The City, the Streets, the Source 

Hammer and Paintbrush

If anyone needs more proof of why we won the Cold War, look no further than the City of Boise's upcoming Employee Art Show. The Russians would never have organized an "uninhibited" art show to showcase the talents of their government employees--let alone let them "compete for cash prizes" simultaneously.

The City of Boise knows its employees aren't just cogs in a bureaucratic machine, rather they're unique, cultured individuals ready to whip out their paintbrushes and challenge each other to a civilized art off.

Sponsored by the National Arts Program Foundation, with support from the City of Boise Department of Arts and History, the exhibit will open at the Idaho State Historical Museum this First Thursday from 5-9 p.m. and run through Sept. 13. Entries will be judged in four categories: amateur, intermediate, professional and youth. Winners will walk away with a pocketful of cash and, hopefully, a sense of welling, commie-butt-kicking patriotism.

5-9 p.m., FREE, Idaho State Historical Museum, 610 N. Julia Davis Dr., 208-334-2120.

Control Yourselves

The Downtown Boise Association has cut off a fat slice of urban pie with its newest public art project. After receiving a grant from the Mayor's Neighborhood Reinvestment Program, the DBA put out a call to artists to design five different murals to adorn cabinet controller boxes downtown. Now, instead of graffiti, band stickers or Sharpied USPS stickers, a select few streetlight control boxes will be tricked out with work by local artists.

This First Thursday, the public is invited to loiter at the intersection of Capitol and Main with Karen Woods and Bob Neal, at the corner of Eighth and Idaho with Tarmo Watia, at the corner of Ninth and Idaho with Pat Kilby, or at the intersection of Ninth and Main with Amy Lunstrum. Each artist will be chilling out next to his or her creation from 5:30-7 p.m.

The DBA, in association with Ada County Highway District and the City of Boise's Department of Art and History, started this pilot project in order to "decrease graffiti and increase the unique character of downtown." If things go according to plan, prepare for traffic and pedestrian delays as people stop to gawk.

For more information, visit downtownboise.org.

Romancing the Living Stone

Stone and wood sculptor Kathy Vinson is set to unveil her new body of work, "From the Living Stone," on First Thursday at Art Source Gallery. Part peach saltwater taffy and part Matthew Barney prop, Vinson's new alabaster piece, Softly Burning, is wholly mesmerizing. Inspired "by life in all its diversity," Vinson's work is both compositionally and thematically inspired by the natural environment and an enduring love of mythology.

In her artist's statement, Vinson describes her passion for sculpting:

"I fall in love with each work. Nothing is more satisfying than to look at a piece of stone or a slab of wood and see what it should become," she writes. "Then take that stone or wood and chip or peel away whatever, in my mind's eye, doesn't belong."

The opening reception for Vinson's show will feature live jazz-infused indie folk music by Nancy Kelly, as well as wine from Indian Creek Winery and cold hoppy suds from Brewtopia Beer Market.

Thursday, Sept. 3, 5-9 p.m., FREE, Art Source Gallery, 1015 Main St., artsourcegallery.com.

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