Arts & Culture » Arts News

A&E News June 9, 2004


Pat Coey and Patti Bowyer, owners of The Early Attic antique store in Idaho City, recently purchased a $10 box of tattered books and catalogs at a Caldwell estate auction. At first glance, the contents of the box didn't look out of the ordinary; but what they found upon closer inspection was an antiquer's dream—four undiscovered books by Idaho's self-taught autistic artist James Castle.

The books' authenticity was confirmed by Castle expert Sandy Harthorn of the Boise Art Museum and Tom Trusky, Boise State University English professor, Idaho Center for the Book director and Castle book expert.

Neither Coey nor Bowyer was very familiar with Castle's work, though they wondered if the drawings might be his. They displayed the books in their shop, labeled as "possible works by James Castle" and tagged at $3,500. Since then, Trusky has estimated the value of one of the books—a U.S. History textbook from Idaho Territory days—at more than $25,000.

How the books got to the auction is a mystery—the family that sold them has no recollection of any ties with Castle. On loan to the Idaho Center for the Book for a traveling Castle exhibit, the books, now known as The Early Attic Collection of the Works of James Castle, are currently being stored in the climate-controlled archives at Boise State's Albertsons Library. They will be unveiled at an international conference this fall on the East Coast.

Arts for Kids Begins

What used to be a one-day summertime event put on by Boise City Arts Commission at Julia Davis Park has now expanded to seven Saturdays at the Capital City Public Market. Called Arts for Kids, the series gets underway this Saturday, June 12 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Four 45-minute workshops facilitated by professional artists and art educators will begin on the hour each hour for youth ages 3-12. Workshop offerings include: "Creative Hat Making," "Forever Sandcastles," "Kazoon Kite Making," "Hip-Hop Dance," "Cartooning," "Watercolor Painting," "Middle Eastern Dance," "Fuzzy Felted Critters in a Cave," "Creative Writing by the Log Cabin Literary Center," "Junk Yard Printmaking," "Sandpainting," "African Dance and Drumming," and more. No pre-registration necessary; all workshops are first-come, first-served. Look for the table located on the walkway to the Wells Fargo Bank on the Grove Plaza. Arts for Kids continues through July 24.


Boise Contemporary Theater will hold its general auditions June 19-20 for three plays: Dracula, The Dazzle and Eleemosynary. Auditions will take place in five-minute slots from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Interested Equity and non-Equity actors should schedule an appointment with Kristy Martin by e-mail at Actors should come prepared with two monologues totaling three minutes or less and bring a headshot and current resume.

Neighborhood Public Art

On June 7, Mayor David Bieter joined the Collister Neighborhood Association to dedicate a public art sculpture at Catalpa Park, 4516 W. Catalpa Drive.

Titled History in Motion: Past, Present, Future Mark Stasz's sculpture mirrors the motion of a bouncing ball—a reference to children playing games in the park and a metaphor for the neighborhood moving from the past, through the present and into the future. The sculpture is located at the entryway to the park, which is adjacent to Collister Elementary School.

The Collister Neighborhood Association's Catalpa Park Public Art Project was funded by a $20,000 grant from the 2003 Neighborhood Reinvestment Program and managed by the Boise City Arts Commission in partnership with the Boise City Parks and Recreation Department.

Martini Mix-Off Winners

The final judging for Boise's month-long martini contest took place last Friday night. And the winner is ... Bingo Barnes' liver. Just kidding. In the Classic category MilkyWay won top honors with Pat Carden's 10-Minute Martini followed by Mosaic and The Bar at the Grove Hotel. In the Original category, Bardenay won first with the Desert Rose followed by Red Feather and Happy Fish, with Mai Thai receiving honorable mention. In the Smirnoff category Red Feather won first place with Kiss Immure followed by The Bar at the Grove Hotel and the Gamekeeper Lounge, with Piper Pub and Angell's receiving honorable mention. The Martini Appetizer competition saw the Gamekeeper Lounge take first followed by The Bar at the Grove Hotel, MilkyWay, Mai Thai and Lips at Bartime. The People's Choice martini winner was the Tangerine Dream at Mosaic the People's Choice appetizer favorite was the MilkyWay Uni Baby, shrimp and black pepper fried taro dumplings.