Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Artists present plans for rodeo grounds

Diverse styles will be incorporated into $7 million development

Express Staff Writer

Marie Stewart’s proposed mural for a new ice rink in Hailey incorporates an Australian aboriginal painting style. Photo by

The $7 million rodeo grounds development under way at the south end of Hailey will include creative elements that could set it apart from other public facilities in the region.

Thanks to a public art ordinance passed by the city in 2008, five Idaho artists are working with architects to incorporate $70,000 worth of public art into the new rodeo arena, ice rink and skatepark.

Hailey Arts Commissioner Mark Johnstone presented conceptual plans for the site from the artists to the City Council on Monday. The council expressed unanimous support for the concepts presented.

"They (the artists) are putting an incredible amount of time into this," Johnstone said. "This is going to get a lot of press for a long time."

The five chosen artists are Bill Amaya, Tom Teitge, Ellen Nasvik, Troy Passey and Marie Stewart. Since early last summer, they have met numerous times with architect Michael Bulls and stakeholders from the Sawtooth Rangers riding club, the skateboarding community, and Hailey Ice to come up with some creative ideas.

The art will be incorporated into benches, doors, sidewalks and other structures already planned by architects for the facilities. Johnstone said such collaboration will "maximize what the artists can do."

Sculptor Amaya presented plans for carved doors, including corrugated wooden features. Passey's use of text from an assortment of languages prevalent during the Wood River Valley's history will also likely be included on structural features in the facility.

Painter Stewart provided mural plans for the ice rink that incorporate Australian aboriginal-style stipple painting. Navsik has plans to build life-size sculptures of "mutton busting," a rodeo event featuring kids bareback riding on the backs of sheep.

Teitge's plans include an assemblage of rodeo and farming implements to decorate the entrance to the rodeo arena, and relief sculptures of topographic maps of the region.

"There will be a lot of history in this," Mayor Rick Davis said.

The public art will be paid for by a "percent for art" ordinance passed in 2008. The ordinance requires that 1.25 percent of funding for capital improvement projects in the city be spent on the creation and maintenance of public art.

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