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Best Local Public Art 

The freak scene

Kelsey Hawes

The freak scene

Freak Alley Gallery

To outsiders, the name Freak Alley might suggest a twisted time in our city's history. The opposite couldn't be more true—we could call it Freak-Out Alley because that's what people do when they see it for the first time. For more than a decade, the walls of the buildings lining an alley and a dirt lot in the heart of downtown Boise have been covered (and re-covered) in art worthy of a museum. It's a monument to the un-freaking-believable level of talent in this town; and, if Freak Alley Gallery is our flag, we're proud to let it fly.

2nd Place: Traffic Boxes—When the Boise City Department of Arts and History began its epic project of beautifying the City of Trees, it turned to traffic boxes—those white extrusions in the swale distributed all over town—as a showcase for local talent. Every year, the city accepts work by dozens of local artists, reprints it on vinyl and wraps it around the boxes. Hundreds of boxes have been transformed into works of art in bright colors and jaw-dropping designs, and soon there will be art literally on every corner.

3rd Place: Boise Art Museum—A city isn't much of a city if it doesn't have a museum. Boise Art Museum brings in fine art exhibitions from around the world, affording us an opportunity to experience work we might otherwise never see. BAM also values locally made art, including it not only in exhibits but as part of BAM's permanent collection.


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