It’s Spring, the forsythia is in bloom (time to prune your roses!) — and it’s First Thursday, to boot. It may be a bit rainy, so grab your bumbershoot and slip on your slicker, but do get to Downtown Boise for the traditional art crawl, shopping bargains, snacks, drinks, entertainment of all stripes (including a wandering performance poet) and more, more, more!
Scroll down to see a list of 46 things to do sent by the good folks at the Downtown Boise Association (thanks Karen and Morgan!). And here are my April First Thursday Must-Dos:
• You’ve GOT to stop at the Basque Market to munch on a few of their tapas, and you can’t beat the price — 25-cents to $3! It’s fun, too ‘cause the tapas are all color-toothpick coded and you’re on the honor system. At the end of your tapas feasting, you present your toothpicks and your tab is compiled accordingly. Today’s feature: 10 different kinds of hardboiled stuffed eggs with such delicious choices as curried ham and double deviled eggs (Szechwan-style). The eggs are priced from 50-cents to $1.50, but other tapas will be available, too.
• Wash down the tapas at Le Café De Paris’s free wine tasting to kick off their new wine shop. French jazz music by Nova Bossa, 6-9 p.m.
• Or try a different style of music, free: Basque band Amuma Says No from 8-11 p.m. at Leku Ona. Go back in swing time with the Frim Fram Four at Pengilly’s at 8:45 p.m., or Matt Hooper and the Roman Candles at The Reef, 8:30 p.m.
• Other free wine tastings: Brown’s Gallery, The Melting Pot, Snake River Winery, Gallery 601, Piazza di Vino — and there’s also a wine tasting at Berryhill & Co. with MICHAEL~DAVID WINES. TIP: The Earthquake Zinfandel is “steller!” and, bonus — from 6:30-8 p.m. gnosh complimentary hors d’ oeuvre samplers by Chef John Berryhill himself. Also, 6:30-11 p.m. live music from Ken Harris and Rico Weisman and not just one, but TWO happy hours: 4-6 p.m. and 10 p.m.-close! (you might want to hail a cab tonight!)
• See artists doing their art thing IN ACTION in 8th Street Marketplace in Bodo. This is the last opportunity for the first group: Alley Repertory Theater is giving LIVE performances. I can’t wait to see Holly Streekstra presenting her Buster Keaton/interactive hat exhibit(?!). Kelly Packer is demonstrating her latest paintings. And Adrian Kien will be performing samples of his most recent poetry. (“Damn the fence! Damn the fence!” — sorry, couldn’t resist a little Far Side poetry humor.)
• Artist Kimberly Thompson of BohemianDirt.com. (she re-uses and re-purposes in her art) will be at Atomic Treasures and goodies provided by Chef Lou.
• Live glass-blowing demos at Boise Art Glass!
• Idaho State Historical Museum AND Boise Art Museum are free today!
• The Idaho Shakespeare Fool Squad will be at the Fettucine Forum. Free appetizers will be served & fettuccine will be available for $5. Doors open at 5 p.m.
• If you’re a Mac-ie, MacLife is having its Grand Opening Downtown! Refreshments and free drawings.
• Kids in tow? No worries! Take the gang to Old Chicago, kids eat free tonight and you can kareoke it up!
• At Macy’s you can get a free 5 minute makeover, free 5 fragrance samples — and here’s a big bonus — a free 5-minute chair massage (might come in handy as you’re doing the crawl).
• Finally: First Thursday is really ALL ABOUT THE ART and we have some fabulous local artists and a few not so local. I always try to stop in at the Basement Gallery (it features a cadre of artists, this month I can’t wait to see ‘Feral Hand Puppets’ by Keith Farnsworth), R. Grey Gallery (hosting the Annual Boise State Metal Students’ Silent Auction), Holland Gallery featuring Gary Hooland’s Humanitarian Art project, this month: an exhibition of oil paintings from the Children of the World series, Lisk Gallery featuring artist Erin Ruiz’s latest body of work, Art Source Gallery featuring Fred Ochi from Idaho Falls, who received the Idaho Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts and Brown’s Gallery’s “The Collectors Show,” featuring works by Chagall and Picasso among a large collection of prints and originals.
Details on all First Thursday goings-on below.
Downtown Boise First Thursday Merchant/Music/Art Listings
1. Basque Market 608 W. Grove St. 433.1208
Enjoy spring with tapas at The Basque Market. This Thursday we will be featuring 10 different types of stuffed eggs in celebration of Easter.
2. Basque Museum 611 W Grove St 343.1285
Tour our gallery and learn about one of Boise’s unique ethnic groups, listen to local musicians who meet for a jam session beginning at 6:30, tour the historic Cyrus Jacobs/Uberuaga House!
3. Cool Hand Luke’s 622 W. Idaho St 287.3296
Come enjoy our “Steak & Bake for $9.98!” promotion. For $9.98 you get a 10oz. Flat Iron Steak and an Idaho Baked Potato!
4. Dragonfly 414 Main St. 338.9234
Dragonfly is having their annual SPRING SALE. Every item in the store is 20% off (including already reduced clearance items). Now through April 11th!
5. Flying M Coffeehouse 500 W. Idaho St 345.4320
Red Circle Press is hosting a silent print auction at The Flying M Coffeehouse. Bidding opens April 1, 2009 and ends on April 30, 2009. The auction features hand-pulled and photographic prints including: etching, woodcut, linocut, polyester plate lithography, serigraphy and digital work. Red Circle Press (RCP) is a student organization at Boise State University whose membership base consists of students, faculty, and community members. RCP organizes print exchanges between other presses, and facilitates exhibitions. Through fundraising events, like the auction at The Flying M, Red Circle Press invites national visiting artists to Boise to present workshops and share their research.
6. Le Café De Paris 204 N. Capitol Blvd 336.0889
Come celebrate the inauguration of our wine shop with a free wine tasting! Also, Nova Bossa will perform special French jazz songs from 6-9pm tonight.
7. Leku Ona 117 S 6th St 343.6665
Enjoy live music tonight- FREE- by Basque band Amuma Says No from 8-11pm!
8. The Melting Pot 200 N. 6th St 383.0900
Come enjoy our free wine tasting! It’s titled “Tour of Sauvignon Blanc.”
9. Pengilly’s Saloon 513 W. Main St. 345.6344
Tonight the Frim Fram 4 will be performing at 8:45. IT’S FREE!
10. The Reef 105 S. 6th St. 602-7236
Free show with Matt Hopper & The Roman Candles. The show begins at 8:30, don’t miss out!
11. Boise Art Glass 530 W Myrtle St 345.1825
Come watch our live glass-blowing demonstrations and enjoy some delicious cheese and crackers!
12. 8th St Artist in Residence Program 8th Street Marketplace http://www.8thstreetmarketplace.com
Don’t miss your last opportunity to see the inaugural class of 8th Street AiR artists at work. May begins a new residency. The 8th Street AiR program will be offering complimentary snacks and wine to visitors of the exhibits.
* Alley Repertory Theater will once again be offering live performances, at intervals throughout the evening. They will also highlight information on how to get involved with their organization. Co-artistic directors Hollis Welsh and Buffie Main will be available to meet the public and answer questions.
* Holly Streekstra will be presenting her Buster Keaton/interactive hat exhibit, manual text messaging, and performances from her BSU students. She will be on hand to explain the nature of interactive art, and the “creative flow” that occurs when one experiences and interacts with artworks.
* Kelly Packer will be displaying her most recent set of paintings and multi-media works, influenced by time spent living in France and interpretations on the human form. Stop for a conversation with Kelly on her process, and learn about how having a larger space to work in has influenced Kelly’s creative style
* Adrian Kien will be offering samples of his most recent poetry and a possible “Part 2” performance of his live reading from March. If you missed him buried in earth and communicating with a nattily-dressed bovine last month, make time to visit and discuss his process and performances.
13. Cole Marr Gallery 404 S 8th St 336.7630
In conjunction with the Boise Art Museum’s Ansel Adams exhibition, The Cole/Marr Photography Workshops will be showing “Previsualizations In Silver” A 50 image retrospective of Ansel Adams student David Marr. These large format images were created during the 1972 Yosemite Workshops and up through 2004. Opening Reception 6-9 p.m. The artist will be present.
14. Salon 162 404 S. 8th St 386.9908
Salon 162 is proud to announce Tammi Baliszewski Ph. D., she is a certified Mandala Facilitator, hypnotherapist and ordained minister. Her collection is a series of guided meditations on attracting love, creating prosperity, stress reduction and healing. Join Tami for a book signing on her newly published book, Manifesting Love from the inside out.
15. MacLife 421 S 8th St 323.6721
Please join us for our Grand Opening Celebration! We’ll have refreshments & free drawings so don’t miss out! At noon we will have a Ribbon Cutting with refreshments. Then, we will stay open late with refreshments and a drawing for prizes. Weekly prize drawings celebrating our Grand Opening will continue for FIVE WEEKS, through May 2. All contest entries entered will be eligible for all of the drawings during our Grand Opening celebration, so entering early improves your chances to win! Lots of great computer accessories to win during the event. Grand Prizes include an iMac desktop computer and a MacBook notebook computer! Please come visit our new downtown location and say Hello. While you’re here check out the latest Apple computers for your home and business. Factory certified technicians are on staff downtown for service and repair of any Apple computer. MacLife Downtown is located at 421 S. 8th Streets — that’s the corner of 8th & Myrtle. http://www.MacLifeBoise.com.
16. Buns in the Oven 413 S 8th St 342.LOVE
Spring fever? Buns in the Oven has the solution with our selection of new spring items! Stop in to enjoy a fresh-baked cookie and take 10% off all spring clothing for mom and child. Buns in the Oven: maternity, clothing, accessories, gifts, and necessities for mom and child.
17. Atomic Treasures 409 S. 8th St. 208.344.0811
Join Atomic Treasures in embracing artist Kimberly Thompson of BohemianDirt.com. Kim shares our vision and passion of Re-Using and Re-Purposing and surrounding yourself with amazing beauty whenever the option! She puts love, gratitude and a blue pearl in each original creation. Available tonight and through her web site a special collection of true treasures! A big selection of merchandise will be deeply discounted and we are blooming with spring arrivals! Tasty treats will be compliments of our neighbor Chef Lou’s…we’ll see you tonight!!
18. Ella’s Room 413 S 8th St 331-ELLA
Ella’s Room invites you to save 25- 50% off of select sleepwear, robes, camisoles and bra’s. Help us make room for spring merchandise while enjoying mark downs! Regular merchandise also includes men’s underwear, sexy books and oils, hosiery, garter belts and much more! Open until 9 pm! 331-ELLA
19. Holland Gallery 409 S. 8th St 860.0603
Humanitarian Art: The Holland Gallery is hosting an exhibition of oil paintings from the Children of the World series. This group of paintings depicts children and families of Haiti, Vietnam, China and Tibet. It is part of Gary Holland’s Humanitarian Art project commissioned by the For the Children, Inc. charity. Proceeds from sales will support underfunded orphanages in Haiti, China, and Vietnam. Art Classes: Are you a budding artist? If so, come talk to us about new classes and the Holland Academy of Art that is forming. You may contact the Holland Gallery at (208) 860-0603, or see us at 409 S. 8th Street, on the lower level. Learn more about the project on the web: http://www.forthechildreninc.org/theartofhealing View some of the paintings at http://www.hollandgallery.com
20. R. Grey Gallery 415 8th St 385.9337
R. Grey Gallery is hosting the Annual Boise State Metal Students Silent Auction. Bid on one-of-a-kind pieces and meet the next generation of artists. Support the arts with each winning bid with all proceeds going directly to the metals program. Opening reception April 2nd, 5-9pm. The auction will last from April 2-25th.
21. Snake River Winery 786 W. Broad St. 345.9463
Snake River Winery is hosting a special First Thursday this April. Come in and meet Kaley Beausoleil, local photographer along with some of her recent work. We will also have an extended wine flight, and 20% off all case sales. Let our knowledgeable tasting room staff help with all your wine and wine accessory needs. Our tasting room is located at the corner of 8th and Broad St. in BoDo.
22. Helly Hansen 860 W Broad St 342.2888
Come to Helly Hansen for the best prices in winter gear. Receive 30-50% off all Winter 08/09 items. Also, on First Thursday only, receive 10% off on all new spring items we’ve received!
23. White House Black Market 836 W Broad St 344.0221
5% off entire purchase! Take an additional $25 off your purchase of $125 or more, or $50 off $200 or more!
24. Idaho State Historical Museum 610 Julia Davis Drive 334-2120
Don’t miss this last opportunity to view the exhibit, “Let Children Be Children: Lewis Wickes Hine’s Crusade Against Child Labor” for free. Hine’s photographs capture abiding concern for children, immigrants, and working class people in an effort to arouse public sentiment against child labor practices in the early 1900’s. Free to the public from 5-9 pm. Exhibit runs through April 30.
25. Boise Art Museum 670 S Julia Davis Dr 345.8330
FREE ADMISSION ALL DAY, 10 AM – 9 PM! STUDIO ART EXPLORATION: Drop in 5–8 PM. Art lovers of all ages can make a charcoal drawing after viewing the black and white photographs of Ansel Adams. Free! ART TALK at 5:30 PM with Drew Johnson, Curator of Photography at the Oakland Museum of California. The talk is about the Ansel Adams exhibition. Free!
26. Artisan Optics 190 N 8th St 338.0500
Don’t miss out on our trunk show with our Paris designer: Face a Face! Face a Face designs diffuse audacity, glamour, a charming and pleasant, relaxed elegance, as well as a positive, altruist energy. Signs of their time, the Face a Face collections reveal the individual personality of their wearer. The glasses become a narcissistic object that underlines its wearer’s personality and makes it unforgettable. This show will be accompanied by a wine tasting from Wood River Cellars from 1-8pm.
27. Belle Boutique 220 N 9th St 345.1039
Come in to belle for our Grand re-opening at 224 N. 9th Street at the corner of 9th and Bannock. We now have much more hand selected clothing apparel to choose from. Prom dresses available now. Come join us for an evening of great shopping and refreshments.
28. Berryhill & Co. Restaurant and Bar 121 N. 9th St. 387.3553
6:30-8:00pm Wine Tasting with MICHAEL~DAVID WINES. Meet owner and winemaker David Phillips, who’s in town for the Beaux Arts Wine Festival. 6:30-8:00pm Complimentary passed hors d’ oeuvre samplers by Chef John Berryhill. 6:30-11pm Live Music from Ken Harris and Rico Weisman…come and check us out! 4:00-6:00pm and 10:00-Close Happy Hour!
29. Cheers 828 W. Idaho St. 342.1805
Come in and bring the family! We will be featuring “Kirby the Easter Dog” a pop-up Easter Egg Hunt book. First Thursday Special for the book will be $12.95 pricing. We also have a wonderful selection of Easter cards!
30. Fettuccine Forum The Rose Room- 720 W. Idaho St. 426-3275
Boise State University’s Center for Idaho History & Politics is presenting a new season of the Fettuccine Forum. This month: “Fooling With the Arts” presented by Joe Golden and Tom Willmorth, Idaho Shakespeare Festival Fool Squad. Accompanying workshop April 2-4, “Arts and History Define Sense of Place,” taught by artist Karen Bubb.. Free appetizers will be served & fettuccine will be available for $5. Doors open at 5pm and the presentation begins at 5:30pm. For more information visit
31. Lisk Gallery 850 Main St 342.3773
This month we will be featuring artist Erin Ruiz’s latest body of work called “codependency and other weaknesses.” This is a collection of works tackling common human weaknesses like booze, petit larceny and the inability to enrapture others in conversation. Also, large prints, cards, and signed works by photographer, Mark Lisk, renowned for his spectacular foregrounds and brilliant desert and wilderness landscapes. New brightly colored paintings by artist Jerri Lisk. Stop in and enjoy a delicious chocolate morsel from Dream Chocolate and catch the live music performed by Dan Costello.
32. Moon’s Kitchen 815 W. Bannock St 385.0472
Join us for live music and dinner specials! Go to http://www.moonskitchen.com to see our current musician.
33. Old Chicago 730 W Idaho 363.0037
Bring in the whole family—KIDS EAT FREE! We’ll also have karaoke from 10-close in the bar.
34. Piazza di Vino 212 N 9th St 336-9577
Join us for a night full of fun: wine tasting with Idaho Wine Maker Ted Judd, live music with “Render” acoustic duo, and art show featuring the Artwork of Giuseppe Saitta!
35. Pottery Gourmet Kitchen 811 W Bannock St 368.0649
We will be open late, offering 10% off all Polish Stoneware, 20% off all baskets, 30% off all Crystal, and sales on cookware. New Shipment just in from Ceramica Artystyczna. Join our Kitchen Club and you’ll earn points and exclusive discounts every time you shop with us!
36. See Jane Run 814 W Idaho St. 338.5263
We will be featuring local fitness fashion from Nuu-Muu. You can chat with Nuu-Muu about the benefits of exercising in a dress and try on one of the flattering and ever-so-comfortable Nuu-Muus, all of which are carried at See Jane Run. See what all the fuss is about and get your dress on! See Jane Run provides shoes, apparel, training and events to women of all ages, sizes and fitness levels.
37. SoleMates Comfort Footwear 120 N. 8th St. 433.9394
Come check out our new spring products!
38. The Chocolat Bar 206 N. 9th St 338.7771
Come celebrate spring at The Chocolat Bar with our new truffle flavors, Easter creations and our solid chocolate high heel shoes! Samples always available!
39. Thomas Hammer Coffee Company 298 N. 8th St. 433.8004
We will have photography featured by Mike Thomatz, and poetry read by Jason Cudahy, bring your own poetry to share!
40. Art Source Gallery 1015 W Main St 331.3374
Art Source Gallery presents a privately owned fine art collection consisting of original watercolor and oil paintings, bronzes and prints. Artists include Fred Ochi from Idaho Falls, who received the Idaho Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts; 2 bronzes of Lewis and Clark; and well-known artists from Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, Oregon and Montana. Subjects include landscapes, wildlife, western and Native American with prices starting at $200. Music by Acoustic Folk Artist Beth Wilson, Wine by Indian Creek, and nibbles!
41. Basement Gallery 928 Main St 333.0309
“Abstract Meets the Eclectic” Annual Show! Featuring: abstract paintings by Erik Sande, the colorful creations titled ‘Feral Hand Puppets’ by Keith Farnsworth, the combined talents of David Colcord and Thomas Montano, an exhibit of symbolic abstracts and mixed media collages by Bryan Moore, and Jay Nelson, an original series of abstracts on glass by Alan Thompson, abstract paintings by Chris Handlos, and a series of 3-dimensional clay works titled, ‘Stretch’ by Scott Brown.
42. Brown’s Gallery 1022 Main St 342.6661
Come experience the opening reception of “The Collectors Show!” Brown’s Gallery has been asked to sell artworks left from the estates of some avid collectors. Works by Chagall and Picasso number among the large collection of prints and originals. There will also be wine tasting by Sawtooth Winery.
43. Gallery 601 211 N 10th St 336.5899
Gallery 601 will be featuring the artwork of California artist Bev Doolittle and her latest release “Spring Break”. And back by popular demand our “Artist Special” of the month is local favorite Ward Hooper, save 30%-70% off framed artwork on display. Sample great wines from Wood River Cellars by the tasting, buy the glass or buy the bottle. To preview this show visit http://www.gallery601.com
44. Gamekeeper Lounge 1109 Main Street 343.4611
It’s 1st Thursday Jazz Night in the Historic Owyhee Plaza Hotel. Various Jazz artists from 5:30pm – 11:00pm featuring the Ben Burdick Trio w/Amy Weber. Enjoy wine sampling and hors d’oeuvres specials.
45. Macy’s 918 W Idaho St 388.7000
Macy’s Downtown Free 5,5,5 Cosmetic Event. Enjoy a 5 minute chair massage, compliments of Steven L. Semrau Massage Therapist. A 5 minute makeover featuring quick tips for lips and eyes, and 5 free samples of fragrance with any advanced booked appointment. Call 388-7340 to reserve your time! Thursday 4 PM – 9 PM
46. The Record Exchange 1105 W Idaho St 344-8010
All day long, The Record Exchange offers $2 off any used CD or DVD $5.99 and above. You are sure to find a rarity in their extensive collection. In the coffee shop, all 12 oz. espresso drinks are only $2 and get $2 off any sale gift item over $5.99. The Record Exchange also features local artists’ new releases for in-store play on First Thursday. Cool things happen at the Rx!