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Garden City Library Mural - AIGA Conference - Arts and Economic Prosperity Report

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Garden City Library Gets a Garden of Its Own

Local artists Fred Choate and Deanna Eveland will spend the month of August transforming a wall in the children's section of the Garden City Public Library into a magical garden scene based on the children's novel The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett.

Choate was chosen by the newly formed volunteer Garden City Arts Commission to create a mural for the library using funds from the Garden City Library bond passed in 2004. He is known for creating a number of large-scale murals in Boise, including the paintings on the Pioneer Building, the Hitchcock Building and the fondly remembered Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable, John Wayne and Humphrey Bogart portraits on the outer walls of the 8th Street Marketplace.

"The library came up with The Secret Garden concept," says Choate, "and I brought Deanna into the project because she's not only more familiar with the book, but she has the wonderful whimsical style."

Eveland echoes Choate's thoughts on their work together. "My style is much more whimsical than Fred's," she says, "but we seem to make a pretty good team because my work is figurative and he has the ability to add depth and landscape that will be the perfect combination on the wall."

Eveland says the mural starts on one side as a barren sketch and evolves into something more photo realistic. Choate adds that the final version will likely include more modern and local elements like the Boise River, in addition to themes from the novel itself.

"I'm excited because everything we've thought of has a reason and a purpose for being included—whether it's making it interactive for kids or will spawn imagination or give strength to a female character."

The library promises an open house to unveil the final product, so stay tuned.

Are You a Designer?

The American Institute of Graphic Arts, a professional association for design professionals, hosts an opening event this Friday, August 3, to drum up membership for an Idaho chapter, which is currently in the works. Shelley Armstrong, art director of Xbox design group, will speak on how she and her team foster creativity despite the humdrum of the daily grind. The event will be held at The Basque Center at 601 Grove St. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for hors d'oeuvres, Armstrong speaks at 7:30 p.m., and registrations to join the chapter will be taken all night long.

For more information about AIGA, visit aigidaho.org.

—Rachael Daigle

Arts Bring Bucks, Too

The Wood River Arts Alliance announced the results of a study that stemmed from a community forum held by the Alliance in 2005. The study, titled "Arts and Economic Prosperity III: The Economic Impact of Nonprofit Arts and Culture Organizations and Their Audiences," was conducted by the Americans for the Arts, a nonprofit organization and looked at 156 regions across the country to see what financial impact the arts have on communities.

Turns out it's staggering. The report shows the "nonprofit arts industry generates 5.7 million jobs and $166.2 billion in total economic activity every year."

The local impact is no less surprising. The study shows "nonprofit arts and culture organizations generate $6.18 million annually in local economic activity in the Wood River Valley. This spending—$3.58 million by nonprofit arts and culture organizations and an additional $2.6 million in event-related spending by their audiences—supports 161 full-time-equivalent jobs, generates $2.85 million in household income to local residents and delivers $471,000 in local and state government revenue."

Results will be discussed October 4 at nexStage Theater in Ketchum. To see the study, visit americansforthearts.org/economicimpact.

—Amy Atkins

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