There Art Plenty of Things to Do in Boise and Beyond 

Dance in Caldwell, mementos at Ming, giant birds on the Hitchcock building and more

top left: Tarmo Watia; top right: International Folk Dance Ensemble; bottom left: Fred Choate; bottom right: rendering of  The 22 (Ellen DeAngelis)

images courtesy of artists

top left: Tarmo Watia; top right: International Folk Dance Ensemble; bottom left: Fred Choate; bottom right: rendering of The 22 (Ellen DeAngelis)

In a little more than a month, thousands of eyes and ears—and, now, mouths (see Page 20)—will be on Treefort Music Fest 2016, but you don't have to sit around doing nothing until then. As anyone who has lived in the Treasure Valley for more than a few days can attest, there's always something to see, hear, eat or drink, and below are a few ways to stimulate your senses whether you're jonesing for Treefort or not.

Idaho Dance Theatre performs a tribute to famed choreographer Alvin Ailey at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 20, at Centurylink Arena. During halftime in the showdown between the Idaho Stampede and the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, IDT dancers will do their thing and local painter Patcasso will create a work of art based on their moves. More info at idahodancetheatre.org.

In more dance news, Caldwell Fine Arts welcomes the Brigham Young University International Folk Dance Ensemble to the Jewett Auditorium on Friday, Feb. 26 at 7 p.m. With its new show Journey, the BYUIFDE will perform "Irish hard shoe, American clogging, Ukrainian Hopak" and more. Get info and tickets at caldwellfinearts.org.

From movement to memory, we head to Ming Studios where the Museum of Broken Relationships exhibit of the same name gets refreshed. Of the 50 local items submitted, 25 were displayed during the first half of the exhibit, which runs through Thursday, March 3; the other 25 take their place for the last. Visit mingstudios.org for info and hours.

Speaking of damaged relationships, we almost lost the majestic California condor to extinction—by the early 1980s, the population had plummeted to 22. Since then, the condor has been reintroduced to a few Western states and Mexico, but the giant carrion feeder remains an endangered species and conservation efforts are still an integral part of its survival. As part of that effort, local artist and Boise Weekly staffer Ellen DeAngelis and the Peregrine Fund World Center for Birds of Prey will unveil a massive installation: 22 life-size California condor silhouettes perched atop the Hitchcock Building (corner of 12th and Idaho streets). In conjunction with The Record Exchange and the Boise City Department of Arts and History, The 22, which runs through April, will help "bring awareness to Boise's continued conservation efforts." During the unveiling on Saturday, March 12, 1-4 p.m., DeAngelis and representatives from the Peregrine Fund will be on hand to answer questions.

Speaking of the Hitchcock Building, its charm comes not only from what's inside—The Record Exchange and The Edge—but the outside, as well. The murals on the building have become as iconic as its residents, though the painter isn't quite as well known. During the past few decades, local muralist/artist Fred Choate (known to this writer as Uncle Fred) has painted or designed and painted exterior and interior murals in private homes and hundreds of businesses, including the RX, the Pioneer Building, Cafe Ole and Chicago Connection, to name a few. Choate is also a consummate plein air painter, capturing the light and color of scenic outdoor Idaho. Now, around 30 of the prolific painter's landscapes will be on permanent display at the downtown Dawson Taylor (219 N. Eighth St.). The work will be for sale, and Choate said he'll rotate the pieces in the exhibit (seriously, he is prolific), which he's calling Backcountry Blend. See examples of all of Choate's work at fredchoate.com.

Speaking of permanent displays, a new BoDo art gallery, LaBry Fine Art, opened its doors in mid-December 2015. It was founded by John LaBry (la-BREE), who has been a patron/collector/dealer of fine art for much of his life. LaBry, who works at Micron Technology, said two things caused him to open the gallery.

"One, I have a passion for art," LaBry said. "As I made my way around the galleries here, I noticed it was such a mix of a combination of some good things, some craft things and some amateur work. It seemed like there was a missing player. The other thing was, I know this is a tougher market. People who buy higher-end art probably go to Sun Valley or Seattle or San Francisco, but people also told me they get asked often if there's any place to buy high-end art here. Also, with the hotels going in, there's an uptick in business ... that's a good thing."

Among its artists, LaBry Fine Art carries work by Colombian-born painter/sculptor Guilloume Perez-Zapata and local artist Tarmo Watia. Visit facebook.com/LaBry-Fine-Art for info and hours.

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