Boise City Hall Plaza Public Art Proposals

In conjunction with structural renovations to the Boise City Hall plaza, Boise City is commissioning a significant new work of public art. Boise City released a national Request for Qualifications in November 2012. Fifty-four artists applied. A selection panel made up of representatives from the City Council, Mayor’s Office, CCDC, the Arts Community, and Boise City Arts & History Commission selected three finalists. The three proposals are on display, online and in the lobby of City Hall, for public comment until May 28.

View: Proposal | PowerPoint Presentation

Boise Globe
View: Proposal | Video Animation

View: Proposal | Presentation Board

Boise City’s public art collection of over ninety works can be found on downtown plazas and streets and in public facilities such as City Hall, Boise Airport, parks and Public Library branches. 1.4% of all eligible Boise City capital projects are set aside to invest in site-specific artwork, with all artworks chosen through a democratic selection process. Public art invigorates residential and commercial zones, developing new places of beauty and interest and adding to civic vitality.

For Questions on this and other public artworks in Boise, Idaho please contact Karen Bubb (

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31 Responses to Boise City Hall Plaza Public Art Proposals

  1. suzy grubaugh says:

    Love “brilliant” the first one it get the city and state but the gem should be an IDAHO STAR GARNET in order to really exemplify our beautiful state and gorgeous city.

  2. Ryan Howard says:

    My initial reaction was in favor of Eyrie, which is quite stunning, but after reading through the proposals, I would like to see Boise Globe picked. I especially like that the engravings on the flaps would allow it function as a piece of civic history as well as an awesome (and forward thinking) piece of colorful art. Brilliant is simply too literal and would look more at home in a theme park or playground.

  3. Todd Martin says:

    Three exceptionally beautiful applications. BUT, our Boise representatives failed miserably on our behalf. Being a local carpenter/builder in the city for the last 26 years I’ve come to know and appreciate the extensive artistic talent pool right here in the Treasure Valley. We have carvers, sculptors, painters, architects, and designers of enormous artistic talent living right here as our neighbors. Why our city leaders chose to look outside of Boise to spend 200k is unconscionable. For the sake of said city leaders “unconscionable” is a big word for STUPID. Did you people lose your mother loving minds!!! 200 thousand dollars being spent for an out of state artist to construct an artistic representation for our city! Tarred & feathered is the nicest thing I can think of. Being of construction background I have an extensive four letter dictionary that this particular decision would require the use of the entire dictionary!
    If there is any way to back out of this with out getting our butts sued off, it needs to be done. Reevaluate the whole affair. If you folks can’t find local talent to suit your high minded endeavor, at least have the sense to keep it in Idaho. Dear lord, Sun Valley and McCall are brimming with world class talent. Have any of you rocket scientist ever visited a local high school art show. There are some pretty amazing young up and coming artist. Come on there has got to be a better way. Your job, that you signed up for, is to do the best you can for the people of BOISE!!! Not Houston or Atlanta or Stoughton Wisconsin…but BOISE!!!!!!!!!
    Now pull your heads out of their current location, place them back on your shoulders, and do the right thing. Sincerely, Please

  4. Donna Vaughn says:

    Who chooses the art work for Boise? If the community at large was asked, I doubt any of the pieces being considered would have made the cut. One looks like a cheap diamond and the others remind me of tornadoes and distorted ? Not what I would consider art at all.

  5. sullivan says:

    I love the Boise Globe, reading the concept proposals of all three, it is clear to me that Boise Globe deserves to represent Boise and City Hall. I liked seeing the other public works of art that Volkan has either installed or is in the process of installing within the proposal, amazing! Worth reading.

  6. jp says:

    I don’t know who is on the committee, but please start over, none of these exemplify Boise, non of the artists are local. Remember this is a FOREVER project. Boise deserves better.

  7. Mike Reineck says:

    My vote is for Boise Globe … the animation evokes a tree blowing in a breeze.

  8. DK Loya says:

    Symbolic of the Gem State and the City of Trees – “Brilliant” is a strikingly unusual piece. Fabulous concept.

  9. Nancy Richardson says:

    I was disappointed that none of the art pieces were done by Idaho artists…..just makes common sense to me that we use our own artists………………….

  10. Liz Springer says:

    Boise Globe, the second one pictured, gets my vote. It has a strong contemporary presence, would offer a striking contrast to the flat surfaces of the plaza with its colors, curvatures and sculptural aspects. It has interesting iconic representations of both unity and individuality through the globe shape and individual flaps. I especially like how it connects us, esp. the youth, of our community through the cultural references and texts that will be written on the flaps. I find it lovely, thought provoking and optimistic.

  11. Sara says:

    None of these are really worthy of the plaza. However, the most ludicrous is the one that looks like a giant ring. I suppose it’s supposed to be evocative of trees and Idaho gem of the mountains, but really – how this made the final three is unfathomable.

    If I absolutely positively under pain of death had to choose one, I’d go with Volkan, but my real advice is scrap these and start over.

  12. Nesha Pabst says:

    That Boise Globe looks like one mess. I don’t like that at all and I don’t see how it represents Boise at all. The Eyrie gets my vote.

  13. Jena says:

    I like Eyrie because it is flowing and mirrors movement, can be viewed from many angles and from underneath, says to me “vibrancy” and “forward thinking” which I think describe Boise today, and enhances the surroundings where it would be placed. Globe does nothing for me, and I think could become fodder for many jokes. And why have a fake tree when our city is filled with beautiful living ones, not to mention the fake diamond in the middle…?



  15. Tami says:

    Really? Go local. Those wings at the airport are an eyesore. That crack on Capital is a wet menace when used. Sounds as bad as that Millinium Fountain idea. BSU paid $10K for that mountain logo when they have art students who could have used a cash prize. We pay out-of-state for ads for the Idaho Lottery when we have college students here with talent! Go to the local artists and students!
    As others stated, these look cheap and don’t represent Idaho. The money spent belongs to us all.

  16. Leslie says:

    What ever happened to Buy Idaho? Why was this even opened to out of state artists? If Boise is going to spend tax dollars on public art, it should be by an artist from Idaho! I have to wonder if any members of the selection panel are even originally from Idaho.

    Start over!

  17. mb says:

    ‘Brilliant’ is too literal. While the ‘Globe’ story is great, the sculpture’s form is off-putting and durability questionable. “Eyrie” has a striking aesthetic that will be interesting from a distance and up close. It is my favorite of the three.

  18. Mary says:

    I like Eyrie the best.

  19. Kerri says:

    I will reiterate the message of many of those above. LOCAL ART from LOCAL ARTISTS. We have brilliance in our midst that far out weighs what is represented in the choices up there. I would be ashamed if any of those were chosen instead. Make our city proud and support someone who lives here!

  20. BoiseLove says:

    Here are my thoughts:

    FIRST PLACE: Boise Globe

    Boise-ness: 9/10: Boise, and especially its City Hall, is bathed in sunlight and this piece takes advantage of that element beautifully. The dynamic shadows and reflectivity are well designed for that space. The piece enhances the sun, allowing it to define this gathering place in Boise even in the winter. Much more than the others, this art represents Boise.

    Public integration of the work was a major reason I put the work first on my list. The city’s collective words engraved on the flaps would be interesting to create and read. I appreciate very much that the artist wants to allow Boise to take ownership and make its mark on the piece.

    Engagement: 8/10: I imagine colored reflections of light will be cast on a person’s face when they’re photographed next to it, which is cool. Light is a really fun thing to engage with. This piece invites people to crawl under it, play with its interesting shadows, read it’s text, and photograph it at different angles.
    • Can the flaps be flexible? Change in the wind? Softer? Easier touch and engage with? The work is at a great scale for engagement, but if people can’t touch it, the engagement is hindered.
    • Can the bottom be pulled up a bit more to allow people to crawl under it?
    • Can shade structures and benches in the plaza use a similar material palette?

    Artwork is beautiful. Concept statement is lacking. Circles, Spheres, and Globes don’t seem, to me, especially “Boise.”


    Boise-ness: 8/10: Defining our city by its wildlife makes a lot of sense because it is one element that makes this place unique. I love that the artist thought of Boise as an oasis in the desert, which is how I always think of it – physically and culturally.

    Engagement: 4/10: The work has the potential to create great engagement. The Bean in Chicago proves that people love to view their distorted image juxtaposed with the image of the city. The change in perspective makes you take a moment to realize where you are, and acknowledge a place. I think the work is just too high above people to reach its potential. How meaningful an engagement can you have with a piece when you have to crane your neck up to see it? Add that the reflection thing and the nest shape have both been done in other places and the work loses its ability to define Boise specifically.

    Concept Statement is beautiful. I don’t find the artwork that interesting.

    LAST PLACE: Brilliant
    Yeah, we get it. City of Trees in the Gem State. Thanks.

  21. Anne Peterson Klahr says:

    People need to understand the process. When a public art project is in a certain category it must go out nationally for bids. Idaho artists may apply in Idaho or any other state that has a call to artists. We want to enrich our city with art. I am an artist and a native Idahoan and I feel Boise City is supporting local artist’s. I am one of the three finalists for the Boise Airport Mural Project. Take a tour of the public art in Boise and see how many of these works are created by Idaho artist’s.

  22. Peter Bernick says:

    The proposed Boise Globe looks totally out of context even next to a perfectly rendered white building .It will look quite out of place and its long metal blades seem menacing.
    The diamond in the tree thing is a joke right ? “Brilliant” Looks like something my Aunt would pick up at the craft store for her garden.
    My vote is for Eyrie, It doesn’t look alien or like it was designed for a craft fair. It has a nice fluid movement that catches your eye without overpowering. Certainly more appropriate for the space than the other two proposed pieces.

  23. cindy booth says:

    Talk about 3 different ideas!
    The first one, “Brilliant”, brings to mind a giant walking stick with a diamond on the hilt! This sure doesn’t invoke the name Boise with this one! PLEASE NO!

    The second one, “Globe”‘is very modern and unusual, but it looks like a giant Hibiscus flower! It would be a great representation for Hawaii! I don’t see it in Boise!

    The third one, “Eyrie”‘ is also really very contemporary and unique. I looked up the meaning of “EYRIE” and found it to mean:
    “The nest of birds of prey, esp eagles, found in very high places”
    The sculpture really does make me think of a nest in the making! Consider the city of Boise as a nest in the middle of the mointains! This is the piece that I think really will fit!
    My vote definately goes to “EYRIE”. Let’s get something that other cities and people will be talking about!

  24. Jenna says:

    I like Eyrie the best of the three. While the Globe is interesting, I don’t think it fits right next to the capital. It’s more evoking of a larger concept, not fitting of Boise’s local flair. I think Brilliant is ridiculous. Do you really want what looks like a giant diamond ring in front of City Hall, where people already think public servants spend too much of their money?? Eyrie evokes the right amount of balance between art and government, as it initiates a space for public comment – something that government is supposed to encourage and represent.

  25. Vernon says:

    I really like the open sweeping concept of Eyrie. It reminds me of a nest that is in the process of being constructed. The city is nested in the mountains so this concept is a good fit. You will be able to walk under the structure and gaze upword making this a part of the city enviroment, not an obstruction you have to walk around.

  26. Carolyn says:

    I would choose Eyrie. I like the movement it creates. It looks like it belongs and definitely draws your attention.

  27. Priya Mohindra says:

    i like the nest as a city icon!!!

  28. Lauren Bernick says:

    I like Eyrie the best. Since Boise is the city of trees, it is a beautiful reflection of that idea.

  29. Sherry says:

    Eyrie all the way! It’s perfect and beautiful for Boise!

  30. babs says:

    Is our city panel looking for a contemporary art sculpture to grace the plaza? If so, I don’t find Brilliant to be that contemporary or even very challenging to the imagination. Globe is quite colorful and contemporary, yet it rather reminds me of a flower that might suck you right in if you got too close. I believe that Eyrie would be a stunning addition to the plaza. I love the concept of a nest and the swirling movement created by the shining rods. This one really is a lovely,graceful piece of art and think it is just what the panel is looking for. Eyrie gets my vote!

  31. Bruce says:

    Regardless which design is chosen, many people will not approve and I will be one of them: Boise will not benefit from iconic art, as much as other projects that would create greater public good (comparatively speaking).