This story is published on the Idaho Statesman.
It’s a weeklong burst of creative painting: Local artists assembled this week for the eighth straight year to create new pieces in Freak Alley Gallery in Downtown Boise.
You can see what they’ve done and meet them at 4 p.m. Saturday in the alley between 8th and 9th streets and Bannock and Idaho streets. It’s a ceremony to unveil the work the artists have done during the Freak Alley Gallery Mural Event, and there will be live music by Cary White, SOVE, and Ruff Pups.
Since Colby Akers, the founder of the gallery, painted the first door in 2002, the alley has been a venue for Boise artists to show their talents.
One of this week’s artists is Ashley Dreyfus, 20, who first visited Freak Alley when she was 11.
“Since then, it has been a dream of mine to always paint here,” Dreyfus said. She was part of the gallery for the first time last year and came back with a new design, “Stop To Smell the Flowers,” this year.
Solomon Hawk Sahlein has painted in Freak Alley Gallery for about 15 years.
“It wasn’t as many spaces back then, but we were definitely hungry to just keep painting and practicing,” Sahlein said. “And there wasn’t really anywhere else in town where we can go paint with permission.”
Candace Rood moved to Boise from Montana in 2013 and started painting in the alley in 2014.
“It gave me a way to be part of the community and helped me express things that I needed to,” Rood said. “When I first started at the Freak Alley, I considered myself a newcomer. But now I feel like it’s home.”