About Portrait of a Town
Portrait of a Town Wall

The heart and soul of Coeur d'Alene are the people who live here, who work hard to create a thriving, creative, progressive, interesting, safe place to live. Everyday the town's heartbeat can be felt as people perform small and large acts of kindness, bravery, tenacity, and innovation.

I have been given an incredible gift by all of the people who are on this wall, as they have taken time to tell me their stories. I have heard from the school bus driver who makes each student feel special; the rancher who has been working on the land and watching the landscape change; the caregivers and day care workers who give comfort; the advocates for our environment, for our health, for those with special needs.

I have seen the soul of Coeur d'Alene when I talk with the people in the community who have felt a need and joined together to create places to learn, to play, to share ideas, to protect, to heal, to die. People spoke passionately about the projects they did, the art they created, the connections they felt with the town and their neighbors. They want dialogue, an inclusive sharing of ideas. They want to preserve their environment and celebrate the beauty that surrounds us.

My hope is that you will take a little time and listen to some of these stories. Witness for yourself the unique spirit of our town and then go out into your day and take time and ask someone to tell you their story, everyone has a story to tell.

The support of the Coeur d'Alene Public Library Foundation will keep this project dynamic as there are many more stories to be captured and the library as "Lodge of the Storyteller" is the ideal partner to hold sacred the wisdom to be gained from peoples journeys. I look forward to coming collaborations.

And a few thank you's…. Blair Williams did not even flinch when I told her my dream of this project. Her help with the nomination process and wrangling the scheduling of all of those interviewed was a remarkable offering of time. Ruthie Ristich traveled from Boston to Coeur d'Alene to work late into the night giving her time, expertise and heart to help with the editing process. Gina and Bruce Bodtker smiled their way through the installation and celebration working hard to make it happen in a joyful way. Marty Mueller, my husband, once again walked into the fire with me and kept the flames away as much as possible. The Human Rights Educational Institute gave me the space to catch a glimpse into peoples' hearts. Jena Lassiter of Community Growth Web used her expertise to turn a vision in my head into reality. And a thank you to all of the interviewees for their generosity of spirit!

We could use your help to extend this project and bring out even more amazing stories about Coeur d'Alene. Please click below to go to the Donate page.

Barbara Pleason Mueller


Barbara Pleason Mueller is a Photographer, Weaver and Potter in Coeur d'Alene. Her website is at: www.barbaramuellerphotography.com


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KHQ News Interview with Barbara