Modern Art: Spring (Arts) Fever 

The Modern Hotel is getting ready for its seventh annual Modern Art. Thursday, May 1, all 33 of the hotel's rooms will convert into a one-night-only art exhibition featuring performance and visual art installations. Part of the exhibition's strength comes from transforming the rooms' spare functionality into venues for local artists' creative endeavors--last year, more than 60 artists participated in the event.

Saturday, May 10, at 6 p.m., swing by the Visual Arts Collective in Garden City for the Surel's Place Art Auction Fundraiser. There, you can bid on works by 39 artists, including Reham Aarti, Karen Bubb, Anne Klahr, Star Moxley and Jessie Proksa, during a live auction. The works have been on display at VAC since April 8, and will be available for pick-up beginning Sunday, June 1. Tickets are $35. The event includes food and a no-host bar. For more info, visit surelsplace.org/auction.

The southernmost stretch of the Snake River Valley is known for its vulcanized landscape, hardy shrubs and the endless blue skies overlooking it. This week, longtime King Hill resident Pam Swenson explores that neck of the river in an exhibition, Pam Swenson: New Work, at Enso Artspace, also in Garden City. Meet Swenson and discover the dynamic deserts of deep Southwestern Idaho at an opening reception at Enso Friday, April 25, 5-8 p.m. The exhibition runs through Friday, June 6.

The canyons and towering rock formations of the lower Snake River inspired Swenson, but do prisoners draw similar inspiration from the closed spaces of their cells? Heading back downtown, find out Thursday, May 1, at the Rose Room, at the awards ceremony for the fifth-annual Caged Inspiration Poetry Contest, sponsored by the Old Idaho Penitentiary. At 5 p.m., a panel of judges will choose three poems for wins, honorable mention and other awards for poems written in 150 words or less that draw inspiration from the Old Pen. Prizes include free admission to the Old Pen, guided tours and swag from the gift shop.

At the state level, the Idaho Commission on the Arts is gathering for its quarterly meeting, Friday, May, 9, at the Jacklin Arts and culture Center in Idaho Falls. There, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., the governor-appointed board will approve 2015 grants and awards.

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