City Government

Boise Artists Fail To Make Cut For City Hall Project

Once again, local artists have failed to come up to the standards for public art that appeal to Boise’s art selection committee. At issue is what to put in front of City Hall as part of the remodel.

A city panel chose Volkan Alkanoglu from Atlanta; a team of artists called Actual Size from Stoughton, Wis.; and Metalab, a team from Houston. There were 54 applicants for the $200,000 project.

Each will create a site-specific proposal for an art piece to decorate the front of City Hall on Capitol Boulevard. Those proposals will be on view at City Hall and on the city’s website beginning May 11. The public will have two weeks to comment.

The selection panel chose applicants whose work will address the importance of the City Hall site and Boise’s urban environment – but in different ways, said Karen Bubb, city public art manager. The artists will come to Boise to learn in a few days what is important in Boise.

We find it sad the lack of local pride and confidence in what our community has to offer. On one hand we tout TREE FORT music and compare it to Austin, Texas, but on the other hand we cannot find a single visual artist worthy of being displayed at City Hall.

Just 14 months ago the GUARDIAN wrote of a similar circumstance.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. Why not find out which local artists applied for this grant and what their designs were. If we don’t know, we aren’t in a position to decide if we should feel sad about this or just indifferent.

  2. We couldn’t keep any money in the area could we? If we did that we wouldn’t be furthering the diversity of the valley. Besides if big Dave allowed a local in he would be accused of favoritism.

  3. Why is the city pissing money away on art when schools are suffering and the homeless abound?
    Major fail!

    This isn’t about local artists and their vision or talent. It is about the narrow mindedness of city leadership and their constant distractions from real issues.

  4. Why not provide the space and allow local artists to display their work, say for a month at a time, with information about the piece as well as contact info so if someone wanted to buy the piece or wanted to contact the artist they could. Why spend the money for out of state artists? DUMB move. Free display for local artists and possible sales for same.

  5. Boise State used out of state talent to create their current logo. Why shouldn’t Boise City use out of state talent for art in their “front yard”?

    Why is there a $200,000 art piece to being with to compete with that beautiful waterpiece anyway?

    Give em money and they will spend (waste) it.

  6. The only public art that I enjoy so far are the paintings on those corner (what? not sure what they are for) boxes–like the one on corner near Dawsons, or on the 9th and Fort corner.
    A lot of what passes for public art in many cities could just as well have stayed private!

  7. Here is the consideration for Idaho vs. national artist.
    “Request for Qualifications/Proposals: This is our typical process. We release a call‐to‐artists, a panel selects finalists,the finalists submit proposals,the public comments,the panel recommends a project for commission, and the recommendation is presented to approval bodies for consideration. Projects with a budget of over $25,000 must be released nationally. Projects under $25,000 can be limited in
    eligibility to Idaho artists.”

    For a balanced piece, I would add this story about Ward Hooper helping with the Julia Davis overhaul.

    EDITOR NOTE–The JD Park project is privately funded. Nice job, local artists.

    Or this one.

    EDITOR NOTE–This one is $24,000…hardly on the scale of the $200,000 national artist jobs and just under the threshold to be sent out for bids.

  8. Buy Idaho, right? Isn’t that what Idaho is all about? BS! Hasn’t been that way since I came here 20 years ago.

  9. I don’t understand why they can’t use local talent. It’s the situation with the Simplot JUMP project. Out of state GC, out of state electrical consultant, out of state IT consultant and out of state contractors. We need to keep local projects local. It’s great way to revive Idaho’s economy.

  10. More government waste ! Expect Dictator-wannabe Dave to raise taxes again to send the money out of state. He probably will use this as an excuse to go on another boondoggle trip to see their work

  11. I love anything I’ve seen by Ward Hooper, but this idea to me is as esthetically horrible as knee-jerk replicaintg state/national flags:

    7-foot-tall, three-dimensional map of the Gem State, conceived and designed by metalworker Irene Deely.
    Gads…….There are already too
    many maps of the state all over the place.

  12. The city seems to be following state purchasing code for Public Works projects- 67-2805. I guess if want more local artist then the state law should be changed. Or an exclusion could be added under 67-2803.

    While I do think we should have more local artist works considered for any project, I also like elected officials to follow applicable laws.

  13. The City isn’t “pissing” money away on art and for the record, the City isn’t responsible for the schools. That funding comes from the State. Please do your research before you make false claims. The homeless issue is not just a City of Boise issue, it is a Treasure Valley, State and Federal issue.

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