Downtown News: BW's First Thursday Picks 

Turning trash to treasure is not for squares

The phrase "from trash to treasure" is often accompanied by a winky grin from a way-too-chipper host on an early morning talk show: "In this segment, we'll show you how to turn your old dryer sheets into a fresh-smelling winter scarf." Well, Idaho State Historical Museum's new exhibit, "The Power to Play: From Trash to Treasure" will make you feel guilty for ever getting excited about fashioning your old skis into a game-room coat rack. Heck, it will probably make you feel guilty for having a game room. Or a coat.

The new exhibition, from ChildFund International, features toys fashioned from trash by children across the globe who live in poverty. Old flip flops, plastic bottles, tin cans and grocery bags become inventive playthings at the hands of these kids. According to the museum's website, the exhibit is meant to highlight the fact that "even when circumstances are difficult, children show resiliency, imagination and ingenuity in their play. Children have a remarkable power to create--and play."

Whether you go to assuage your guilt or to see an eye-opening exhibit, be sure to swing by Idaho State Historical Museum on First Thursday, Dec. 2, from 5-9 p.m. 610 Julia Davis Drive, 208-334-2120,

A less-heartwrenching, but equally intense must-see First Thursday stop is Basement Gallery. The subterranean gallery hosts its new winter exhibition, "Not for Squares," which features an assortment of familiar faces like Ben Wilson, Mike Flynn, April VanDeGrift, John Padlo, Keith Farnsworth, Tony Rios and John Warfel alongside Basement newbies like Misty Benson, Gary McCauley, Shelley Jund, Emily Wenner and Joseph Cowman. 928 Main St., 208-333-0309,

If you didn't get enough of Tony Rios' work at Basement Gallery, swing by Flying M Coffeehouse for the opening of Rios' solo show. The pop surrealist illustrator and bronze artist moved to Boise two years ago from San Diego and has exhibited at a number of local galleries since. His work will be up through the end of December. 500 W. Idaho St., 208-345-4320,

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