A Slew of New Art Openings 

University of Idaho professor Jason Ferguson, labeled a "neo-conceptual absurdist" in Chicago's NewCity Art, is known for interjecting a bit of humor into his conceptual pieces. Take, for example, his "Taxidermy" series, in which he dissects inanimate objects like an old shoe or velour La-Z-Boy recliners--which he cheekily dubbed "chair skin rugs." Recently, Ferguson was asked to do a different kind of dissecting. For Boise State's annual student juried exhibition, "Double Take," he had to weed through a number of student submissions. "Double Take," which opened last weekend at the Visual Arts Center, features a variety of work in all media and will be up through Saturday, March 20.

Nearby, at the Visual Arts Center's Gallery Two, Nicole Herden and Asaad Zangana's MFA thesis exhibitions are also on display. Herden's work "Cell" is a collection of random three-dimensional items displayed in petri-dish-like containers, which strives to present "a non-linear amalgamation of experience in a scientific fashion." Zangana's "Oppression, as Artist's Experience," is more explicitly personal, using video projection and images on ceramic tiles to convey the oppression and pain he went through during his life in Iraq.

In other March opening news, last First Thursday brought a variety of new and old faces into downtown spaces. At Flying M Coffee House, M wall-curators Jerms Lanningham and John Warfel linked up with illustrator Andy Stauffer for an ever-growing month-long series. Each day, a new doodle will be tacked up on the wall from one of the three artists, which will culminate during the final week of the show when they all collaborate on a larger piece. Down the street at another local coffeehouse, Thomas Hammer, Tomas Montano premiered the series "Viva Costa Rica," a collection of colorful new mixed-media paintings on plywood. The Basement Gallery also opened a new show, the first curated completely by new owners Jane and Michael Brumfield. The show features a variety of local contemporary printmakers, including Matt Bodett, Kirsten Furlong, Denise Lauerman, Odessa Leedy, Benjamin Love, Susan Moore, Sarah Rapatz, John Warfel and Tarmo Watia, as well as British printmakers Alison Read and Sarah Ross-Thompson.

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