City Council Approves Artist Team Proposal for Vista Median Public Art
On September 12, Boise City Council approved the selection panel’s recommendation to commission Saori Ide and Jonathan Russell, an artist team from Berkeley, CA, for their proposal titled “Transitions” for the placement of public art in the medians on South Vista Avenue in Boise, Idaho.
Inspired by the City of Trees, “Transitions” celebrates Boise’s distinct four seasons using abstracted tree forms. The artwork features four colorful kinetic sculptures, each standing just under 13 feet high, two on each designated Vista Avenue median. Mounted on top of each will be a unique kinetic element that moves with the wind, signifying each season of the year. “Transitions” is anticipated to be installed in the fall of 2019.
The panel was facilitated by the Boise City Department of Arts & History and was comprised of members from the Vista Neighborhood Association, Energize Vista History and Placemaking Committee, Together Treasure Valley, Arts & History Commission, Arts & History Advisory Team, Parks & Recreation, and a local artist. The proposal was also vetted through Arts & History’s Care & Conservation team, Public Works Engineering, and the Ada County Highway District (ACHD). Notably, the proposal received the popular vote from the public commenting period which took place during the month of July 2018. The artists remained anonymous throughout the selection phase, offering an unbiased platform for the decision-making process.
The project is funded from the Percent-for-Art fund, Energize Vista Initiative, and Together Treasure Valley and is made possible through a collaborative partnership with Arts & History, Planning and Development Services, Parks & Recreation, Public Works, and ACHD.
For the past two years, the Vista Neighborhood has been the focus of a collaborative program called Energize Our Neighborhoods. The program aims at celebrating neighborhoods and improving livability. 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 lost its historic neighborhood character. Public art has the power to change this perception.
About the Artist Team
Saori Ide, originally from Osaka Japan, founded Ride Art LLC in 2011 with her husband Jonathan Russell, a professor at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. Together, they have completed eight major commissions over the past six years, including “Abstract Wind Sculptures” (2013), 12 abstract wind sculptures installed on a 1.9-mile-long avenue in El Cerrito, CA, and “Songs of the Everglades” (2016), a series of eight colorful birds mounted on solar/wind powered light poles along Florida’s Port Everglades Cruise Terminal parking lot.
Published: September 20, 2018