Opera Idaho - Pabst Can on Canvas - Bill Carman 

Visually Appealing

Boise State hosts three exhibits of works on paper over the coming months. "Migrations: New Directions in Native American Art" and "Disaster Tableau: Recent Prints" by Erik Waterkotte will both run Jan. 22 through Feb. 9 at the Visual Arts Center Gallery 2 in the Hemingway Western Studies Center. "The Quiet Art: A Drawing Retrospective" by John Taye will run Feb. 9 to Mar. 15 at Gallery 1 in the Liberal Arts Building. An opening reception for all three exhibits is Friday, Feb. 8 from 6 p.m.-8 p.m. in the Hemingway Western Studies Center.

Gallery hours are Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sat., noon-4 p.m.; closed Sundays. For info, call 208-426-3994. Boise State, 1910 University Dr.

Swan Song; Snazzy Soiree

According to a press release, Opera Idaho's executive and artistic director, Julie Kilgrow, will retire from her position effective May of this year. The organization's board of directors will begin a search—both locally and nationally—for Kilgrow's replacement and "plan to have one in place by her departure."

In other Opera Idaho news, the annual Mardi Gras Masked Ball takes place Saturday, Feb. 2 at the Arid Club. The event offers dining, drinking and dancing and a number of live and silent auctions for items including a sterling silver bracelet, a tuxedo, an expenses-paid party at the Boise Depot, the opportunity to create a signature martini for the 8th St. Wine Co.'s menu and a week's stay in the French Riviera.

Feb. 2, 6 p.m., $150 per person, seating is limited. For more information or tickets, call 208-345-3531, Ext. 2 or visit OperaIdaho.org. Arid Club, 1137 W. River St., 208-343-4631.

Blue Ribbon Winners

The people at the Pabst Brewing Company in Milwaukee, Wis., are responsible for creating some of our nation's, um, finest beers including Schlitz Malt Liquor, Colt 45, Old Milwaukee, Oly and, a favorite among us Westerners, Pabst Blue Ribbon. It was this cornerstone brew and its signature can that the company asked loyal drinkers to represent on canvas in its 2007 Can on Canvas contest. The original paintings are being displayed in PBR venues across the country as part of the 2008 Pabst Blue Ribbon Art Gallery Tour. You can check them out on Jan. 28 at the Red Room where they'll be on display for one night only.

Jan. 28, 7 p.m.-10 p.m., Red Room, 603 W. Main St., 208-343-7034.

Drawing on Experience

Local artist Bill Carman, professor of illustration and drawing at Boise State, longtime favorite of Basement Gallery and BW contributor, has won a gold medal from the Society of Illustrators of New York. Carman's winning illustration, Fine Dining, depicts a suit-wearing, wide-eyed rabbit sitting down to eat a plate of octopus. Like many of the characters from his "Blue Glass Circus" series—which will be familiar to fans of his work—the rabbit is wearing a bright blue monocle. And like much of his work, it is a small painting, rich in detail. Basement Gallery owner Perry Allen owns the piece after buying it at one of Carman's shows in his gallery last year.

The Society of Illustrators of New York, founded in 1901, is one of the most prestigious organizations dedicated to the art of illustration. The annual competition receives over 7,000 entries each year in a variety of categories, from editorial to commercial. Carman's award is in the institutional category. The winners of the juried competition are shown at the illustrious Society of Illustrators Gallery in New York's Upper East Side, and the winning entries are featured in the society's publication, the Annual of Illustration. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the book. Carman will travel to New York to attend the awards ceremony and receive a gold medal in late March. His work will be on display, along with the other winners, beginning March 29. You can see more of Carman's work at the Basement Gallery's current show, "What's That Noise in the Basement?" through February.

Basement Gallery, 928 W. Main St., 208-333-0309.

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