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Culture Vultures

The Week in Review


Last weekend was all about community. From the Greek Food Festival to the Central Bench Spring Festival, Boiseans banded together to spotlight their shared interests.

Visual Arts Collective kicked things off with a joint opening from Boise artists Erin Cunningham and Eli Craven called Wither and Bloom. Not only do Cunningham and Craven share studio space the Black Hunger collective, they also share a particular fascination with death, which was on display in the series. According to Boise Weekly Staff Writer Andrew Crisp, Cunningham took inspiration for her two vibrant oil paintings of flowers from an Idaho City graveyard, "where she took photos of flowers, left on gravestones, each decaying at the rarely visited cemetery."

Craven, on the other hand, repurposed and rephotographed images from 1980s magazines.

"I was looking at magazine pages of people, in instances of death or condolence, where there's grievance or comforting someone," Craven explained.

The joint exhibition will remain up through Tuesday, July 31. Check back in BW for a full review of the show from freelancer Christopher Schnoor.

Boise Art Museum hosted Community Day on June 2, which highlighted the museum's latest exhibition, Meet Me at the Center of the Earth by Nick Cave. According to BW intern Amy Merrill, "guests were greeted with bold colors, unique materials and hair--human hair." In addition to perusing Cave's Soundsuits--comprised of buttons, sequins, doilies and brightly died human hair--attendees also viewed 34 unique soundsticks contributed by area artists, which will be on display on the exterior of BAM until Friday, Aug. 31. Cave's exhibit will remain up through Sunday, Nov. 4.

Also on June 2, the third-annual Central Bench Spring Festival sprang up at Cassia Park. According to BW intern Jessica Murri, "booths from all sorts of nonprofit organizations attracted festival-goers and food trucks lined the parking lot." Sarah Cunningham, president of the Central Bench Neighborhood Association, said that at least 30 different nationalities live in the Bench area, and the Central Bench Spring Festival celebrates them all. In addition to tea leaf readings and African drumming, the fest featured performances from a Bosnian dance troupe and Mexican folklorico dancers.

Across town, the Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church hosted another cultural celebration: the 31st annual Greek Food Festival. BW New Media Czar Josh Gross waited in the blazing sun to get inside, where "the promise of fresh souvlaki, spanakopita and dolmas steamed and wafted from the grill, siren-like, promising a taste of paradise."

Gross spoke with one of the festival's volunteers, who estimated that 4,000 people attended the festival.

"We're not very good business people. This all just sort of came together around us," she said.