Idaho Arts Quarterly » Central Idaho

Central Report

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Pack of Performances

Baldy may be getting a big fat face-lift this winter, but skiing isn't the only thing happening in the Wood River Valley. Aside from hosting a number of notable readings, stage performances and artist openings, a few musical events are worthy of a mark on your calendar.

On December 15, bilingual singer Perla Batalla, who first gained attention as a back-up singer for Leonard Cohen (for whom she wrote a compilation album titled Bird on a Wire) and has since created a successful solo career. Known for her rich voice, the Los Angeles-born, Grammy-nominated artist, Batalla gravitates toward Spanish language classics, melding them with her own rhythmic style. Batalla performs at the Church of the Big Wood in Hailey at 7:30 p.m. For information, call 208-726-5123 or visit

Children will enjoy a bilingual musical evening with Jose-Luis Orozco, best known for his work teaching children through music. He delights the audience with Latin American culture presented through the medium of music. Orozco performs at the Liberty Theater in Hailey on Friday, February 1 at 6:30 p.m. For more information, call 208-578-9122 or visit

Imani Winds is the New York City-based wind quintet featuring five young African-American classical musicians. They have made it their mission to infuse the world of classical music with a little soul (which means traditional compositions, as well as original pieces rooted in African, European, South American traditions). Imani Winds stops in Ketchum on their tour through Idaho this winter.

February 24, 7 p.m. Church of the Big Wood. For more Information or tickets call 208-726-5123 or visit

Sun Valley Center For The Arts Draws Line In The Sand

What does a map really say? Plenty. But how much of that is real, and how much of it is imagined, a form overlaid on reality? An exhibit at the Sun Valley Center for the Arts will challenge plenty of assumptions about maps and look at how artists have used maps as "the basis for questioning the very order they impose." The exhibit will feature artist Lize Mogel's migration map as part of the exhibit, which runs through December 7. Later in the month, a different exhibit zeroes in on issues of labor and immigration, with a number of works by Hispanic artists in the gallery. The list of artists includes works by Raul Guerrero, Enrique Chagoya, Margarita Cabrera, Ana Teresa Fernandez, Celia Alvarez Munoz, Luz Maria Sanchez and Julio Cesar Morales.

December 14-February 9, Sun Valley Center for the Arts, 191 Fifth St. E., Ketchum, 208-726-9491,

Open up, man. It's Cheech Marin and he has art.

Though best known for his work as one-half of the comedy team Cheech and Chong (and maybe a bit lesser known for his work as Inspector Joe Dominguez paired with the not-so-funny Don Johnson in Nash Bridges) and hundreds of television and film roles, Cheech Marin is also an avid and highly regarded art collector.

"Chicano Visions: American Painters on the Verge" is an art exhibition that is part of a larger cultural experience, "CHICANO." Marin is the guiding voice behind "CHICANO," sharing his vision on Latin American art and culture. "Chicano Visions" features the work of 26 of this country's best and brightest Chicano and Chicana artists, and most of the works in the exhibit are from Marin's private collection. The exhibit has traveled across the country, showing in some very important venues. According to, "the San Antonio Museum of Art hosted 'Chicano Visions: American Painters on the Verge,' while The Alameda's Museo Americano hosted "Chicano Now: American Expressions" (a multimedia exhibit). The exhibits have appeared at the Smithsonian Institution."

While the exhibit itself will not be traveling to Ketchum, Marin will make a stop at the Church of the Big Wood to present a slide show and lecture not only about "Chicano Visions," but the important contributions Chicano artists have made to the art world.

January 10, 7 p.m., $10 Sun Valley Center for the Arts members, $15 nonmembers, Church of the Big Wood, Ketchum, 208-726-5123,

Twin Art Center on the Make

In November 2006, the Magic Valley Arts Council launched a capital campaign in search of funding for the Twin Falls Center for the Arts. One year later, MVAC's executive director Stacy Madsen says the project is coming very close to fruition. The ground breaking is slated for the spring of 2008 at a site located on the canyon rim overlooking the river near the Perrine Bridge.

"The arts and artist community are growing," says Madsen. "And this is a visual evidence of how well the arts are doing in our community."

The center will be the focal point for visual, performing and literary arts in the Magic Valley, featuring classrooms, gallery exhibition areas and a performance space with a fixed stage and flexible seating to accommodate a variety of events.

Madsen says she expects the construction to be completed by the end of 2008, just in time for the Magic Valley Arts Council's 20th anniversary.

For more information on the Twin Falls Center for the Arts or the Magic Valley Arts Council, call 208-734-ARTS or visit

—Amy Atkins and Rachael Daigle