Friday, July 30, 2010

Hailey public art taking shape

5 rodeo grounds artists named

Express Staff Writer

This scale model is of a sculpture by Mark Stasz that will mark the southern entryway to Hailey. The sculpture, made of iron and stone, will stand 15 feet tall along state Highway 75. Photo by David N. Seelig

Hailey is moving forward with a public art program that could put the town on the map for its support of creativity.

This month's annual "Night of Music" had people dancing in the streets. In years to come, sculptures, paintings and other artistic designs will be worked into the very fabric of the city, creating jobs and giving tourists one more reason to visit Hailey.

An iron-and-stone abstract sculpture by local artist Mark Stasz will mark the entrance to the city of Hailey by the end of summer. Stazs was chosen from a pool of artists for the $10,000 commission by a panel organized by the Hailey Arts Commission. The sculpture will stand about 15 feet tall next to Roberta McKercher Park along state Highway 75.

As the Hailey rodeo grounds are redeveloped over the next year, five chosen artists will be working with architects to integrate creative designs into the construction. Their work, totaling $70,000 in value, will be paid for by a "percent for art" ordinance passed in 2008.

The ordinance requires that 1.25 percent of capital improvement projects in the city be spent on the construction and maintenance of public art. This art can stand alone, or be incorporated into architectural plans for sidewalks, walls, bike racks and other design elements.

"Hailey has clearly sent a signal that art is an important part of our culture," said Hailey Arts Commission Chairman Mark Johnstone. "We are one of only six cities in Idaho that has a 'percent for art' ordinance."

The rodeo grounds artists are Bill Amaya, Tom Teitge, Ellen Nasvik, Troy Passey and Marie Stewart. They will begin meeting with architects to discuss designs next week.

The Hailey City Council will approve design elements before they are finalized.

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