27 City Hall art proposals unveiled

The pieces will hang in Boise’s Sesqui-Shop until the end of the month. You can let the city know which ones you like.

sberg@idahostatesman.comNovember 12, 2013 


    The pieces are on display at Boise’s Sesqui-Shop, 1008 Main St. The shop is open from noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

Karen Bubb figures local artists submitted about two-thirds of the latest round of proposals to decorate Boise’s City Hall Plaza.

The proposals are anonymous, so there’s no way to be sure, but Bubb, the city’s public arts manager, said she recognizes the styles of Boise’s artists in many of them.

After three failed attempts to find the right art for the remodeled plaza outside City Hall, the city changed its approach.

Before, artists submitted qualifications to kick off the selection process. Designs came later. In this round, artists submitted designs up front — but with no names attached.

Involving local artists in the City Hall art process has been a challenge. Between October 2011 and February 2013, the city received 94 applications for the project. Just eight of them came from Idahoans. No Idahoan has been a finalist.

There are new criteria for evaluating proposals as well. Qualifications, experience and ability were the most important criteria in the original processes. The majority of evaluation points now measure whether the designs are “appropriate and desirable for City Hall Plaza.”

Bubb said she’s pleased with the number of submissions and the variety of concepts this time. She said it’s clear many are the products of collaboration between a number of artists.

People have until Nov. 30 to let Boise know how they feel about the 27 proposals now on display.

Comment forms allow the public to say a numbered proposal is a favorite or it “doesn’t work for me” and explain why. The Arts and History Department will compile the comments for a selection panel that’s scheduled to ultimately pick the winner for the $200,000 contract, Bubb said.

The five-member panel will select a group of finalists before Christmas, Bubb said, and the awarding of the contract should be complete sometime in January.

Sven Berg: 377-6275

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