Arts & Culture » Week in Review

Boiseans Eat Chili and Arizonans Swing From the Rafters

Week in Review 2.1.12

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Despite protests from swoopy-banged teens, text messages aren't generally considered an artform. But not in the hands of the Treasure Valley Artists' Alliance. The group's latest exhibition, Text Messages, recently opened at the Boise State Public Radio offices, and BW staffer Stephen Foster stopped by to check it out.

According to Foster: "The show is a reminder that, at their core, the symbols and devices that we use to string together poems, stories and all manners of the written word are, themselves, pieces of art."

If you missed it, you can check out Text Messages from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Thursday, April 5.

From texting to teen angst, old-school ska/punksters Voodoo Glow Skulls and Authority Zero tore up the Reef on Jan. 27. BW's Josh Gross swung by to catch Authority Zero vocalist Jason DeVore jump, gyrate, stage-dive and make an earnest attempt to swing from the rafters.

Though openers Skyfox played a sugary-pop punk set straight out of a late-'90s WB teen drama, the derivative sound didn't spoil the raucous fun. VGS rolled out the horn section and blasted the sold-out crowd away with a mix of Latino-influenced ska and hardcore. Singer Frank Casillas started the set wearing a Mexican wrestling mask, but had to chuck it within the first several songs due to the heat. According to Gross, the show was "so gloriously rowdy that a line of police were waiting outside Reef. Their target: a 5-foot, 4-inch girl who had been tearing up the pit. She was led away in cuffs while the band played on."

In a much more low-key setting--the partially renovated Immanuel Methodist Episcopal Church in the North End--Foster checked out the Treasure Valley Institute for Children's Arts' Old-Timey Chili Feed on Jan. 28.

As volunteers ladled out chili, Jonathan Warren and the Billy Goats thumped out bluegrass to a mixed crowd of kids and adults. After admiring a pair of giant wings created from more than 16,000 Boise Weekly newspapers, Foster chatted up TRICA founder Jon Swarthout about the progress of the children's arts mecca, which has raised $2.1 million of its $2.7 million goal.

"It will be an after-school destination, a field-trip destination, a place where we train volunteer art parents," said Swarthout. "It will be an ever-evolving, ever-changing center devoted to providing arts education."

Also on Jan. 28, Features Editor Deanna Darr hit up the opening night performance of Boise Contemporary Theater's Gruesome Playground Injuries. Written by Rajiv Joseph, the play follows "a riotously funny, yet touching journey through three decades of two messed-up, but deeply connected people."

Darr says the two main characters--Kayleen (Lesley Shires) and Doug (Dwayne Blackaller)--are both rich and complex. You can read the full review on Page 20.