Public chimes in on Boise City Hall art proposals

By Tuesday afternoon, the city had received 137 comments on the 27 submissions.

sberg@idahostatesman.comNovember 20, 2013 

  • SEE THE CITY HALL PLAZA ART PROPOSALS

    Twenty-seven public art designs will hang in Boise's Sesqui-Shop, 1008 Main St., until Nov. 30. The shop is open from noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

Whatever piece of art ends up decorating Boise City Hall Plaza, Jim Pace wants it to be inviting, the kind of installation that causes people to congregate.

"I want to create an opportunity for loitering. I want people to loiter," said Pace, who's lived in Boise for 12 years. "I want people to hang out. I want people to communicate. I want them to sit down and feel comfortable about doing that. I don't want to discourage that. I want to encourage that, and especially at City Hall."

Pace wouldn't say which art proposal he named as his favorite on the comment form that is available to anyone who walks through Boise's Main Street Sesqui-Shop, part of the city's 150th anniversary celebration. He did say he liked the process the city has chosen to find the right art to decorate the overhauled plaza on the west side of City Hall.

After three failed attempts to settle on a design, the city asked local and national artists to submit designs. Those proposals - on boards that measure 20 inches by 30 inches, with no names attached - are hanging in the Sesqui-Shop until the end of November.

Boise Public Arts Manager Karen Bubb said there's been a "fantastic" amount of public involvement in the week since the proposals were unveiled. Bubb will give the comments to a panel whose five members will whittle away proposals until they pick a winner of a $200,000 contract.

"There are two things that are great about this. One is, as a citizen, I get a chance to add my two cents to this decision," Pace said. "The other thing is the people that really care about the decision are going to come down here and give their two cents."

Gretchen Leonard, who also browsed the proposals Tuesday, said there's a good variety.

One of her favorites was a series of arches with holes in the shape of various objects that represent life in Boise. She likes the idea of the City Hall Plaza art becoming a landmark and place for people to meet.

Sven Berg: 377-6275

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