Just take a gander at what used to be ugly traffic switch boxes in downtown Boise. Now, five have been transformed into works of art — by five local artists. The art boxes are at the corners of: Capitol & Main — art by Karen Woods,
Capitol & Idaho — art by Bob Neal (that’s my husband!),
Idaho & 8th — art by Tarmo Watia,
Idaho & 9th — art by Pat Kilby
and Main and 9th — art by Amy Lunstrum.
They’re being “unveiled” as “Street Art Murals” on First Thursday, Sept. 3, said Kâren Sander, executive director of the Downtown Boise Association, as a pilot project to decrease graffiti and increase the unique character of downtown. The DBA got a grant from the Mayor’s Neighborhood Reinvestment Program to commission the artists to do their magic — and hopefully more will soon be in the works. (Thank goodness, I say — now that these five are done, they make the others stand out like, well, eyesores!)
Kudos to all who made this joint venture a success, including the Ada County Highway District and the City of Boise’s Art & History Department, with the DBA taking stewardship.
“We are excited to bring public art to the streets of Downtown Boise through this program,” Sander said. “The process of working with such talented artists has been rewarding and will prove to be a great investment in the artistic fabric of downtown. We appreciate the support of the City of Boise and ACHD to make this possible.”
A big shout out, too, to the hard-working geniuses at Classic Design Studios, especially designer Rainey Spencer, who was in charge of taking the artists’ work and — presto-chango — making the artists’ work work!
Each artist’s piece — and every assigned box — is a conglomeration of differing measurements, corners and angles, Spencer said, making the project “a real challenge. And I was just amazed at how beautiful all the artwork was.”
How did she do it? Without giving away everything “behind the curtain” so to speak, let’s just say there was a lot of super high-res scanning and giant sticker-making going on.
The artists will be at their corners so you can get up close and personal. And, while you’re out and about, take in some of the other art and shopping, eating and drinking — all happening on First Thursday: