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First Thursday

2010 holds a host of surprises

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As we say goodbye to 2009 and hello to 2010 and all the changes it will bring, one thing that will remain the same is downtown Boise's interest and emphasis on First Thursday events. BW talked to a host of galleries about the upcoming lineups for the new year that range from robots to recycled materials and paintings of puppies to airplanes.

R. Grey Gallery

R. Grey Gallery steps outside of the circle of rings, necklaces and bracelets with plans for two furniture art exhibitions. 

International artist Boris Bally "creates awesome chairs, recycled out of metal street signs that have gone to the scrap heap," said owner and designer Robert Grey Kaylor. The 100 percent recyclable element often ends up corroding--aluminum doesn't rust like iron does--in a junkyard somewhere, and rather than letting sheet metal become waste, Bally turns it into eye-catching conversation pieces as stop-sign tables and yield-sign chairs.

"He's in museums and art galleries around the world," said Kaylor.

Another furniture maker, Sticks, creates beautiful hand-painted furniture sets, as well as designer bags. The pieces are as beautiful as anything that might have been created on canvas but are functional, too.

Kaylor is also expanding a line of his own at the gallery and his work will sit alongside a similar designer, Alex Sepkus, whose incredible geometric gold pieces Kaylor described as "beautiful."

Boise Art Museum

BAM has a plan extending well into 2011, including the 2010 Idaho Triennial set to open September 4 of this year. The statewide juried exhibition highlights some of Idaho's best artists.

The museum's continuing "Thread of Perception" series, will showcase the work of Stephen Knapp, who creates breathtaking "light paintings" using metallic coatings and layers of glass to create an orgy of color with the focus on light. 

BAM also has an amazing exhibition planned, centered on everybody's favorite sci-fi fixture: robots. Micron Technology teamed up with BAM to showcase robots built by a team of engineers from the FIRST Robotics team. The large-scale androids will be demonstrated in action next to a display titled "Robots: Evolution of a Cultural Icon," which examines the changing perception of robotics and the iconography of robots that has developed in art. 

Idaho State Historical Museum

Alan Stanford's work debuted in late 2009 and will extend through Feb. 27. If you haven't seen his delightful watercolor journey through Idaho, check out this week's cover of BW, which is Stanford's work.

"In January and February, we're going to have First Thursdays related to the watercolors exhibit," said Anne Schorzman, ISHM's events coordinator.

On Feb. 27-28, ISHM hosts "What's it Worth?" It's an event not unlike The Antiques Roadshow that calls on experts to judge the worth of your attic's contents. 

"Comforts of Home" follows March 20-May 2. Featuring work by African refugees living in Boise, it's an exhibit that promises to be an eye-opener. 

Tentatively scheduled to open May 29 is "Rock Art Perspectives," a traveling exhibit on loan from the High Desert Museum in Bend, Ore. It's a collection of artist interpretations of the various pictographs that have been found along the Columbia River basin.

Art Source Gallery

While they haven't quite finalized the full lineup for next year--that process is typically hammered out in January/February--the Art Source Gallery reminded us about its annual juried show in July. Each year, artists from across the country submit their work, at which time Art Source picks a lucky juror to select those to showcase for that month.

Brown's Gallery

Brown's Gallery has plans for individual artist shows, including the work of David Mensing, who uses thick paint and dramatic brushstrokes to create landscapes that are as full of energy as they are color.

In May, Brown's will hold its annual Artist At Work show, followed by a pastel show in June. Then in July, Brown's focuses on fish and fishing. A ceramics show is tentatively scheduled for August.

Gallery 601

Congratulations to Gallery 601; 2010 marks its 30th anniversary. While not positive on the year's lineup of artists, gallery managers plan to have at least seven different shows by national artists in the works.

The month of June will center on Gallery 601's annual partnership with the Humane Society, which showcases artists who specialize in dog and cat imagery to create interesting--and adorable--art.

Gallery 601 also has an upcoming show that will be fun for all ages. The gallery is planning an aviation show and is putting out a call to anyone with a penchant for creating model airplanes. Builders can submit miniatures, which will be hung from Gallery 601's ceiling and judged. Now is the time to get started on that period-perfect rendition of the Red Baron's old biplane.

For gallery locations, phone numbers and hours, visit boiseweekly.com.