City puts public art on display

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This screenshot from a presentation to City Council members last week by Arts Commission member Ffion Soltis gives an idea of what the commission's "Silver Box Project" will look like.

SANDPOINT — The Sandpoint Arts Commission will soon create a program of annually alternating sculptures on the Sand Creek bike and pedestrian path near City Beach called the "Silver Box Project."

City Council members approved the request by Arts Commission members last week for the manufacturing of three stainless steel boxes on which pieces of art will be on display, on loan from regional artists, for the duration of one year.

"Select pieces will be displayed on these three silver metal boxes with high aesthetic appeal, functionality and durability," said Arts Commission member Ffion Soltis. "These boxes form the bottom half of this annually rotating sculpture project. Even know the sculptures are going to change every year, the boxes are going to stay in the same location."

Each year, one piece will win the People's Choice Award to be purchased for a maximum of $5,000 and relocated in town, and then the program will begin anew.

Soltis said the area on or near the Sand Creek path is the "perfect" location.

"This space is paved and accessible in compliance with ADA and Section 504 requirements," she said. "

This area is high traffic, pedestrian and driving traffic volume, and will be an excellent staging area for a community project that will require a high degree of community participation.

Soltis said the project will be funded by the Sandpoint Urban Renewal Agency. The project cost for the 2017/2018 year is $20,000. The initial cost of the three boxes, differing in size from 24 to 36 inches tall, is estimated at $10,650. The People's Choice Award for the purchase of the one sculpture is listed at $5,000 and a stainless steel base to place the chosen sculpture at a to-be-determined location in Sandpoint is estimated at $3,750. Also, the Arts Commission plans to use Single Call For Entry, an online service, to perform an open call to artists to submit their art for consideration for the project. The service cost is estimated at $600.

Artists will be recognized with a custom plaque placed on the plinth base, containing the artist's contact information.

Sculptures not chosen by the community for permanent installation will be available for sale once the winner is announced. No commission will be taken by the city, Soltis said.

"This project offers an opportunity for year-round creativity and independent discovery by all ages and populations," Soltis said. "There are several art programs in town that might incorporate sculpture as an artform into their programming, utilizing these sculptures for educational purposes."

Mary Malone can be reached by email at mmalone@bonnercountydailybee.com and follow her on Twitter @MaryDailyBee.

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