SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Brian Boner is an artist. Growing up in the Black Hills, he has been painting and drawing since 11 years old. Recently, he brought his talents to a specific wall along East 10th Street, east of downtown Sioux Falls.
The wall in question is on the side of what will soon be the home of Lockwood & Zahrbock Kool Law Office, a practice specializing in family law that is moving from downtown to the corner of 10th Street and Franklin Avenue.
Renovating the aged building, which had sat shuttered after a stretch as a discount store, the new owners set out looking for a way to help beautify not only the structure itself, but also the area itself, where 10th Street splits in two, rising up away from a detailing shop, Mexican restaurant and the Department of Social Services to cross the viaduct on its way into downtown.
The way that Lockwood and Zahrbock Kool settled on was a mural.
The office announced a contest, encouraging artists to send in concept designs, which would then be voted upon by the public. In the end, it was Boner’s design that won.
“We probably had about 10-15 different submissions; all very different — all very good,” said Tressa Zahrbock Kool, a partner in the law office. “[Boner’s] submission was by clear and far a favorite.”
Boner is thrilled that his concept was chosen.
“I feel really fortunate to be able to do what I do for a living,” he said. “I feel really fortunate that I was picked — I had such a great time bringing that concept back to South Dakota where it originated.”
The concept that Boner came up with was more or less the same as the finished product, which was completed in July. He says it is similar to another work he’s done in Phoenix, Arizona.
“The image that I made was an image of my son pouring water out of a watering can, and the water, as it fell from the watering can, turned into this big flock of birds that flies across a building,” said Boner.
The project in Arizona was meant to pay homage to houseless persons who have died in Phoenix. Boner says his Sioux Falls mural definitely touches on a similar topic.
“The area — it’s a rougher part of town, but I feel like it’s one of those areas that could really benefit from a mural like this,” said Boner. “And a reminder that everyone is part of the same human community — we can always do more to help one another out.”
Boner also says that he hopes the mural can serve as a connection between the existing cultural area of downtown Sioux Falls and the more industrial area across the viaduct to the east.
Overall, the project took Boner seven days. Throughout those days, he met a lot of local residents.
“I had lots of conversations with people walking by,” Boner said. “Asking me what the building was going to be, what was I doing, what did the mural have to do with the building — I would just tell them — the owners of the building really just, I feel, wanted to contribute to the progress of the community — I gotta say thank you to the attorneys — to Tressa and Rhonda — for having the vision and trusting me to execute something they really only saw as a sketch.”