Freak Alley Gallery – also known as Freak Alley – is a free outdoor public art gallery located in Downtown Boise.
It was founded by Colby Akers, who an artist who is the director of the gallery. He is said to have gotten into this project after being presented with the opportunity to paint a side of Moon’s Cafe, a diner in the area. More background information about that can be found here.
Akers started the gallery in 2002, and it is said to be the largest outdoor gallery in the Northwest. If that’s actually the case, then that’s pretty cool 🙂
Freak Alley is a constantly changing place. Every year, the art featured in the place either gets painted over or reformed. On the gallery website, there’s a simple section where artists can pitch their artwork for consideration.
I’d recommend Freak Alley to anyone passing through Boise. Being able to walk through the alley and admire the work of local artists is a fun thing to do. I also felt like it was a nice way to immerse in the local culture.
One of the highlights for me was finding a Hollywood Market on one of the walls in the parking lot, where the alley has spread out to 😛 But there are definitely more dynamic pieces there bursting with colors and interesting figures.
I’d allocate around 10 to 15 minutes to look at all the paintings, but you can always spend as little or as much time as you’d like. And because it’s right in the middle of local eateries, Freak Alley is an easy sight to fit into your itinerary. It’s a convenient thing to see either before or after grabbing a bite to eat in downtown Boise.
For more visuals of the gallery, you can check out this interactive map at the bottom of the sponsors page. It shows the current state of various points at Freak Alley.
More about Freak Alley can be found here.