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NY artist selected to design large-scale Downtown Boise art project

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Future in Focus Downtown - Mutual of America

Boise City Council approved the commission of an artist to build an art piece in a new park in Downtown Boise.

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The park will be privately owned by the developer of the 11th & Idaho building next door. The City of Boise will manage it as a public park under a licensing agreement.

Matthew Mazzota won the contract from a pool of 45 applicants. He will earn $200,000 for the design, fabrication and delivery of the project.

Mazzota starts projects with what he calls an “outdoor living room” concept.

“Anytime he goes into a community, he sets up a space that is open to anyone to describe their needs, wants and desires – and then incorporates that into his design,” Karl LeClair with the City of Boise said.

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Mutual of America

The project will start next month. LeClair said it should be in place in time for the park to wrap up late next year.

Dog poo and split up homes

Mazzota’s past projects include “ParkSpark,” a “methane waste digestor” in Cambridge, MA. The artwork uses dog waste to power lighting in the park.

He also put together “Open House” in York, Alabama. That concept took a derelict house, split it into pieces and made it into a performance space.

“I think this is going to be a piece of art that we are all going to be looking forward as Mr. Mazzota brings his vision and creativity to our city,” city council member Lisa Sánchez said.

“This is exciting,” council pro tem Elaine Clegg said. “This has been in the works for quite a while to bring more interactive open spaces into the heart of downtown where we have so much activity. This artist seems like he understands that.”

The $200,000 will be funded by the Capital City Development Corporation.

Separately, the park will include a fog feature and mature shade trees.

Don Day
Don is the founder and editor of BoiseDev. He is a National Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Stanford University John S. Knight Fellow.

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