A first-of-its-kind mural for Boise was recently created at the intersection of Eighth and Fulton Streets. The mural was literally painted on the road. However, just two months later, that mural has been removed.

Why?

Well, the Reflections mural, painted by local artist Jason Keeble, could not stand up to the recent rainfall. So this project, which was slated to last a year, has been removed after just two months.

The project was a collaboration between the city of Boise, the Capital City Development Corporation, and the Ada County Highway District. The budget for creating the mural was $9,000.

The news about removing the street mural is not surprising to some. During the creation of the mural last August, the artist and government officials were open about not knowing how long it would last. At that time, the Idaho Statesman reported, “The mural also is an experiment. It’s scheduled to be in place for one year but no one really knows how the wear and tear from cars and the weather will affect the paint.”

Well, the durability factor is the reason this experimental road art is being removed ten months early. And the predominant factor behind the durability is the paint that was selected.

The artist chose a water-based stain instead of an oil-based paint for the sake of drying time. Whatever the reason for the choice, the artist had guidance regarding paints that would adhere to a road. The artist created the mural with the help of the highway district—which clearly has experience with paint that creates durable road markings.

The bottom line: The street mural’s paint did not hold up. The art experiment did not bring durable results, and that experimental value cost taxpayers $9,000.

The Boise City Department of Arts and History has announced: “The artist has agreed to remove the mural at no cost to taxpayers.” Karl LeClair, the Public Art Manager for the department also stated: “While the outcome is extremely disappointing for all, we plan to build upon this experience and hope to explore the feasibility of intersection murals like this one in the future.”

We urge the city to not jump into another experimental mural. Though the artist picked up the tab for this failed experiment, there remains the $9,000 cost to the residents when a project slated to last one year is removed after only two months.

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