City brings public into art selection

By Cameron Rasmusson
Reader Staff

Everyone has an opinion when it comes to public art. And for the Sandpoint Arts Commission’s latest project, locals can put that opinion to use.

The Silver Box Project will result in a new sculpture displayed in a public location. While a traditional selection jury will select the project’s semi-finalists, Sandpoint Arts Commission Chairperson Carol Deaner said the planners will eventually put together a community voting process that will determine the winning sculpture.

“I really think that this is a great way to get community involvement in some of the art pieces around town,” said Arts Commission member Ffion Soltis. “That in itself is pretty exciting and something that hasn’t happened around town before.”

Three sculptures will ultimately be selected by the jury to be displayed on a one-year loan between October 2017 and August 2018. That’s when the community element comes into play. Residents will vote for their favorite piece, which the city will purchase for permanent display.

“We will unveil the winner at the arts and crafts fair next year,” said Deaner.

Project organizers hope to receive many sculpture submissions from Sandpoint and the outlying areas. However, applications are welcome from artists residing in Idaho, Montana, Washington or Oregon. According to the call for applications, the winning project will be selected based on artistic merit and content, maintainability and suitability for the public space.

“Hopefully it will bring in a broader pool of artists so we can get some fresher ideas and new sculpture concepts in town,” said Soltis.

According to the project time line, the deadline for submissions is Aug. 8. The final three pieces will be selected by Aug. 29, and by Sept. 6, the contracts will be mailed. City personnel will install the art pieces on Oct. 6 and announce the results of the community vote in August 2018.

It’s just the start of a busy season for the Sandpoint Arts Commission. They will also have a hand in beautifying the Schweitzer Cutoff roundabout, which is currently under construction.

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