Appreciation at a Distance

'Pugsslane Art' repurposes downtown alley character with a timely message

Published online: Mar 19, 2020 Articles, Education And Arts
Viewed 2171 time(s)

One of the many great, cruel ironies of the COVID-19 pandemic is that in order to come together, we have to stay apart.

This emerging theme made its way onto the alley-scapes of downtown Idaho Falls this week. Pugsslane Art creator Gibby Smede repurposed one of her existing character pieces into a visual ode to the countries now on the front lines of the battle against COVID-19 in Asia and Europe. 

“I wanted a mask over the face to show distancing and separation,” she said, adding that the overall message aims for a simpler message: "It's about the idea that we are all in this together."

Over the character's new mask, Gibby painted flags of the most affected countries and the state of Idaho with a heart at its center.

The piece is anchored with the message, “Show your love. Keep your distance.”

Puggslane Art is located in the alleyway between Park Ave. and Shoup Ave.

For the latest updates and advisories relating to COVID-19, visit For information specific to Idaho, visit

(Full disclosure! Gibby is the daughter of former IFM Editor Steve Smede.)


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