BOISE, Idaho — The Boise City Council approved commissioning public artist Matthew Mazzotta for a $200,000 contract to design, fabricate and deliver public artwork for the Westside Downtown Urban Park planned for downtown Boise on 11th Street and Bannock Street. The recommendation came from the Capital City Development Corporation Board, the Arts & History Commission and the artist selection committee.
Mazzotta, who received a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, a Master of Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Program in Art, Culture and Technology, a Loeb Fellowship from Harvard University and is currently a Guggenheim Fellow, works at the intersection of art, activism and urbanism, focusing on the power of the built environment to shape our relationships and experiences. Examples of his work include Cloud House (2016) in Springfield, Missouri, and Open House (2013) in York, Alabama.
“For public parks and plazas, which I believe are an essential feature of towns and cities, we need art that reveals how the spaces we travel through and spend our time living within have the potential to become distinct sites for intimate, radical and meaningful exchanges,” said Mazzotta. “I am eager to explore these ideas in the new urban park and work with the community to open up new ways to come together, relate, function, share and become more connected.”
Mazzotta will travel to Boise in mid-January to launch his project through a series of temporary public spaces for listening, coined ‘Outdoor Living Room’, and invites community members to contribute ideas around the development of the project’s design. The work is anticipated to be completed in tandem with the construction of the park.
Mazzotta was selected for this opportunity through a competitive process open to artists. An artist selection committee composed of members representing the Capital City Development Corporation (CCDC), Arts & History Commission, Arts & History Advisory Team, project design team members, neighborhood stakeholders and members of the local arts community, reviewed 45 applications and interviewed three finalists before awarding Mazzotta the commission.
The Westside Park public art opportunity is funded by CCDC through the Westside Urban renewal District. The park is made possible through a collaboration between CCDC, Eleven Eleven West Jefferson, LLC and the City of Boise.