mural

Cherryn Wight works on an exterior mural at the SnakeBite Restaurant.

Dressing up downtown with artsy exterior wall murals is one way to give people the idea that Idaho Falls is “hip and cool.”

The Public Art Committee, working with Idaho Falls Downtown Development Corporation announced this week that three murals will be installed downtown.

The art and locations include Kris Burnham’s “I Love Idaho” mural at The Villa Coffeehouse, Cherryn Wight’s “Butterfly” mural at The SnakeBite Restaurant and Dustin Lyon’s historical depiction of downtown titled, “Beginning of the Future” at the Willowtree Gallery building. Work is underway on the murals at The Villa Coffeehouse and The SnakeBite.

The murals are placed in higher traffic areas to be seen, said Catherine Smith, executive director of Idaho Falls Downtown Development Corporation.

“They’ll have lots of exposure,” she said. “This is just one of many murals that we hope to have done downtown.”

Smith said the hope is that people will make the murals a backdrop for a social media moment to advertise Idaho Falls. “They’ll share with their circle of influence how cool downtown Idaho Falls is.”

The murals also are a payback to some of the businesses that have been mainstays downtown for years.

“It also supports the efforts of places like the SnakeBite,” she said, “they’ve been downtown rockin’ for 20-plus years making amazing food. The fact that we can put a beautiful mural on the back of their building and help add to what they already have going is super cool. We’re thrilled to be able to work with them.”

Smith said there are future plans for more murals downtown.

“Pretty much every business downtown and every property owner is really interested in having a mural so we could potentially have lots of murals,” she said.

The three artists were selected from more than 20 artists who responded with unique ideas for mural projects.

“Basically what we are looking for and continue to look for is positive messages to tell a story of Idaho Falls,” Smith said. “Also anything that spoke to the history of downtown Idaho Falls. The butterflies from Cherryn Wight are a native butterfly to Idaho.”

The Downtown Development Corporation plans to continue the use of public art to convey positive messages about the community and to activate underutilized private and public space for public enjoyment, according to a new release.

“Through the years, we have seen the historical painted walls create dialogue in our community with both appreciation of the past and curiosity,” the news release said. “Idaho Falls Downtown Development Corporation exists to promote and care for the downtown area by promoting and advocating the downtown consistently.”