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Idaho Art Lab one step closer to buying its building

Arts & Entertainment

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The Idaho Art Lab in St. Anthony has taken a big step toward securing its forever home.

After renting the building month to month since moving there in 2012, the Art Lab found itself in a bind in May when the owner of the building found a buyer. That gave Art Lab through the end of the month to come up with the money or risk losing the building.

Although it was unable to raise the entire $350,000 to buy the property outright, the Art Lab did get together enough money to buy itself some time.

“We felt that we needed to raise the whole $350,000 in one month, and that wasn’t actually the case,” Art Lab co-founder Daniel Hidalgo told “We got together some people to help us and what we figured out is that we could save the Art Lab by getting enough money for a down payment.”

RELATED | Idaho Art Lab is in danger of losing its building. Here’s how you can help

Hidalgo said that down payment was made using money the lab had been planning to use on a future satellite location. Though it now has a mortgage, the Art Lab can now build a capital campaign and reach out to possible donors without the pressure and beating a 30-day ticking clock.

Idaho Art Lab
Idaho Art Lab. | Adam Forsgren,

Getting the down payment has helped drive even more donations to the Art Lab.

“People like to hitch their horse to a winning team,” Hidalgo said. “When it looked like things weren’t going to be going our way, the donations were coming in more slowly. But once we were able to say ‘Yes, we secured a loan to stay here,’ even more donations and support have come in. And that’s what we really need to succeed because we still have to pay (the building) off.”

The Art Lab has already raised a healthy chunk of the money it needs. According to its website, various donors from all over the country had given more than $70,000 as of June 17.

Witnessing such an outpouring of support has greatly moved Hidalgo.

“I’m amazed at how much support has come from within our area, but I’m really blown away by the support that’s come from outside the area,” he said. “It shows that people outside of St. Anthony care about what’s going on here, and I think that it’s really important that we as a community understand that people do care about us here.”

Although fundraising will continue to be a focus for the Art Lab, it also has some fun programs planned for the coming months. These include painting retreats to Yellowstone and Harriman State Park with Plein Air in the Parks, and prosthetics effects classes taught by Hollywood special effects artist Rob Burman.

Rob Burman
Rob Burman teaches movie magic. | Adam Forsgren,

Hidalgo said that securing the building also secures the lab’s ability to continue its programs and provide the benefits of art education to east Idaho.

“The long-term stability of the Idaho Art Lab and what we offer, our programming, that’s what has been solidified right now so we can continue with our mission,” he said. “We do more than just here at the Idaho Art Lab. We do partnerships with the other nonprofits in our area. I think that that’s where the greater value of having a facility like the Art Lab in our community starts to pay off.”

You can donate to the Idaho Art Lab through a link on its website. You can also keep track of what’s going on at Art Lab through its website or by following it on Facebook.

Our attorneys tell us we need to put this disclaimer in stories involving fundraisers: does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries.