Spring 2006 Report 

March • April • May

Stewart Gallery Shows Get Mention in National Art Publication

Stewart Gallery has been showing challenging contemporary local, regional, national and international art in Boise since owners Stephanie Wilde and Lane Bune opened the gallery in 1987.

Recently, one of the gallery's 2005 shows was highlighted in the art magazine Art in America (the publication bills itself as "the world's oremiere art magazine"). Christopher Schnoor, who first reviewed Stewart Gallery's spring 2005 exhibition of works by Albertson College of Idaho art professor Garth Claassen in Boise Weekly ("Art of War," March 30, 2005). Schnoor's review was printed in the January 2006 issue of Art in America.

Marlow Hoffman, Stewart Gallery's exhibition coordinator, told BW, "I believe it is a great accomplishment to be in the January edition of Art in America because it validates Stewart Gallery's artistic choices and goals. Not only is this positive for the gallery, for artist Garth Claassen, and for critic Chris Schnoor--it is encouraging for the Boise art scene. Art in America is a highly respected international art publication, and the review puts Boise galleries on the map."

For more about Stewart Gallery, visit www.stewartgallery.com. For more about Art in America, visit www.artinamericamagazine.com. To read Schnoor's original review of the Claassen exhibition, visit www.boiseweekly.com.

Spontaneous and VaC Team Up

In last winter's edition of Idaho Arts Quarterly, we reported on the shakeups happening at Spontaneous Productions ("Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes in the Wind for Spontaneous Productions," Winter 2005 Report, December 7, 2005) and we promised to keep readers updated.

As a theater group, Spontaneous Prod-uctions has been going strong for close to a decade, and though they've changed their mission--their has focus expanded from their roots as the valley's only theater company staging shows to appeal to the gay community, to include all plays they find compelling--they remain committed to excellent community theater.

Last winter, Spontaneous was looking for a new performance home. As of this January, Spontaneous has teamed up with newbie art gallery Visual Arts Collective to present four plays annually.

"The joint venture of Spontaneous Productions and Visual Arts Collective to provide four theatrical productions a year significantly adds to the strength of the Linen District as the hottest cultural spot in the City of Boise," Mike Silva, Spontaneous Productions' president and general manager, told BW. "The beauty and ambiance of Visual Arts Collective makes it arguably the best venue in town for live theater."

Spontaneous and VaC had their first collaboration this February with a staged reading of The Exonerated. Their next production is Closer, scheduled to run in May and June.

For more information about Spontaneous Productions, visit www.sponprod.com. For more information about VaC, visit www.visualartscollective.com.

Film Industry Task Force Bill to Go Before Lawmakers

Proponents of bolstering a fledgling film industry in Idaho got a boost on February 15.

In a move promoted by the Idaho Film Task Force, the Idaho Legislature's House Revenue and Taxation Committee approved a bill that provides a sales tax rebate to movie production crews when a given project spends at least $200,000 filming in Idaho (House Bill 497). This brings the bill one step closer to fruition. HB497 now must pass the House, then the Senate, and finally, Gov. Kempthorne.

Likely with Napoleon Dynamite on the brain, the bill's backers intend to aggressively lure jobs and revenue to the state via the film industry.

Weigh in on the matter by contacting your legislator at www.legislature.idaho.gov/about/contactbyname.cfm.

Log Cabin Launches New Literacy Program

The Log Cabin Literary Center recently announced that Boise Mayor Dave Bieter will act as the honorary spokesperson for The Big Read. Sponsored by the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA), the program is a new national initiative designed to encourage literacy by encouraging communities to come together to read and discuss one book.

The 10 communities chosen for participation in the program get to select one of four classics: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston or To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. The Log Cabin has chosen to read Fahrenheit 451. The Big Read launches in Boise on March 23 downtown at the Grove.

Big Read events will include a screening of the film version of Fahrenheit 451 at The Flicks on April 23, readings from the book, and a symposium on censorship--a key theme of the novel.

The Log Cabin received a $25,000 NEA grant for the program that encourages literature and reading as a way of life.

Big Read events are planned statewide, so contact your local library to see what events your community has planned. A schedule of Big Read events is available at www.logcablit.org.

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