New mural sheds light on FACES of Hope Victim Center

New mural sheds light on FACES victim center.

BOISE -- People can now access downtown Boise's Basque Block from the brand-new City Center Plaza through an enclosed walkway. But it's what is along the walls of that path that are especially significant.

Gardner Company - the developers of the project - hired artists to spray paint a huge symbolic mural along the side of their new building, inspired by a great resource we have in the Treasure Valley - the FACES of Hope Victim Center.

The wall reads from left to right as a narrative, with the painting ending at the walkway opening on Capitol Boulevard with bright flowers representing a transformation into light and hope.

"It reflects what we saw and experienced when we toured the FACES facility," Sector Seventeen artist Hawk Sahlein said.

The mural expresses the emotions victims of abuse may feel, portraying hopefulness that FACES provides for people traumatized by domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse or elder abuse.

Sahlein and his partner were able to dive inside the FACES center to fully understand what it does for our community. so they could convey that to the community.

"There are services we're able to provide and a safety net that we provide that lightens up [a victim's'] day, that lightens up their load and really gives them some hope for their future," FACES of Hope Victim Center Chief Operating Officer Jean Fisher told KTVB, "And so I think they've really captured that."

You can feel the darkness on the end closest to the plaza, with the imagery depicting isolation or loneliness.

"Good art is something that you feel," Sahlein added. "Hopefully it's just a feeling or an experience that the viewer will get and that will possibly take them to that spot where they would be thinking of associations like FACES, if not FACES in particular."

As the mural moves closer to Capitol Boulevard, Sahlein says it begins to transform from a darker piece to a more transitory phase. In the middle is a huge, 20-foot antique clock, representing cycles in ones life that may lead them to approaching situations differently, as well as a nod to the adage that time heals all wounds. It also portrays images such as a feathered quill and blank page of a book, representing the opportunity to write a new narrative or new chapter.

"Instead of focusing on the darkness and maybe the past, looking forward to what you could be or could see," Sahlein added.

Colors and images begin to shift to lightness and vibrancy as you move further along the wall, portraying what FACES can do in a victim's life as uplifting and beautiful.

"As we move on it starts to get a glimmer of some new growth." 

Through immediate resources such as St. Luke's CARES, the Women's and Children's Alliance (WCA), Idaho Legal Aid, and local law enforcement, the goal of the victim center is to catch you in a safe net of stability, and treat anyone who walks through their doors with dignity and respect, free of judgment. 

The artists say the walkway opened up to the public last Saturday and there has already been a significant amount of foot traffic. They are close to halfway through with the mural and hope to have it completed by mid-October.

FACES is currently transitioning from being a "Family Justice Center" to being the "FACES of Hope Victim Center." The center also has a new non-profit foundation as well, and on Oct. 27 they will be having a gala to celebrate their 10th anniversary and reveal their new logo.


Copyright 2016 KTVB


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