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Pay It Forward: The Idaho Art Lab

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The Idaho Art Lab in St. Anthony is a place where anyone can learn, create and inspire themselves.

"We chose to live in Eastern Idaho, and we want art where we live," said Daniel Hidalgo. He and his wife Kara started the Idaho Art Lab six years ago this March.

"Creating the Idaho Art Lab was something we felt would help give St. Anthony and the Upper Valley a sense of culture and an identity," said Hidalgo.

Hidalgo said they are surprised at how far the outreach goes, from the Upper Valley, south as far as Pocatello.

He said their success comes from the passionate people in the community. They consist of volunteers, donors, donated equipment, and school teacher support for things like pottery; lapidary, which is working with stones; and block printing.

"And this just shows me a few things I need to clean up on this one. So now I'm going back and doing that," said one artist working with block stencils.

And of course, all styles of painting.

"Now we're going to highlight the trees. Now comes the magic," said another artist painting on a canvas.

There are many more styles of art to offer. Right now they are partnering with schools even more. Hidalgo and a board member teach art curriculum in three area elementary schools, and they are currently working with the South Fremont School District superintendent to create some after-school art curriculum.

"So we do offer art classes to get young kids really excited about art, but these are lifelong skills, so that people can pursue the arts for their entire lives," said Hidalgo.

People like Becky Seeley.

"Oh, this is all about me," said Seeley. She's a local hobby artist that comes to the lab. "It's amazing how you can get lost. Hours can just go away and your stress of the day, stress of the week, the things that are going on in your life, that you just need to get away from," she said.

"We're for the entire community," said Hidalgo.

Time to Pay It Forward.

"What's really fun about our..." said Hidalgo, as he's interrupted mid-sentence.

"Daniel, how are you?" said Kory Carling, entering the room.

"Oh, great," said Hidalgo.

"Good. I'm Kory with Mountain America Credit Union."

"Oh, hi," said Hidalgo.

"We're here today because we heard about your great art studio and all the good services you are providing for our community and because of that we're here to Pay It Forward," said Carling.

"Oh wonderful," said Hidalgo.

"So on behalf of Mountain America Credit Union, I brought with me today $500 in cash," said Carling, pulling the money from a blue envelope.

"Wow," said Hidalgo.

"That I know that you'll put toward good use and continue to provide these services for our community," said Carling.

"Wonderful. Thank you so much. I'm speechless. Thank you. Thank you so much," said Hidalgo.

"You're welcome. Thank you for all that you do for our community and keep it up," said Carling.

"Thank you," said Hidalgo.

"You're welcome," said Carling.

"Wow. I was not expecting this. Thank you so much," said Hidalgo.

The Art Lab is open Monday through Friday, from noon to 7 p.m. It is open Saturday by appointment only and closed Sunday. It is off the south St. Anthony Exit at 2355 S. Yellowstone Hwy. The phone number is 208-932-0893.

The Art Lab will be hosting a "Big Art Expo" Saturday, Feb,18 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. They will have more than 15 demonstrating artists.

"Pay It Forward" airs the second Wednesday and Thursday of every month. If you know of a nonprofit organization or someone who deserves to be recognized for their contributions to the area, click on "Pay It Forward" on the right side of our website and fill out the form, or send an email to Eyewitness News anchor Todd Kunz at

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Todd Kunz

Todd is an anchor for Local News 8.


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