Art

New downtown mural to be one of Idaho's largest

With the new Fowler apartment project done in downtown Boise, it left a dark, mostly-bare wall on its backside, facing busy Myrtle St.

Now that large brown wall is being turned into a canvass for one of the largest murals in Idaho history.

Lewis studies his plan and the building surface he is rendering it on. Photo: Don Day/BoiseDev

Lewis studies his plan and the building surface he is rendering it on. Photo: Don Day/BoiseDev

David Carmack Lewis is at work on a huge installation that will be more than four stories tall and roughly 103 feet across - with brilliant blues, yellows and pinks mixing in with the building’s existing deep chocolate color.

Developer LocalConstruct first worked with Lewis on the art project at its Watercolor project in west downtown. It hired the Portland native back for another project.

The final project will be a dramatic addition to the Central Addition portion of Downtown Boise.

He says he was inspired by the historic Fowler house which once stood on the site and gave the building its name.

“I was just scrubbing down a few ideas,” Lewis said during a break Monday. Very early on the developer said ‘we’d like to have some connection to the neighborhood’.”

LocalConstruct’s director of construction Patrick Boel had an idea.

“He forwarded me a couple pictures of the neighborhood. I just loved the old pictures - I love the old houses.”

"We think... Lewis did a great job with the mural at the Watercooler so we were eager to work with him again on the Fowler," Boel said. "We are excited to once again contribute to the City's arts and culture."

Rendering of the final mural.  Image courtesy David Carmack Lewis

Rendering of the final mural. Image courtesy David Carmack Lewis

The silhouette of the house and Boise foothills will be framed by what Lewis calls a "dramatic western sky."

"The majority of the mural is skyline that will help soften the building's mass when viewed from Myrtle," Boel said.

Lewis started work on Saturday and already has made dramatic progress.  He says as time goes on the work will take longer as he works on detailed areas - but expects the full mural to be done by early September.

He hopes his work will be an enduring part of Downtown Boise for decades to come.

“Nothing lasts forever, especially anything outdoors.  I would think that the mural won’t look old until the building does too.”

Boel said the project will cost LocalConstruct $60,000.

Photo: Don Day/BoiseDev.com

Photo: Don Day/BoiseDev.com

Boise arts dept. tries again for Vista art; which do you like best?

The City of Boise hopes to add public art to a series of grassy medians on Vista Ave. near the Boise Airport.

 

The project would put $147,000 in funding toward a series of art projects. The project will be funded from the Together Treasure Valley initiative and a Community Development Block Grant.

This is the second attempt to select a project. An earlier try was nixed by the Boise City Council after a similar public feedback process. The first round featured three local artists. The latest set of proposals do not carry the names of the artists, but at least one proposal references being "visitors" to Boise.

Three proposals have been selected, and the City's Department of Arts & History is asking for public feedback.

"The Avenue serves as a major gateway for many people; from the daily commuter to travelers from the Boise Airport. This structure will serve as an introduction, or welcoming entryway, to the Treasure Valley and even the State of Idaho."

Proposal 1: Transitions

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A series of four structures about 13' in height would be constructed in series over two blocks - between Malad St. and Targhee St.  Each would be made primarily of metal, with internally lit LED lighting and would represent the seasons. The top of each piece would rotate and sway in the wind.

Our four majestic sculptures are designed to stand out from their surroundings. Bright colors and gentle wind derived movements are intended to attract motorists’ and pedestrians’ attention from a distance and produce a momentary “wow” reaction of enjoyment and curiosity. Moving elements are purposely placed high up on the sculpture to avoid issues of safety and vandalism. These sculptures will be an identifying signature piece at the gateway to the city of Boise.

Proposal 2: Valley Gates

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A set of 12 gates made of metal would be built with heights varying from 3'9" to 13' would dot the medians. Each gate is designed to echo the foothills, plateaus and mountain peaks of the Boise Front. Each would be arrayed in a triangular shape with steel tubing.

Sculptural mountain peaks, plateaus and foothill formations are placed through the medians mirroring how the landscape transitions in the Treasure Valley and throughout Idaho. Mountain ranges and valleys are like waves that cross the state. A sense of geometry emerges from the movement through mountain landscapes and valley basins; a peak and a trough giving way to another peak.

Proposal 3: Elysian Currents

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A set of four aluminum sculptures designed to look like waves would be fashioned using a water jet tool. The sculptures would vary from eight to 11 feet in height and eight to 14 feet in length, and would be placed in series over the two-block stretch from Malad to Targhee. The pieces would be painted in bright colors - shown as blue in the sample drawings.

The purpose of this series is to provide a sense of place and identity for the Vista Neighborhood’s residents while functioning as a bright and welcoming gateway that celebrates the key arrival point into the City from the airport. In addition, the sculptures aim is to engage the public as it invites them to contemplate its colors and shapes. By day the sculptures will interact with the sun with its varying angles and brilliant colors.

Weigh in

You can tell arts & history leadership which project you like the best by visiting the project page and filling out the form at the bottom of the page.