Wall Flowers 

Spring is here and artists' thoughts turn to First Thursday

May's First Thursday is the first this year where it actually feels like spring--the weather is pleasant and its almost guaranteed to be a great day for your First Thursday stroll downtown.

This month's events are more numerous than we've seen in months, and we surmise that after a long winter hibernation, some old First Thursday friends are blooming with the flowers and coming out to play. Here's just some of what's happening this time around, at a few not-your-every-First-Thursday locales:

Project Focus208 at Boise Blue

Project Focus208 is the brainchild and work Capital, Timberline and Boise high school photography and graphic art students, along with students from Dehryl Dennis Professional and Technical Education. Based on the idea that the valley is experiencing explosive growth and physical change, the students--under the guidance of photography teacher and project coordinator Vicki Francis--set about preserving pieces of the area's history at this pivotal time and place, before they disappear, through photography and the written word. Supported by the Boise Education Foundation, the Larry Seland College of Applied Technology and the Idaho State Professional and Technical Education Department, Project Focus208 students attended workshops conducted by local historians, urban renewal experts and professional photographers, then picked neighborhood area to research and document. Projects include diverse subject matter suck as local businesses, residences, people, churches, parks and old buildings, as well as unassuming scenes of nature and everyday life. The results will be collected in a book that will be placed in the permanent archives of the Idaho State Historical Society.

The students' individual projects will be on display at Boise Blue and the students will be on hand at a First Thursday reception to discuss their work. Stop by and see what these talented kids have documented and hear them talk about why.

5-8 p.m. Boise Blue Art Supply, 820 W. Jefferson St., 333-1462.

The Maya: A Tapestry of Past and Present at the Idaho Historical Museum

Make sure to stop by the Idaho Historical Museum on your First Thursday walk to see "Mayan Procession," a new installation of a series of paintings on Mayan culture by Chicago artist Winifred Godfrey, who spent time living with the Maya people in the '90s. Accompanying Godfrey's show, there will be an exhibition of Guatamalan textiles, artifacts (on loan from the College of Southern Idaho's Herrett Museum) and contemporary photographs.

Another special feature of the event is an alfombra (a carpet constructed of sawdust, flowers and other organic materials), designed and installed at the museum with help from students from the ANER charter school and Godfrey.

This exhibit, sponsored by grants from the Idaho Commission on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Idaho Humanities Council, will be on exhibit at the museum through May 7, but those who attend the free First Thursday reception will get to attend a slide show presentation by Godfrey at 7:30 p.m.

Says Teresa McRoberts, the museum's traveling exhibit coordinator of Godfrey's installation and presentation, "The slides are a wonderful representation of daily life in the villages, as well as the vast array of textiles found in each village. The slides are very colorful and the presentation will be well worth attending."

5-9 p.m. 610 Julia Davis Dr., 334-2120.

No. 2 Productions' Contemporary Artist Exhibition IV at BoDo

No. 2 Productions has been organizing art shows in this space since July of 2005, and this First Thursday's event, the aptly named "Contemporary Artist Exhibition IV," is the fourth in that series. The show, which is on display through May 6 (Thursday 1-11 p.m., Friday 5-10 p.m. and Saturday noon-10 p.m.), features work in such varying media as paint, photography, sculpture and installation, by artists Drew Roberts, Ted Walker, Michael Barrett, Colleen Debolin, Brooke Wilson, Lindsey Hook, Matthew Brunicardi, Grant Olsen, Erin Gorringe, Erin Cunningham, Sam Luque, Jeremy Webster and Cody Brown. "There's a lot of fresh vision in our exhibition," says Carrie Quinney of No. 2 Productions. "Art that would not be seen elsewhere by artists who are committed to a more contemporary vision."

Besides fresh work, the First Thursday opening will feature live performance art and entertainment by Thomas Paul, Breccia and D. Nickel.

1-11 p.m. BoDo, 814 W. Idaho St.

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