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New INL-funded mural being added to Living Walls project

Idaho Falls

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Adam Forsgren, EastIdahoNews.com

IDAHO FALLS – Since 2018, the “Living Walls” mural project has been adding color and artistry to the alleyways of downtown Idaho Falls. Now, a new Idaho National Laboratory-funded mural is being planned and will soon become part of the project.

Living Walls was started by the Public Art Committee of the Idaho Falls Downtown Development Corporation. Aimed at adding color and vibrancy to the downtown area while also stimulating conversation between the community and local artists, Living Walls currently includes four murals capturing the vibe and feel of what makes Idaho Falls special.

“The idea is to bring our public alleyways to life in downtown Idaho Falls and draw people in — not only to see the public art and enjoy new spaces but also to get them to experience Downtown in a different way,” Downtown Development Corporation spokesperson Catherine Smith told EastIdahoNews.com.

The proposed new mural would highlight the connection between Idaho Falls and the INL, as well as the more than 70 years of innovation and discovery made at the lab and the impact that work has had on the area.

INL spokesperson Misty Benjamin said lab officials are excited to be involved with Living Walls.

New INL-funded mural being added to Living Walls project

“Having a local artist take a look at our history and innovation and put it into an artistic format was very exciting for us,” she said. “The lab is steeped in history, science and technology. Having creative, fresh approaches to that in our downtown where our employees go to play and go to unwind and go to meet their friends and families seemed like a great opportunity to engage the community in what we do in a way that might be more approachable and friendly.”

living walls

Adam Forsgren, EastIdahoNews.com

The Downtown Development Corporation took submissions for proposals from local artists throughout the summer and a committee is currently reviewing those proposals. Smith said the winning proposal will not only capture the vibrancy of the downtown area but also tie it to contributions and innovations made at the INL.

“It doesn’t have to be super sciencey, but it definitely needs to communicate that innovation piece,” she said. “That connection with the INL needs to be within the design.”

“It doesn’t need to be literal but it can be,” added Benjamin. “Anything from something that illustrates the timeline to something that just incorporates the ideas of innovation and inspiration as we’re looking towards the next generation of scientists and engineers. That’s who we’re looking to inspire.”

Smith said that once an artist is chosen, the installation process should be completed sometime this fall.

“We’ll probably have a few snowstorms here and there, but we definitely will have it installed by the end of this year.”

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