Greenbelt's Fairview Avenue underpass gets a vibrant makeover

Posted at 10:28 PM, Aug 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-30 19:24:30-04

BOISE, Idaho — The 50th anniversary of the Greenbelt is less than a month away, and to help celebrate the anniversary, the Boise Department of Arts and History selected an artist to paint the retaining walls located in the underpass of the Fairview Avenue bridge. The artist and her helpers got started today, and that underpass is expected to be finished and vibrant by this weekend.

Seattle-based artist Kristen Ramirez packed up her paint brushes and headed to the City of Trees this week, ready to bring some life to the walls of the Greenbelt's Fairview underpass.

"The office of arts and history put out a call for artists to create a mural celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Greenbelt," said artist Kristen Ramirez.

So with some underpass painting already under her belt, Kristen applied to paint the underpass.

"Initially the call was just for those retaining walls, and I thought, oh what a cool opportunity to paint this whole tunnel and really make it an immersive experience," said Ramirez.

While Kristen isn't from Boise, she understood the importance of learning about the city and the purpose the Greenbelt serves.

As part of that research, she headed to Boise about a month ago, to learn a little more from the people.

"I wanted to both see and understand what the space was and meet some folks that would be interested in working with me," said Ramirez.

From there, she recruited some local help for the job.

"This is a mural that, you know, I could paint by myself but it'd be certainly more interesting working with community artists," said Ramirez.

So together, with the community's input in mind, they're working this week to transform the walls of that Fairview underpass into something more worth looking at.

"People wanted to celebrate natural history, but in a way that was not representational but a little more abstract," said Ramirez.

And also something that will help celebrate the Greenbelt's 50th anniversary in late September.

The mural will cost about $15,000 and is funded through the City of Boise.

One lane of the Greenbelt will be closed until Saturday to allow the artists room to work.