Jim Hall Foothills Learning Center Earth Node Public Art Proposals

The City of Boise, in partnership with the McCord Family, who is providing funding, is commissioning an artwork for the Jim Hall Foothills Learning Center. The work will represent “earth” and will join two other public artworks at the Center that represent “air” and “fire.” The public is invited to comment on proposals by four Idaho artist teams, who were chosen through a public process by a selection panel of stakeholders. The finalists are Mike Landa, Leslie Dixon, Daniel Borup and the team of Marianne Konvalinka and Lynn Fraley. The panel will take public comment into account prior to making their final decision regarding which project to commission. Comments will be collected until July 29th. You may leave your public comments here, on our blog site, or see the proposals in person at Foothills Learning Center in Hulls Gulch, at the end of 8th Street. For more information about the Center, go here http://bee.cityofboise.org/foothills/.

Full Circle
View Proposal

Medicine Wheel
View Proposal

Across This Earth
View Proposal

Hulls Henge
View Proposal

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 (kbubb@cityofboise.org).


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61 Responses to Jim Hall Foothills Learning Center Earth Node Public Art Proposals

  1. Roberta Crockett says:

    I live near Camel’s Back Park and walk the trails into the foothills daily. I would love to have Mike Landa’s Full Circle to explore and enjoy at the Foothills Learning Center. It fits so well with Carol McCord’s words (it actually includes her words) and is so congruent with this place – the foothills, Boise, and Idaho. The images of creatures, the beautiful butterfly, the words, the circle, its height, its color – all seems just right for the location and history. Good job, Mike Landa!

  2. Christy Sadira says:

    RE: Daniel E. Borup’s Artist Proposal… Hulls Henge
    Wow, just wow! I really hope that this is the chosen design because I am dying to sit in this spot and meditate and enjoy. So beautiful and earthy and fantastic and fun. Definitely my favorite without question.

  3. Lisa says:

    I favor the Medicine Wheel concept! The idea of entering into the grove of trees and discovering the alter is intriguing, and on further curiosity finding the offerings of the feather, egg shells, and bone upon the alter furthers the curiosity. There is a space to sit and learn or teach others more about the space and artwork. I can see the visitors returning to the alter after exploring the rest of the Foothills Learning Center and surrounding foothills in order to respectfully leave their sacred and personal offerings.

    When I visited the space a few weeks ago, the grove had a very quite, soothing, and spiritual feel to it. I think that this proposal naturally compliments the space as well as conveys respect, honor, and celebration to the “earth” element.

  4. jeff says:

    Those are some really nice submissions but I think Daniel Borup’s is the best by far.

  5. Jamie says:

    I love the thought that all of the artists have put into each of their proposals– this is going to be a great display!

    I particularly like the Hulls Henge proposal because most of the exhibit blends with the nature that already exists in this location by mimicking rock formations rather than imposing something more obviously placed there. Nature inspires so much creativity in itself, and the Hulls Henge display retains that natural environment while inviting the viewer to stick around and look closer. While nature inspires often on its own, the Hulls Henge display gives us a bit of a push– a place to begin our own pondering. While heeding the invitation to look closer, viewers will not only be delighted to find the hidden faces in the rocks, but will likely see other wonders naturally present already in that environment.

    • Mikey says:

      I like Hulls Henge too. It looks like its the most completely thought out, lots of detail, and the pictures are of actual sculptures!

  6. Patrick Collier says:

    I really like the Hulls Henge idea. I have been using the trails in the Hulls gulch area for years and I am a fan of the artwork representing the “earth” element being subtle yet fun. I think the fact that the design has the concrete statues looking like natural rock formations seems to fit the aesthetic of the area more. It seems less disruptive to the natural feel of the area than the other three proposals.
    Aside from being subtle, this idea is also quite fun. The idea of the hidden faces throughout really caught my attention. One of my favorite things to do when I was growing up was to look through “I Spy” and “Where’s Waldo” books. I loved the fact that there was so much hidden in plane sight and so many fun things to find. This sculpture idea seems to bring those elements into the natural world and play off of a child’s natural sense of curiosity and wonder with the world. The children I know would love this kind of sculpture.
    This proposal also strikes me as paying needed tribute to Idaho’s rich natural heritage. The state of Idaho has many amazing rock formations like: City of Rocks in south central Idaho, the large basalt columns in the Boise river canyon and even Table Rock in the Boise foothills. This proposal focuses on the artificial rock formation itself and how it interplays with the areas natural landscape rather than creating a more typical sculptural focal point.
    Out of the four proposals this one is by far my favorite for all of the reasons listed above. I hope you will take these thoughts into consideration when making your final decision.

  7. Doris Russell says:

    I really like Daniel Borups proposal

  8. Alyson Woodland says:

    I love the Hulls Henge. Very thought provoking. I will love taking my family there to explore that piece.

  9. Pam says:

    While all the proposals are quite well thought out I favor Daniel Borup’s Hulls Henge. I think it speaks to the Earth theme the best. I love the faces and would enjoy spending time to look at and for them. Well done Mr. Borup.

  10. Jan Scripps says:

    This is a wonderful process and I just hope that many more comments of input will be received prior to the July 29th deadline! I reviewed the previous 5 comments after my own selection of #1 given my study of each, and was very surprised by the selections named here as only one was in my list of 2 selections and that (Full Circle) was my second choice. As to my first choice, “Across This Earth” by Leslie Dixon, there was no mention by any other as to this piece of art. Amazing! Why to date has it only appealed to me? I was strongly moved by Ms. Dixon’s interpretation of Earth as to the “ancestral foundation of our foothills, regarding the peoples and animals that went before us”. Her inclusion of the Paleo Indians here was especially significant to me, given our Country’s mistreatment of Indians in the beginning days of our wagon trail travels to settle in the West, which still sadly continues to date given Indian Reservation segregation. The design of these curved walls also appealed to me, as a guidance down the path from beginnings to what we are today. It reminded me of the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, DC and several other State memorials as designed to honor those we lost in that war along a path of the “first” losses of life leading up an elevated wall to recognize those subsequent far greater losses in the following years. Art, I recognize, invites the viewer to interpret it according to his own interpretation of what he “see’s” within that creation, but I feel something more is a requisite for this artistic piece of selection in the end – one that is an educational tool as to what defines “Earth” in terms of Idaho’s history, especially given its location at the Foothills Leaning Center. And therein lies my reasons for my clear choice of Ms. Dixon’s work of art for location here.

  11. Meesha says:

    Daniel’s Hulls Henge concept is my favorite. So many ways to describe this piece: earth, nature, family, community, togetherness, curiosity, meditation, tranquility, fun! It is art that you can experience with all of your senses, and that is what sets this one apart!

  12. Judy says:

    From the viewpoint of a grandparent… I definitely like the Hull’s Henge proposal the best, it is the one my grandchildren would most enjoy. It is also the one that doesn’t say “Look a me, I am a piece of artwork placed here.” It would just fit right in with the natural surroundings.

  13. Pamela Williams says:

    I love them all and wish elements of each proposal could be added, maybe on a phased timeline — if not at the Learning Center, then at other city parks and facilities (Depot, etc.). I find this an extremely difficult choice, but I am most attracted to Leslie Dixon’s Across This Earth proposal. I love the idea of walking through time alongside previous human and non-human inhabitants.

    My compliments to each of the artists for their superb concepts and designs!

  14. Laura says:

    RE: Daniel E. Borup’s Artist Proposal… Hulls Henge

    How fun to search for faces in the rocks! Daniel’s proposal not only blends in with the natural part of the surrounding area to create the illusion that it belongs but also brings the joy of discovering while searching for hidden faces in the rocks. I do hope this proposal is chosen so I can come and search for all the faces.

  15. Christi Green says:

    Love the Hulls Henge concept. Fun, yet reflective and very unique. It makes me want to go there right now! It is art that any age can enjoy and appreciate!

  16. Pat says:

    Mike Landa’s Full Circle is the most creative and well considered proposal. The fact that it can be enjoyed from a distance (and “fits” with both the air node’s dandelion sculpture and the fire node’s tree) as well as up close, to me make it unique and beautiful. It works for kids and adults, it will weather well and needs little maintenance are all good things. Hull’s Henge will have toddlers climbing and falling and it says nothing about Boise or the Foothills. Landa’s butterflies are something I see every time I hike there and the silhouettes of foothills animals and the hand/butterfly combo are a reminder of who we share that space with. Very well thought out.

  17. AP says:

    Although each of the proposals is beautiful, I love the Full Circle proposal. I like the mixture of structure and words and your perception of the art varies with how close you are to it.

  18. AP says:

    Although each of the proposals is beautiful, I love the Full Circle proposal. I like the mixture of structure and words and your perception of the art varies with your distance (what you see changes as you come closer).

  19. grace says:

    I lived through each artist’s description and explanation of his/her piece. It is certainly a difficult decision to make! My top vote would go to the medicine wheel. It sounds truly beautiful.

  20. grace says:

    *loved reading through… :)

  21. Lisa F.R. says:

    All the proposals are very interesting. If I had to chose one to visit, it would be Mike Landa’s. I think his structure would blend in naturally with the area but would draw people to it. From afar it is one idea but upon further exploration there would be many other images and ideas to discover. The interplay of light and shadows through the structure also adds interest.

  22. Russ says:

    What great ideas! I like Leslie Dixon’s design with the sihouettes, but I find myself more intrigued by Daniel Borup’s proposal. I’ve always been fascinated with monolithic sculptures, and things like the Eastern Island heads have always been so mysterious. I’ve never been in a park with such interactive sculptures, and it would definitely put the park on a map as a destination people would be curious to visit, just to see if they could find all the faces. It’s a unique enough idea to put it above the others, in my opinion. But all 4 are great and Boise would be lucky to get any of them!

  23. Linda Paul says:

    Difficult choices here. But I like Mike Landa’s Full Circle the best.

  24. Karen Heaton says:

    I just finished reading all of the art proposals. I am very impressed with the artist and the designs they have planned for the space. As I read the proposals I pictured myself in the space viewing the sculptures. It’s difficult to imagine myself in such a place without my child with me. Naturally I think about what he would enjoy the most. Daniel E. Borup’s proposal Hulls Henge has an interactive quality that my child would love. I can imagine him pointing out the many hidden faces. I like that the rock formations have a natural look about them. It may take viewers a few glances to realize that they are sculptures and not just rocks. Once this realization is made the fun of exploration would begin. I would love to see the art proposal Hulls Henge come to fruition.

  25. Heather says:

    I am just taken into my own kind of imagination when I consider Mr. Bourop’s proposal. It has endless possibilities and would render different experiences each time one wandered about. It keeps with the EARTH theme, and invites those who enter to search for each facial expression, or discover some of their own. What a brilliant idea! My first choice by far!

  26. Gayle says:

    I prefer the Hull’s Henge where there are the options to relax, learn, or to play. One can sit to absorb and contemplate the surroundings. Children, especially can play and learn by the finding the smaller rocks. In a very interactive way one can learn about the area surrounding them. There is great wisdom that comes from rocks. Henges can be a sacred place.

  27. Leslie says:

    I think Mike Landa’s Full Circle is wonderful; so many images so deftly placed to create the focus image. This would certainly invite a visitor to linger. A beautiful installation that would compliment the existing artwork. Well done, Mr. Landa.

  28. Mary Katherine says:

    While each proposal has distinct qualities that would be successful, I feel the Daniel Borup ‘Hulls Henge’ proposal will fit the area best. The playful and natural figures will enhance the area and let young and old discover the hidden faces in the rock.

  29. Erin says:

    Really enjoy the concept of Full Circle by Mike Landa.
    Think that the interactiveness and creativity of this sculpture is exquisite.

  30. Ben Kennedy says:

    The are three great proposals, but I have to cast my vote for Landa’s Full Circle. I like the concept of being able walk into the art and being part of it.

  31. Jill J. says:

    While all of the proposals are thought provoking, only one of them truly captures the element of ‘Earth’ and more importantly the heart and soul of the Jim Hall Foothills Learning Center program – it’s focus on children. More than all the other entries, I can immediately visualize all the little fingers exploring the rock faces of the denizen of Hulls Henge as they seemingly rise out of the earth around them – sparking their imaginations and inspiring their dreams. I vote whole-heartedly for Daniel Borup’s proposal.

  32. Cindy says:

    I was really drawn to Mike Landa’s design for this project because of its cohesive playfulness with the surroundings. The materials, the imagery and the message all work together. On first glance, you get an emotional “lift” and that is what being in the foothills is all about.

  33. Keith says:

    The Hull’s Henge concept is my favorite, it fits with the “Earth” theme the best, and would also provide a relaxing place to enjoy with my grandchildren who would love hunting for the faces in the rocks. When we visited the site I noticed that the area is right next to the children’s “Story Walk”, and I can imagine children being attracted back to the area after they finished their story to view the faces.

  34. Heather L. says:

    These are amazing ideas from each artist! Having visited this area myself, I would really like to see “Hulls Henge” brought to reality. The proposal is well thought out and would be exciting and interactive for children and adults.

  35. Jezzie says:

    After reading through all the proposals, the thing that impresses me the most is the quality of offerings from the local artists. They are all nice, but of all of them I liked the concept of Daniel Borup’s Hulls Henge the best as I think it is the one that children would love exploring the most.

  36. Jan says:

    All entries had some good points but I did find myself drawn to one more than the others — the one that even adult fingers will want to touch, that people of all ages will find themselves smiling at – my preference is the entry made by Daniel E Borup.

  37. Steve says:

    They are all nice ideas. I really think the proposal by Lynn Fraley and Marianne Konvalinka fit the space and area the best. Natural, yet has a “aha, oh wow, look at this!” aspect to it. Not over the top and garish like some of the artwork at the learning center. It uses natural materials that can be found in and around Idaho and for that matter the Boise area. This fits in that for all the work that went in to saving Hulls gulch and the foothills from solid housing development.
    I also like the fact that as you walk by there are elements that pull you to it and as you go to it more and more appears and yet it has a nice quiet reflective space and provides for a sense of well being. This piece looks like one that most people young and old will enjoy.
    Thanks for allowing comments

  38. cassie elliott says:

    “The master landscape plan for the Center includes sculpture in nodes in the four cardinal directions.” Mike Landa’s proposed sculpture, Full Circle, addresses the “nodes” aspect of this public art installation and compliments the existing sculptures as distinct stand alone works. A developed concept that also considers the location, theme and surroundings of installation. Bravo!

  39. Julie Plummer says:

    What a tough decision… simply because each proposal is so different! However, I really love the Hull’s Henge proposal by Daniel E. Borup. Very unique. I like that he used the “rock” as his main focus because it really does represent the “earth”. As a 1st grade teacher, I can see my little first graders getting very excited as they search for all of the faces hidden in the rock. It could be a very “interactive” activity. As they do this simple task their mind would be prepared to explore and search for the other hidden treasures on site and in the beautiful foothills around them. I think that his proposal captures the essence of the Jim Hall Foothills Learning Center… educating children.

    A few weeks ago, I came to the Open House to look at each proposal and talk to the artists. Afterwards, I walked the grounds of the learning center. I walked over to the proposed site for the sculpture. At the time there was a quiet breeze and it seemed like the trees were whispering to me. They seemed to tie right in with the “rock faces” that Daniel proposes. You could almost imagine the rocks talking too. The earth really does have a lot to share with us. I could imagine myself sitting on one of the benches nestled in that little grove of trees… a peaceful sanctuary. Daniel’s proposal is both reflective and fun… a perfect balance. Well done!

  40. Michelle Drinkwine says:

    Love the Hulls Henge proposal! Seems interactive and interesting. I love rocks and think it would be fun to take my kids here to find the faces. I really like the idea of the circle and think that this sculpture would be durable and attractive and ties in well with the earth theme. I think this is a really creative proposal and look forward to hearing the decision as well as visiting the finished project.

  41. Michelle Drinkwine says:

    Don’t know if my comment submitted correctly because I left a letter off my email by accident. I really like the Hull’s Henge proposal. It is a creative and interesting way to bring the area to life. I love the idea of the circle of rocks and search and find. It represents the theme of earth well and the experience would not be over the minute you walk into the space. I would like to visit this space with my boys.

  42. Kaila says:

    In considering what each finished piece would look like, it is my opinion that Hulls Henge by Daniel Borup would be the most natural fit for the area. Rather than changing the look if the existing area, the sculpture would enhance the landscaping and be a natural place for families to enjoy time outdoors together.

  43. susie fisher says:

    I like Dan Borup’s idea. It is unique and something that will engage people of all ages. I like the organic feel and the fact that it is interactive.

  44. Rebecca Crosswhite says:

    I real appreciate Daniel Borup’s idea for the art at the Foothills Learning Center. This reminds me of the Earth smiling at visitors to the area and welcoming them. I feel as though this would be a calming and exciting feature to explore. Also, this art could lend itself to many project based activities for children and adults, a chance to explore different cultures ways of communicating through the Earth. My only request would be that there be a few female inspired faces, there may be some but I did not see any in the proposal. I think that would help relate the idea of mother and father Earth :)

  45. Molly Jemmett says:

    ‘Good job’ to all the artists. It’s too bad we can’t have all four installations as each has a different perspective on the project. The panel certainly has a difficult decision ahead of them. However, Hulls Henge hit the nail on the head when it came to representing earth. The stone faces in the rocks bring the concept of the earth as a living breathing thing to life so that’s the one I would choose.

  46. These are some amazing proposals and I compliment all of these artists! When looking at this space and thinking of the intent of this project, I believe that Marianne and Lynn have totally gotten the intent of this endowment. This is to be a sacred space to remember a family member and to be filled with the spirit of this person. By far, they understood more about the intent of this project, rather than filling the space with art. I compliment them on their ability to connect with the family and create something that would best represent their wishes. Best wishes to you all; Zella Bardsley

  47. Kameron says:

    I love Daniel Borup’s Hulls Henge proposal. the concept is great and the location is well thought out! I love the idea on the whole. This is by far my favorite. The people who use this area will love the installation. It’s amazing!

  48. Amy Holley says:

    Mike Landa’s submission is original, relevant and wonderful! It captures the elements of the foothills we all love in a playful, interactive manner. It will stand the test of time and remain fresh and interesting. This is the one!!

  49. Emily says:

    As one who frequents the foothills and has lived in Boise my whole life, I love the idea of adding another element for people to explore! I think all of the proposals would add to this area, I am definitely in favor of Hull’s Henge. I love the idea that the longer you sit and enjoy those sculptures, the more you will be able to see the hidden faces. And I can’t imagine that children wouldn’t enjoy racing each other to find the most faces. It also seems to fit in most with the natural landscape.

  50. Amber says:

    I really like the Hull’s Henge proposal. What I love most about it is that my three young children could search for faces while I sit and rest. It is common that when we go on outings together, my energy is spent while theirs is still full speed ahead. Having a place to take a break while the kids are still able to enjoy themselves in searching for the faces (and I can still see them) sounds perfect!

  51. Kayleena says:

    I definitely feel like Daniel Borups is well done and it is something different that isn’t done very often. Very Unique.

  52. Callie says:

    All the proposals were interesting the one that stood out the most for me was LYNN FRALEY AND MARIANNE KONVALINKA – Medicine Wheel.

  53. Toni says:

    While I like most of the designs, my favorite is the Medicine Wheel. I love the design but also like the fact that most of the stone is being used is from Idaho!

  54. Lindsey Soren says:

    I love the idea of “Hulls Henge” by Daniel Borup! I have seen previous work by Daniel Borup and am always impressed by his attention to detail. His piece would be a great addition!

  55. Ben says:

    WOW! I love what you guys did with the design.

  56. ben says:

    Woops! I meant the medicine wheel

  57. Suki Molina says:

    I like Mike Landa’s Full Circle proposal. Mike’s proposal incorporates many images that fit well with the Foothills Learning Center. I also like the Medicine Wheel proposal and its subtle and appropriate design. I find Hull’s Henge large and distracting.

  58. Nancy Panganiban says:

    I like all the designs, but my favorite is the Medicine Wheel. The others are beautiful sculptures, but the Medicine Wheel seems to engage visitors by allowing them to be within and experience the more formal composition of the space.

  59. Anna almerico says:

    Mike Landa’s proposal speaks to the Esence of the land, history and experience of place. As a frequent visitor of the Foothills Learning Center I think this a beautiful addition. Landa’s culpture helps tell a story to our children about a very special place in Boise.

  60. Jason says:

    These are all excellent proposals. my personal favorites are across this earth hulls henge. I remember enjoying the foot hills as a child. I feel that hulls henge would offer the best connection for my children to earth, creativity, and learning. I look downward to letting my children enjoy whatever is chosen.