Arts & Culture » Downtown News

Art for Animals Stampedes into Gallery 601

And Jackie Hurlbert's ceramics take over Basement Gallery


Art galleries are usually flooded with food, wine, musicians and art appreciators on First Thursdays. But Gallery 601 at 211 N. 10th St. will add some furry friends to the mix on First Thursday, June 7.

Every June for the last 11 years, owner Christine Otradovec has kicked off her Art for the Animals exhibition on First Thursday.

The show features more than 50 paintings encompassing all things animal. Some artists paint old classics such as Michelangelo's "Creation of Adam," with a furry black paw replacing the outstretched hand.

Rescue dogs from the Idaho Humane Society will become artists themselves, creating original pieces called Paws for a Cause. (Otradovec adds to the paintings so they look like something more than smeared paw prints.)

This event has raised up to $10,000 in the past for the Humane Society, and has led to more than a few adopted pups. Some of the dogs will be at the gallery from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

"One year, we actually had a musician in at the same time and we had a husky ... and every time that girl started playing that keyboard, that husky started singing," said Otradovec, who nicknamed the dog Elvis. "And I think Elvis actually got adopted."

But if fur isn't your thing, other downtown businesses have something to bring to the table as well. Salon 162 will display a mix of canvas and glass work by Shasta Nash. The mixed-media pieces create an interesting stained glass effect. Booking an appointment that evening will get you $10 off at the salon and Band of Buskers will play acoustic music from 6-9 p.m.

For a mix of everything, Ming Studios--which includes Bricolage, Classic Design, Rocket Neon and Boise Art Glass--will feature screen printing and blacksmith demonstrations, as well as a kinetic string sculpture created by Noel Weber. Free Range Pizza will be parked out front and everyone is invited to party on their patio and welcome summer.

The Basement Gallery will showcase Jackie Hurlbert's unique and expressive ceramics. Hurlbert uses symbolism in her art to portray her whimsical view of the world. According to a press release, she has "created a vocabulary of symbolism, where oversized feet denote the strength to stand alone and exaggerated hands beckon you to step inside yourself."

"This is my voice," Hurlbert wrote, "not heard but seen."