By Cameron Rasmusson
It’s been a long time coming, but the Schweitzer Cutoff Roundabout public art project is installed and making waves on social media.
Installed at the beginning of the month, the artwork is a stainless steel structure with a blue interior and an orbital finish. Named Celestial Sierra, the sculpture is intended to evoke images essential to Sandpoint’s character, including its mountains, lake and skiing culture. As with previous public art installation, the piece has provoked spirited debate on social media. Some find the sculpture’s abstract design and understated color accents elegant, while others are less impressed.
“Trees, sailboats, mountains. We have it all. Kinda cool it can be viewed as any of those,” commented Christa Francis on a Sandpoint Online Facebook post. “Can’t wait to see it all lit up and reflecting on the snow that will surround it in the winter.”
“Eye sore and is so out of place in this area!” commented Maria Montague-Mahoney immediately afterward.
The design was approved by the Sandpoint City Council almost exactly a year ago after a robust selection process by the Sandpoint Arts Commission. Narrowing down the project proposals was a task in its own right. The commission received 150 responses to its request for proposals, 73 of which advanced for more serious consideration. Seattle artist Troy Pillow ultimately landed the contract with a proposal that evoked several Sandpoint motifs and echoed the Sand Creek Byway with planned blue lighting.
Altogether, the Schweitzer Cutoff Roundabout public art project cost $90,000, plus another $20,000 for landscaping and other aesthetic improvements. The project was paid for by Sandpoint Urban Renewal Agency.
While we have you ...
... if you appreciate that access to the news, opinion, humor, entertainment and cultural reporting in the Sandpoint Reader is freely available in our print newspaper as well as here on our website, we have a favor to ask. The Reader is locally owned and free of the large corporate, big-money influence that affects so much of the media today. We're supported entirely by our valued advertisers and readers. We're committed to continued free access to our paper and our website here with NO PAYWALL - period. But of course, it does cost money to produce the Reader. If you're a reader who appreciates the value of an independent, local news source, we hope you'll consider a voluntary contribution. You can help support the Reader for as little as $1.
You can contribute at either Paypal or Patreon.Contribute at Patreon Contribute at Paypal