East Idaho Report 

The scope and variety of the arts in Eastern Idaho are as overwhelming and vast as the landscape itself.

The landscape here features everything from alpine forests to lava flows to fields of sage. And, of course, the world-famous potato fields.

The arts seem never to have an off-season in this part of the Gem State.

The Colonial Theatre's winter season is in full swing in Idaho Falls and Cordillera Gallery, a new art gallery, opened in Old Town Pocatello at 251 N. Main St. inside Walrus and Carpenter Books. The gallery, which debuted in November, features Blackfoot artist Jeriann Sabin through March.

On display through March at Idaho State University's Idaho Museum of Natural History is Visions of Nature: Through the Eyes of Richard Jeppson. For more than 32 years, Jeppson used taxidermy to help him teach others about the wonders of the natural world. Now, a new exhibit honors the man and his work, with spectacular photos and taxidermy specimens on display.

To celebrate the opening of the new 110,000-square-foot Stephens Performing Arts Center, ISU recently hosted a rare Eastern Idaho concert appearance by pianist George Winston.

The Stephens Center includes three main venues: A 1,200-seat acoustically perfect grand concert hall, a 450-seat thrust theater designed for dramatic performances and a 250-seat experimental black box theater.

Two of the three venues opened in fall 2004, and the largest venue, the Joseph C. and Cheryl H. Jensen Grand Concert Hall is scheduled to open in April.

The first performance at the new Bistline Family Theatre, Man of La Mancha, opened to sold-out crowds in October. In November, a full-capacity audience watched The Shadow Box, the inaugural production in the James E. and Beverly Rogers Experimental Theatre.

The following Eastern Idaho artists and art organizations recently received Idaho Arts Commission QuickFunds Grants:

Idaho Falls Youth Arts Centre received $980 for an eight-week series led by Teresa Clark to introduce youth (grades 3 to 12) to the art of storytelling.

Shelley Smith, Idaho Falls, received $500 to attend workshops at the Winter Institute 2005 for Association of Performing Arts Presenters.

Chase Carter, Pingree, received $990 to work with master saddle maker Kent Frecker, learning steps and skills necessary to complete a saddle.

Stanley Cope, Pocatello, received $485 to attend the National Art Association Convention in Boston.

Jefferson Elementary in Pocatello/Chubbuck School District received $950 to support workshops for teachers before artist residencies in watercolor and writing.

Twin Falls School District received $940 to present "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer," a Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts production, to fifth and sixth grade students and area drama students.

The next issue of Idaho Arts Quarterly publishes in June. Feel free to contact me with any Eastern Idaho art-related news or events: (208) 478-9382 or via e-mail at murphy@journalist.com.

-Scott Murphy

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