An Old Town alley just got a little brighter.

Cottonwood Junction building owner Michael Snyder says the Old Town alley art gallery project all started when he noticed a family taking pictures next to his building that had been tagged.

“You know hey wouldn’t it be cool to have more art back here?” Says Michael Snyder, Project Coordinator.

So he put an art project team together and through social media put a call out for artists in the community.

“And four months later, low and behold, here we are,” says Snyder.

About 30 artists participated in the project, making lifelong friendships while painting their interpretation of the project’s them, ‘Pocatello, a Reason to Smile.’

“You know it’s cultural.  It’s a sense of community.  People love art.  There’s not a lot of public art here in Pocatello and I think they really enjoy it and also the artists, it bonds them together, this week, that they’ve put this stuff together.  We have a lot of really, really sweet, nice experiences here in this alley,’ says Snyder.

Michael shows off some of the artwork showcased in the alley art gallery, and what inspired each of its artists.

He says his team surprised him with a painting of his dog Winston that he about lost recently.

Michael also showed off what he painted on the wall and how the music scene in Pocatello is what inspired his piece of art.

While Heidi Yerbich paints an elephant that’s inspired by the long pipe on the wall as the trunk of the elephant.

And while a picture says a thousand words, Heidi says the alley mural represents one word, progression.

“Hoping that we can carry this throughout the city and to different areas and to continue to layer different murals on top of this project, just continue on pulling people together, making brighter areas in the city and making things more fun,” says Yerbich.

And although the outdoor art gallery is hidden in the alley behind the buildings on Main Street, artists say the paintings still get attention.

“It is part of the uniqueness, but I think also, there’s more people in this alley than you would think.  I mean all day long we’ve had people come back and forth for the last 10 days.  It’s been pretty amazing,” says Snyder.

Organizers of the alley art project say they hope to get more community members involved in expressing themselves through art in the alley.

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