Traffic Box Murals and a Sun Valley Arts Leader Moves On 

Form and function

Down on the corner, art in the street.

photo by Pat Kilby

Down on the corner, art in the street.

If anyone wants proof that Boise is an arts town, they need look no further than the nearest downtown street corner. In most cities, what would normally be bulky, industrial-looking traffic control boxes are, in the City of Trees, canvases on which the work of dozens of local artists are displayed year round.

Since 2009, when the program was launched, 70 traffic boxes around downtown Boise have been wrapped with murals, selected by a panel judges facilitated by Boise's Department of Arts and History.

The next round of art selection is open, and interested artists have about a month to submit their designs.

To apply, send 10 digital examples of past work, along with a letter of interest and resume. Deadline is Feb. 20. The selection committee will choose a slate of artists for near-term installation, along with others who will be added to a traffic box "registry," from which future designs will be commissioned.

Selected artists will receive $1,000 to design a mural--with a community-related theme--with templates provided. The program is funded through the Mayor's Neighborhood Reinvestment Program, Capital City Development Corporation and the city of Boise, in partnership with the Downtown Neighborhood Association and the Downtown Boise Association.

Previously selected artists are eligible to re-apply, but preference may be given to those who have not yet participated in the program.

Artists are not responsible for fabricating the vinyl wraps or installing the final art on the box.

Accepted works will be celebrated with a dedication and walking tours on a date to be announced.

In arts news from other arts towns, Sun Valley Center for the Arts announced Jan. 16 that executive director Sally Boettger has resigned her position to "pursue opportunities in the private sector," according to a news release.

Boettger had served the center in some capacity since 2006--first as development director, then co-director and, since 2012, executive director.

According to board president John Gaeddert, a nationwide search for Boettger's replacement has already begun. In the interim, artistic director Kristin Poole will serve as executive director.

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