BW Picks

Veritably Age Conscious • Wild Nights • Behind the Bell • Speedy Pete • Smack Talk • Commingling Art and Fine Wine

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4 Friday

Veritably Age Conscious

The picks this week are heavy on the happenings surrounding the grand opening of the new Visual Arts Collective in part because it is a long time coming, and because there's a whole lot going on. VAC is a 10,000-square-foot facility that houses a gallery and an Audio Lab recording studio. The owners plan to host all types of events, including live music, dance and visual art. Open to all ages, the facility will host an assortment of functions ranging from film to poetry slams, art exhibits to people hanging from the rafters. The space is awaiting any and all artistic expression, so start creating now and organize a debut later. The opening exhibition is Sue Latta's mixed-media sculpture titled "In the Flesh," which is for her Boise State Master of Fine Arts thesis.

7 p.m., FREE, Visual Arts Collective, 3638 Osage St., Garden City, VisualArtsCollective.com.

5 Saturday

Wild Nights

Fire season is just around the corner and the Wildland Firefighter Foundation is holding a benefit concert at the VAC with music, dancing and a raffle for prizes. The bands performing are The Billy G. Camp Band, Armed and Hammered, and Play Like Randy. Beer and wine will be available for purchase to further precipitate the red-hot dance moves burning up the dance floor. Development volunteer John Cataldo fully expects some shaking of booty to occur and says, "It's going to be an awesome show for a great cause."

The purpose of the foundation is to maintain and grow the Wildland Firefighters National Monument at the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) in Boise. The monument pays tribute to all the men and women who fight to protect land from fire—the volunteers are from rural communities alongside local, state and federal firefighters—and serves as a permanent reminder to all who walk along the path of memorial plaques nestled among native plants and grasses. Families of the fallen receive much needed support, both financially and emotionally, from the efforts of the organization.

7 p.m., $10 adv.; $12 door, Visual Arts Collective, 3638 Osage St., Garden City, WFFoundation.org, 208-336-2996.

Behind the Bell

LeRoy Bell and His Only Friends are getting ready to make some more friends and perhaps add some more fans to their already steady following. Nestled comfortably on stage with the audience in a Behind the Curtain performance, Bell's talent comes through as clear as ever. Surely Bell has more friends than just his backup band—(one of his more famous pals is Elton John. As part of the songwriting team of Bell and James, Bell helped pen a couple of the Rocket Man's Grammy-nominated songs, such as the 1979 Top 10 hit, "Mama Can't Buy You Love," and John's 2004 British single, "Are You Ready For Love." The songwriting duo themselves are familiar with the view from the top of the charts with their own Top 10 dance hit, "Livin' It Up Friday Night."

Find out more about Leroy Bell and His Only Friends at www.LeroyBell.com. Mix with other audience members for spirits and pu-pu platters at 7 p.m. during the social hour before the performance.

8 p.m., $36.50, Morrison Center, 2201 Cesar Chavez Ln., 208-426-1110, Idahotickets.com.

Speedy Pete

Fundraising takes a fun twist when the coach of the Bronco football team, Chris Peterson, puts his money where his whistle is. The Beat Pete Fun Run will raise greenbacks for the general scholarship fund at Boise State. At the sound of the starting blow horn, competitors will race Coach Pete along a stretch of the Greenbelt to see who has the quickest feet. Peterson has pledged a personal donation of five bones for each runner who manages to blow his socks off in the mad dash for glory. And although all finishers get a commemorative T-shirt, the ones who finish victorious will get one with a slogan that boasts, "I Beat Pete."

After all the action, the man of the hour, along with some of the Boise State football players, will gather at the Student Recreation Center to sign shirts or race numbers of those who participated in the race during a finish line party.

9:30 a.m., $10 for Boise State students; $20 for general in advance, and $15 for Boise State students and $30 for other registrants on the day of the race, Student Recreation Center, Boise, Rec.BoiseState.edu/BeatPete.

7 Monday

Smack Talk

The monthly all-ages poetry slams hosted by Big Tree Arts have a new home and a new moniker aptly called SMACK!@VAC! Slam poetry involves some intense competition and is much more than just a random collection of words hurled about a room of onlookers. During the event, spectators don two hats, both as the audience and the judges. Their animated or dismal responses reveal the winner, who is then selected as the best poet and awarded with prizes and admiration. Along with the regular poetry competition, this inaugural slam features a round of "head-to-head Haiku" and a special dance/poetry performance combination directed by Kelli Brown. Big Tree Arts has been holding poetry slams for six years, mostly at venues that require participants and attendees be 21 and over. In deep dark contrast, SMACK!@VAC! is a place for poets of all ages to share their colorful contributions. Any questions about SMACK!@VAC! can be directed toward Cheryl Maddalena at cheryl_maddalena@yahoo.com or Isaac Grambo at igrambo@hotmail.com.

6:30 p.m., $5, Visual Arts Collective, 3638 Osage St., Garden City, VisualArtsCollective.com.

Commingling Art and Fine Wine

Some things just go naturally together—like peanut butter and jelly, or moonlight and the beach. The same goes for fine art and fermented grapes. The Boise Co-op Wine Shop continues its art outreach program by displaying local artists' work nestled alongside a wide selection of wine. Organizers of the undertaking said the whole idea is to create a "wine and art atmosphere."

On display the month of April is the work of Patty Payton, Kimbal Anderson and Zachary Jones. The collection of mixed media and photography is titled, "Reality of the Rusted Purelands." Themes running throughout the pieces include retrospection, interaction and awareness. The styles of the featured artists are quite different and several of the pieces on display are for sale. Ever since the opening reception, the response has been good and the art, which is in limited quantities, is going fast. So get in there, take a look and take home a piece of art and perhaps a case of wine.

Boise Co-op Wine Shop, 915 N. 8th St., 208-472-4519. BoiseCoopWineShop.com.