisa Tate, Mark Baradziej, Darin Anderson, Simon Roy and Lisa Stover in the show, 'New Works by Traditional Blown Artists.'"

—Zella Bardsley, Art Source Gallery

"First, the second half of our '08/'09 season: A beautiful play called I Have Before me a Remarkable Document Given to Me by A Young Lady from Rwanda in January and February. Then Eurydice in April. Bill Carman is doing character design. I can't wait. Then next season ... more new work, a good ghost story and something to make you smile."

—Matthew Cameron Clark, BCT

"My motto in business has always been to stay in forward motion and that is what I will continue to do ... We have been accepted into the Basel Art Fair in Switzerland, which happens in June. We will have a lot to do to prepare for that experience, and because we will be in Switzerland in June, I am looking forward to spending my 60th birthday in the Alps with my husband Charley."

—Jacqueline Crist, J Crist Gallery

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