On First Thursday, March 7, the roving Gypsy Gallery took over the Crystal Ballroom at the Hoff Building to display a wide array of art from its members, including oil paintings, pottery, glass and jewelry. There was a full catered bar, and acoustic musicians Blaze N Kelly jammed out while First Thursday-goers mulled around.
Down the street at the Linen Building, a group of 19 artists unveiled the collaborative exhibit, Inter/Change, curated by Matt Bodett. For the show, each artist submitted an original piece of artwork that was assigned at random to a second artist and then passed on to a third to finish it. While some pieces in the show achieved a unified vision, you could feel the tension in others: like a painting that had been pulled from its frame, wound with duct tape, sawed in half then suspended in the air.
At Boise 150's Sesqui-Shop headquarters, visitors surveyed Boise’s musical roots with a local poster, ticket stub and music zine showcase called Vibes: A Celebration of Music in Boise. Built to Spill had a strong presence, but Idaho’s Fat Chance, Paul Revere & the Raiders and Dream Children also made a showing. Many flocked to a chalkboard wall, where they scrawled down the first concert they ever went to and the year it took place. Concerts ranged from Stevie Wonder in 1970 to N’SYNC in 1998.
At the Creative Access Arts Center, the team at Artisans 4 Hope displayed a series of quilts made by refugees from Bhutan, Congo and Somalia. The exhibition grew out of sewing class taught by A4H and was more than a year in the making.
The quilts, approximately 2-feet by 2-feet, were hung on the walls alongside small cards from the artist describing their homeland and time spent in a refugee camp. Those stories were then told visually with the quilts.
“I grew up in Bhutan. I remember the color green. Green mountains and fields,” one said.
“In Kenya, I was sad, I was afraid for my children. No place was safe. I didn’t go outside. I couldn’t do anything. I just waited,” another read, concluding with, “I have friends here. I have school. I have a sewing machine. I am happy.”
Anyone who lingered at a quilt was immediately swept up, in the best possible way, by an artist eager to share their story and zest for the project.
For a photo slideshow of all the First Thursday action, click here.