Vista Avenue Median Public Art Proposals
Posted on 7/20/17 by Arts & History
VISTA MEDIAN ART – REQUEST FOR PUBLIC COMMENT
The City of Boise, in partnership with Together Treasure Valley, ACHD, and the Vista Neighborhood, placed an open call-to-artists for the placement of sculptural artwork in two medians located on Vista Avenue and has selected four local artists as finalists: Stephanie Inman, Ken McCall, Susan Madacsi, Matt Grover. Please take a moment to learn more about the project, view the four design proposals, and submit your comments by September 13, 2017. A selection panel will convene in early fall 2017 to determine which artist will win the commission. Your comments will be considered as part of their decision.
Vista Avenue, which runs from I-84 to Capitol Boulevard and through the heart of the Vista Neighborhood, is designated as a Community Gateway by Blueprint Boise, Boise’s Comprehensive Plan. While Vista Avenue certainly serves as a gateway for many people commuting on a daily basis, it also serves as a Gateway to the Treasure Valley and even the State of Idaho, welcoming travelers from the Boise Airport as they enter the city.
For the past two years, the Vista Neighborhood has been the focus of a collaborative program called Energize Our Neighborhoods. By bringing together community partners, local businesses, residents, and public agencies, the program invites innovative, community-based solutions and aligned resources to directly improve livability on a neighborhood-level. The program began in 2014, when the City of Boise undertook an ambitious GIS mapping project, with the goal of measuring key data indicators to develop a better understanding of the health and livability of the community. Those indicators were mapped in layers, allowing strategic, focused alignment of resources from both the City and community partners to be directed to the neighborhoods with the greatest opportunity for benefit.
One key finding of initial community engagement in the Vista Neighborhood identified challenges associated with Vista Avenue itself, a five-lane corridor that bifurcates the neighborhood. Due to the high volumes of traffic and limited cultural opportunities, the area along Vista Avenue lacks a sense of place, and has, indeed, lost its historic neighborhood character. This becomes apparent as travelers make their way from the airport to downtown, where, although they are first greeted by the scenic views of the foothills, they experience a corridor dominated by strip malls, office buildings, and commercial signage. A welcoming sense of place is noticeably lacking.
Public art has the power to change the perception along Vista Avenue. Cultural facilities and public art in the area rated as the top concern among the indicators identified through the original mapping project and recent data from the Creative Vitality Index from the Western States Arts Federation.
Improvements to art and placemaking along Vista Avenue were also identified as key opportunities through the study conducted by Urban Land Institute as part of the Building Healthy Corridors Project, in which Vista Avenue was identified as one of four nation-wide demonstration corridors. This project is funded equally by a Community Development Block Grant and a Together Treasure Valley grant to celebrate the vitality of the Treasure Valley.
Please take a moment to learn more about the project, view the four design proposals, and submit your comments in the Comments section below.
Proposal #1: Stephanie Inman
Proposal #2: Ken McCall
Proposal #3: Susan Madasci
Proposal #4: Matt Grover