In 2000, the Letterheads, an international group of sign painters, created the Basque Mural for the City of Boise. Lead muralist Bill Hueg designed the piece in collaboration with local sign artist Noel Weber, and Yanke’s Machine Shop donated the panels the mural was painted on. The mural is a focal point of Basque heritage in Boise, and it is has been a part of the Boise City Department of Arts and History’s Public Arts Collection.
The average lifespan of a mural is about 10 years, and touch-ups have extended our mural’s life, but time is running out. The image is warped and faded, and the City decided to deaccession the mural from its collection in January. Before doing so, they committed funds for the original artist to recreate the image in a smaller format so it can be displayed in a public building. An image of the newly-created artwork will then be reproduced as an overlay on the original mural. Bill Hueg has already begun painting the new image!
The mural includes such great symbolism representing important elements from the homeland: the baserri, or family home; a ship crossing the ocean representing early Basque explorers; a portion of the “Guernica” by Pablo Picasso. Images from the New World include the Uberuaga/Aguirre Star Rooming House (one of Boise’s earliest boardinghouses), St. John’s Cathedral, the Oinkari Basque Dancers, a sheepcamp with sheep in the Boise foothills, and images of individuals who gave their time preserving dance (Juanita Uberuaga Hormaechea), music (Jim Jausoro), and sports (Jose Luis Arrieta). All can be found in this 48-foot-long tribute to the Basques and the contributions they’ve made internationally and locally.
The mural is a gateway to the Basque Block, highly visible on Capitol Boulevard … and it’s now in the hands of the Basque Museum & Cultural Center. We want to bring it back to its original grandeur — a source of pride for the Basque community and the City of Boise!
Word went out in the Museum’s March newsletter and 39 individuals, families, or businesses replied with generous $100 or more contributions to go toward the restoration of the mural. (See reverse for a list of current contributors).
We need 100 individuals, families, or businesses to commit $100 to complete this project. That’s only 61 more! The first 100 individuals, families, and/or businesses to contribute $100 will be recognized as donors on the Basque Museum’s website.
And don’t forget — contributions to the Basque Museum & Cultural Center are eligible for Idaho State Tax Credit and are tax-deductible! Act today and the mural will be restored in 2018!
You can mail a check, payable to the Basque Museum & Cultural Center, 611 Grove Street, Boise, Idaho 83702 or by clicking the link below to donate online.
Name as you would like it to appear for recognition _____________________________________
In Memory of (name) or In Honor of (name) ___________________________________________
I prefer my donation to be anonymous. ___________________