Threefer: First Thursday Picks 

Thursday, October 3

First Thursday is about beer and wine tastings. It's sales and giveaways. But it's also about art--and lots of it. This month, be sure to visit three downtown locations for art offerings of the visual, performance and cinematic varieties. Taste those beverages and buy into those sales, but don't forget to ogle that art.

Bricolage

Bricolage has been dressing Boiseans in local duds for three years. For October's First Thursday, the shop debuts a fall collection by Nampa style maven Elise Vaughn of Brass Razoo. But Bricolage's good taste extends beyond fashion. Trippy sketches by visual artist and jeweler Olive Wicherski will be on display and on sale for between $250 and $650.

Wicherski's work delves into the relationship between familiar parts and unexpected wholes. In her collection of graphite sketches in this exhibit, "Faberge," an assortment of seashells, ram's horns and shark's teeth coalesce into an egg-shaped artifact ("Faberge 2").

In "Terrariums," fungi and glacial debris overtake furry animal surfaces that blink, breathe and resemble careening asteroids. Her sketches have a taxidermic quality but are detailed enough to look alive, like the portrait in the haunted house with the wandering eyes.

"My style is very similar to science drawings I've seen before," Wicherski said.

That entails accuracy, proportion and realistic textures; but her penchant for science illustration bends to her imagination, which elevates the eight to nine pieces that will hang at Bricolage--several of which she has created especially for the exhibition--to high art.

"It's like a puzzle to create a new organism," she said.

An Idaho native--she graduated from Boise High School--Wicherski is an alumna of the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam, Netherlands, and of Skidmore College in New York. At both, she studied studio art. Here in Boise, she is quickly becoming one of the art scene's rising stars.

Boise Contemporary Theater

When you're a pro, there's nothing worse than a know-it-all assistant. When painter Andrea del Verrocchio saw the skill of his pupil Leonardo da Vinci', he retired on the spot. In John Logan's 2009 play, Red, which premieres Wednesday, Oct. 9, at Boise Contemporary Theater, it is artist Mark Rothko who must suffer an ambitious assistant.

In preparation for its second play of the season--the first was Lauren Weedman's Boise: You Don't Look a Day Over 149--BCT is hosting a reception and putting a selection of seven artworks inspired by Rothko on the auction block.

Red, which won a Tony Award for Best Play in 2010, is a close-up of Rothko (played by Arthur Glen Hughes) in 1959 as he works in his New York studio on the Seagrams Murals, to be hung at the then-new Four Seasons restaurant. His one-man peanut gallery is an assistant (Boise native Reggie Gowland), who challenges his art theories and the commercialism of his latest project.

The play is about accommodation: Sometimes getting your art out into the open can mean putting it somewhere you'd rather not see it; and sometimes the only way to get things done is to work with people who disagree with you.

The Flicks

Back when movies cost a nickel, audiences would walk uphill through the snow to get to opulent movie palaces.

Now, getting into a movie is $10-plus and is often not worth it. That's why The Flicks is taking the shotgun approach on First Thursday with the Manhattan Short Film Festival. For slightly less than the cost of a first-run movie ticket--$9 general admission, $7 for students and seniors--audiences can watch this year's crop of award-winning short films.

The festival, rather than going on tour, occurs simultaneously in all 50 states and numerous foreign countries.

Of the 10 shorts, seven are from countries as diverse as Finland, Australia, France, England and Ireland. From the latter comes Irish Folk Furniture, the animated story of repair and recycling culture in an Irish village. Director Sebastian Rice-Edwards of the United Kingdom shows the grief of a teenager on the anniversary of his mother's untimely death in Friday.

Not everything at MSFF is heavy. Do I Have to Take Care of Everything? is a Finnish comedy from director Selma Vilhunen about a mother determined to take care of everything herself one hectic morning. Clocking in at just seven minutes, it's short and to the point. In No Comment by French director-writer-actor Alexandra Naoum, beautiful French people with perfect hair encounter each other in the Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris.

Some of the films are heavy enough to take up two airplane seats. The Pale of Settlement by American director Jacob Stillman tells the true story of a 10-year-old Jewish boy who avoids conscription into the Russian army during the Crimean War. From Australian director Timothy Wilde comes #30--a nightmarish account of an actor, Chelsea Johnston, who auditions for a part in "Hamlet," only to learn that she has learned the wrong role and must audition from a cold read.

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