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Love is in the air: First Thursday

Cody Finney / The Arbiter

The streets of Boise on Thursday night were filled with people bustling about from one downtown shop to the next. Doors of shops were held wide open and welcoming signs were placed outside on walkways.

The sun was just beginning to set and the mood seemed just right for a night on the town filled with art, food, fun and of course, love.

The first Thursday of each month, from 5 to 9 p.m., downtown Boise offers unique art showings, live musical performances, clothing promotions and dining deals. This first Thursday galleries seemed to be sending the message of love to Boiseans.

Senior Erika Sather-Smith had her exhibit, “Love and Hate,” on display at “Bricolage” on Sixth Street for the public to see. People were taking pictures, having conversations and enjoying the atmosphere she created for her display.

The exhibit was solely created by her. She covered areas of the room in the cones used in her Bachelor of Arts exhibit which radiated with bright colors and patterns which she screen printed onto the cones.

Even the lilac purple backdrop in the room was assembled and painted by Sather-Smith. In front of the backdrop consisted her collection of etchings, all of which resembled “Love and Hate.”

Sather-Smith explained her work as very subjective and said others may have different interpretations of what the message is behind this particular exhibit.

But Sather-Smith said her personal message is “the struggle of acceptance that there’s love and hate and finding the somewhere in between.”

Sather-Smith said her favorite piece in the collection is her first etching she created a few years ago which she views as her inspiration: “Woodland Tears.”

“The others don’t have titles,” Sather-Smith said as she referred to the other etchings in the exhibit. “I’m still working out how I feel about the stuff that I make.”

Although very talented, as any other student here at Boise State, she is continuing to learn and grow and is finding herself as an artist.

There is something Sather-Smith has certainly perfected: the ability to put together multiple exhibits.

She also had work on display at the Sesqui-Shop on Main Street where the Boise 150 organization had many other talented artists work on display.

Her exhibit at the Sesqui-Shop included a photo booth project, created to encourage Boise State students to submit their own artwork to take place as the backdrop in every First Thursday event. This Thursday, the backdrop consisted of the colorful screen-printed cones from her Bachelor of Arts exhibit last year, which were also placed at  “Bricolage.”

There was a professional photographer on the scene to take event goers photos to be placed in the Boise 150 digital archives, and provided posing fun at the event for all ages.

Sather-Smith wasn’t the only one wanting to share the love Thursday night. Gallery 601 on Tenth Street had many African safari art pieces on display by talented artists Simon Combes and Robert Aswani. But this African display meant more than providing beautiful wildlife artwork to the public.

Owner Christine Otradovec said they are involved in the “Daphnae Sheldrick Project” which is an organization where interested participants can actually adopt an elephant or rhino in Africa for a mere ten dollars, therefore they encourage their buyers to do so.

“Last year we used blackmail” Otradovec said, explaining that she and her husband invited 50 of their closest family and friends to the event last year and took all of their photographs. They then blew up the photos and placed them all over the gallery.

“The only way they could get their photo down off the wall was donating to the foundation or to adopt an elephant” Otradovec said. “We raised over $500.”

Oftentimes elephants and rhinos can get separated from their family, or have their mother die, which leaves them helpless in the wild. This is why it is so important to give them the attention they need. Otradovec and her husband have adopted 10 elephants, and have traveled to Africa several times.

They are caring individuals who are in fact, looking to share the love in Africa.