First Thursday 

Finding plenty to do on the first First Thursday of fall

See work by printmaker Erika Sather-Smith at Flying M.

Erika Sather-Smith

See work by printmaker Erika Sather-Smith at Flying M.

In the words of French philosopher Albert Camus, "Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower." Well, here in Boise, uncharacteristic humidity, unpredictable weather and unpalatable air brought on by the state's wildfires made staying indoors this summer more appealing than enjoying some fun in the sun.

Thankfully, September marks the changing of the seasons and a welcome end to the apocalyptic atmosphere. It also ushers in the advent of autumn and the rich hues of flora Camus referred to. Below, we offer some suggestions to help you bridge the gap between summer and fall as you stroll (outside) from place to place and partake (inside) of art, services, food and more this First Thursday.

Flying M Coffeehouse

500 W. Idaho St., flyingmcoffee.com

Step out of the smoky air and into another kind of smoke at Flying M Coffeehouse with "Up Goes Smoke," a new exhibit by artist and printmaker Erika Sather-Smith. In her bio, Sather-Smith explains that she uses "animals, pattern and color to signify not choices, but the emotions associated with the consequences those choices create."

For her contribution to the 2013 "Modern Art" exhibition, Sather-Smith filled her room with more than 1,000 brightly colored, hand-folded paper "fortune tellers," covered in equally bright geometric designs and symbols, and which attendees were invited to home as a momento. Sather-Smith's art engages the dichotomous nature of paper as a medium--it is both strong and fragile and can protect or reveal secrets. Sather-Smith is also a new artist-in-residence at the Wells Fargo Center Retail Building at 801 Main St.

Basque Museum and Cultural Center

611 Grove St., basquemuseum.com

Boise's pride in being home to the country's only Basque museum can grow even more with the Basque Museum and Cultural Center's new exhibition, "An Enduring Culture: The Basques Past and Present." Using photographs and artifacts, the show highlights important moments in Basque history from, as the title suggests, both past and present.

Art Source Gallery

1015 W. Main St., artsourcegallery.com

In more birthday news, the Art Source collective celebrates the big two-oh with an exhibition by Idaho artists. See work by alumni including Reham Aart Jacobsen, Lisa Tate, Kevin Flynn and more. This is a birthday party so, of course, there's music and cake.

NfiniT Art Gallery

405 S. Eighth St., nfinitartgallery.com

NfiniT is having a Pretty in Pink party that's far more clever than Molly Ringwald's repurposed prom dress. See the work of 22 local artists on display while live mannequins model locally handmade jewelry. A portion of every sale benefits breast cancer research.

Artisan Optics

190 N. Eighth St., artisanoptics.com

If everything around you is a hazy blur, it might not be the smoke. It might be time for glasses.

Artisan Optics brings in Theo eyewear, including the Potato Dishes line. Described as "straightforward frames with a curve," Potato Dishes frames are unassuming, hip and, with their spud-based name, Idahoan.

D.L. Evans Bank

213 N. Ninth St., dlevans.com

The downtown branch is always part of the First Thursday fun; but, this time, there are two extra special reasons the bank is staying open late: It is celebrating its annual open house and customer appreciation event, and its 109th birthday. Check out the Boise 150 exhibit by the Fort Boise Questers and indulge in the branch's renowned First Thursday food and drink spread. (If you don't know what a quester is, visit questers1944.org.)

Guru Donuts

816 W. Bannock St., gurudonuts.com

The sugar sage is finally in its new home. Guru is having an open house in its new donut digs--or in their words, "dough-jo"--in the basement of the Garro Building (between 10 Barrel Brewing and The Hoff Building). Scratch-made pastries come in flavors from traditional glazed to Hipster Berry--made with jam infused with local lavender--to the nut-covered Peanut Gallery. It's just wholesale for now, but the plan is for retail sales in the future. When that bright day comes, you'll always know where to go for a punny pastry.

You'll also find a slew of live performances around downtown, including innovative rapper K. Flay at Neurolux, comedian Kelsey Cook at Liquid Lounge, and Rebecca Scott at Hannah's, as well as Green Zoo Theatre's A Night at the Zoo at the WaterCooler (see Arts on Page 28). You're sure to find something to revel in this first First Thursday of fall; after all, you know what poet and social activist Langston Hughes wrote: "Beauty for some provides escape, who gain a happiness in eyeing the gorgeous buttocks of the ape or Autumn sunsets exquisitely dying."

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