Galleries come and go. Museum shows change with the calendar. Actors pack up and leave town for Broadway and Hollywood. Grants run out, and new fellowships are awarded. Bookstores open and close . . . er, no: Amazon opens, and bookstores close. Musicians embark on tour, leaving with wool hats and returning in shorts. The arts are seasonal, ever subject to change. This spring seems remarkably colorful and fecund, mainly owing to the big Gauguin show at SAM, which presents a riot of tropical hues and priapic Tiki idols. But there are other new shoots and sprouts to celebrate. Intiman has raised its $1 million to avoid collapse; a short mini-festival will play there this summer. Pacific Northwest Ballet is coasting on the acclaim and crowds that came to Don Quixote. And Ludovic Morlot is doing well for himself at the Seattle Symphony. So in the pages ahead, we focus on some smaller venues and first-timers on the local scene. Inside, we meet young opera singers who perform in bars, chat with an artist about her first solo museum show, and visit the Zen-est gallery in Seattle. Over at the 5th Avenue (partnering with ACT), three young theater folk are staging a new musical. A writer tells us how a TV pitch didn't work out, so he sold it as a novel instead. And as always, we offer a comprehensive calendar of events, all the way to Memorial Day, when the next season begins.