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Freak Alley Brightens Up Downtown Boise
We wouldn't normally encourage you to wander down alleys, but downtown Boise's Freak Alley is a one-of-a-kind art gallery... in an alley.
The unusual art installation began in 2002 when Colby Akers began drawing on the door of Moon's Kitchen. As he was completing his artwork, the owners of Moon's Kitchen approached him and asked if he'd sign his work once he was done. Since then, with the permission of the city and business owners, Akers has worked with other artists to slowly turn the alleyway into a work of art.
Every year, parts of Freak Alley's art are painted over so that more artists can have a chance to put their stamp on the outdoor museum. This constant evolution promises that no visit to Freak Alley will be the same. Take the time to explore different parts on each visit, and you'll be sure to notice something new about the different works presented.
On 9th Street, between Bannock and Idaho Streets, is a large mural aptly named "Alley History" and portraying a smiling potato. Created by Kerry Moosman in 1992, the artwork predates Freak Alley, but pairs well with the surrounding graffiti. The ceramic piece contains Chinese calligraphy as a nod to Boise's now obsolete Chinatown, while the large smiling potato is meant to represent Mr. Potato Head, according to The Idaho Statesman.
Right next to the mural sits the Freak Alley Indoor Gallery. This storefront provides an indoor spot for artists to display their work. The gallery is open the first three weeks of each month, but is closed through the middle of July until the beginning of September. It's probably best to call ahead to see if the gallery is open before you visit.
Want to help support Boise's art scene? You can donate either money, aluminum cans (that they sell for funding), or paint supplies to Freak Alley.
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