Just before the holidays, a new piece of artwork went up in Downtown Boise: Pale Blue Dot.
A series of about a dozen human-like figures were bolted to the side of the Home2Suites parking garage at 5th Street and Front Street. The figures appear to be crawling toward a large blue circle affixed about seven stories up. The piece was originally slated to pop up in 2021 but saw delays into late 2022.
The project comes from Boise firm Studio Capacitor, which is an offshoot of sign and fabrication company Trademark.
The human shapes feature a similar metallic geometric quality to other Trademark creations, like the family of bears, foxes and other animals at the St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital building. The figures are made of a product known as Alucobond Plus, a type of composite panel that mixes aluminum sheets and a polymer core that can be formed into shapes and shows an iridescence in the light.
“(The piece draws) from the metaphor of a universal watering hole, the elemental gathering point for life immemorial, the one place where an instinctive truce is drawn in the name of the greater good and survival,” Studio Capacitor wrote in describing the work. “Each figure inches closer to the watering hole, drawn by the shared human need for connection and safety.”
The project team said the work also gives a nod to Idaho’s natural hot springs, as well as Earth as viewed from space.
The City of Boise’s Arts & History Department and the Capital City Development Corporation partnered with the developers of the Home2 Suites by Hilton project for the installation. The project cost $90,000 and used public tax increment funding through CCDC.