SANDPOINT — The Sandpoint Arts Commission will spend $113,500 on the artwork for the new roundabout at the intersection of Boyer Avenue and Schweitzer Cutoff Road.
"This is gateway to Sandpoint," Arts Commissioner Megan Cherry told City Council members last week. "... So we wanted to make sure this is a beautiful piece that announces the identity of Sandpoint."
Because it is bordering Ponderay and Bonner County properties as well, Cherry said the group was mindful in their guidelines for the artists to "emphasize what unifies North Idaho as a whole."
The commission is utilizing CaFE, a call for entry website that allows project administrators to streamline the application and review process. Prior to putting the request for proposal before council members on Oct. 4, the proposed call for entry guidelines limited applicants to four regional states — Idaho, Montana, Washington and Oregon. Councilman Thomas Eddy said he would like to see it opened up to artists nationwide. While costs go up for transportation the farther away someone is, Eddy asked if it could be the choice of the artist whether or not to participate.
"The concerns the commission had about that were we really had it in our mission to support local and regional artists," Cherry said.
It could also be difficult for the artist to return to the area if the art were to require future maintenance, Cherry added.
Mayor Shelby Rognstad said he had the same question as Eddy and pointed out that people who moved away, who may even still visit and have family in the area, may want to submit their designs for the roundabout art.
"I personally like the idea of giving preference to regional artists, but being willing to consider any proposal," Rognstad said.
Before voting to approve the RFP, council members approved an amendment to remove the limitation to four regional states, adding wording to indicate preference to regional artists.
Cherry broke down the commission's budget for council members as well. The CaFE fee is $500, the three finalists will receive a design fee of $1,000 each, the final artist will have a $90,000 budget and landscaping and infrastructure is budgeted at $20,000.
The project is funded by the Sandpoint Urban Renewal Agency.
The deadline for artist submissions through CAFe is Dec. 31. Three finalists will be chosen by Feb. 5, 2018, and the final artist will be announced May 1. Installation of the art is scheduled for completion by June 2019.
Mary Malone can be reached by email at email@example.com and follow her on Twitter @MaryDailyBee.